Mentoring at HPA Chartered Architects

HPA Chartered Architects were recently joined by Elise Clarke for a week of work experience. Currently studying for her A-Levels, at Lancaster Girls Grammar School, Elise decided to experience the work environment before applying to study Architecture at University next year.

HPA Chartered Architects – Student Mentors

HPA are proud to help mentor the next generation of the profession, working with students throughout the entire architectural education process.  Alongside offering a weeklong work experience programme for school students, HPA also support students throughout their university education, providing mentoring days to undergraduate’s through the RIBAs Student Mentoring Scheme.  Over the years HPA have also supported many Part 1 and Part 2 students undertaking placement years during their qualification. Director Zoe Hooton, currently mentors on the RIBA North Part 3 Programme, helping students preparing for their final exams.

Throughout Elise’s week in the office, HPA aimed to provide a varied programme of work that work would introduce to some of the key skills required as an Architect, and provide a fair overview of the profession.

Beginning the week’s work experience at the office, Elise was taught the basics of surveying. After measuring our office, she was shown the basics of AutoCAD , which was used to draw a floor plan. Elise was then able to use the skills she had acquired to help our Architectural Assistant Emma on a site survey.

Following this Elise was asked to design a small coffee shop which would be located on the green next to Lancaster Castle. After finding precedent images, and researching other similar schemes, Elise produced a number of sketches to explain her concept.


Then, using the skills she developed earlier in the week, Elise prepared plans and elevations of the scheme on AutoCAD, before modelling her design in SketchUp. This model was then edited through Photoshop to provide a more realistic view which showed the site context and materials.

On Friday afternoon Elise presented her scheme to the office, who gave feedback and advice on the scheme. Elise impressed with her confidence and presentation style, along with the effort and enthusiasm she had shown throughout the week.

At the end of the week the all-important question loomed; would Elise still want to study architecture? HPA are happy to say that Elise still wants to become an architect and everyone at HPA wishes her all the best with her upcoming exams and future career.


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