Design’s Lasting Impacts | Q&A with Emma Newport
Emma Newport is one of our leading successful mentorships, originally joining HPA in 2015 as a Part I Architectural Assistant and later qualifying as an Architect in 2020. Emma is passionate about community engagement, regularly volunteering and providing her services to charities and organisations across the Lancashire.
This month, we asked her a few questions about her recent projects, and what she enjoys most about life as an architect.
You’ve recently been leading the refurbishment of the Royal Kings Arms Hotel, in Lancaster. Why is it so important to care for historic buildings?
We are currently in an ecological and economic crisis with a large supply of historic UK buildings, most of which are key resources that are under utilised. Most issues faced with historic buildings come from poor maintenance and upkeep – one example of this could be something as simple as water ingress from faulty rainwater goods, which when left untreated can cause an overwhelming amount of damage.
The Royal Kings Arms itself suffered major structural issues, which only became evident during its refurbishment. An area of downpipe (hidden behind a fascia) was damaged and the water ingress had completely deteriorated the original timber beam fixings, resulting in
emergency propping works and temporary closure of King Street – all of which has now been rectified, but proves how good maintenance plays an integral role in the care of historic buildings.
By sensitively altering and upgrading buildings, these properties can then be raised to modern, twenty-first century standards – without creating additional wastage and carbon emissions from rebuilding or demolition.
You’ve had great involvement with numerous community projects. Are there any that have stood out to you?
I’ve especially enjoyed working with charities such as the Bendrigg Trust and Unique Kidz, because I appreciate seeing how design can provide such lasting impacts on those who use the building. It is an incredibly rewarding process. As well as this, I also enjoy working with end users of buildings, in order to create schemes that meet the individual needs of each client and user.
I lead Escape2Make’s Architecture Club, working with a group of young people from the local area to design a new youth centre. I also recently volunteered for the Green Festival, which was an exciting and gratifying experience to promote and display all the work we have been doing.
Having recently qualified, what advice would you give to future architects?
There’s a lot more to architecture than just the design process. We are trained in lots of areas, including planning, contracts, building regulations and legislation. Although this may seem like a lot, don’t panic, because we are always learning and developing these skills.
Having a supportive team around you, like ours, with a wide variety of skill sets and specialisms is also invaluable to your own personal development.
Finally, what do you enjoy most about life at HPA?
The fantastic team that we have here. We work on such a varied portfolio of projects, with everyone providing their own unique specialties and skills. I am always learning something new from my colleagues every day – both inside the office and out.
To meet the rest of the team at HPA, click here.