Where Engineering and Architecture Meet
We have had the pleasure this month of working with 3rd year architect students from Manchester School of Architecture and Liverpool John Moores University. This is a recurring annual event that we are involved with.
At the point of the students coming to us, the majority of them have had no industry experience and not contributed to anything built. As engineers, we look at the projects that they have conceived and provide technical guidance and ideas to help them realise the ambitions of their design.
Their ambitions can be huge and it is a fine balance encouraging the students to be expressive and creative whilst enabling them to understand what is achievable. Some of the student projects we have helped to shape over the past few years include a prison in the middle of the Atlantic, a container city for refugees, a kilometre tall vertical city and a residential block designed to look like a bridge.
Every time we meet with these passionate young people, we are reminded of how rewarding it is. The work is a partnership – whilst we help them to think about delivery, the students help us to explain engineering in a more human way, which helps us to explain what we do more clearly for our clients. It is also a reminder of how to get the most out of the dynamic between Engineer and Architect – a creative tension that is necessary in realising the most ambitious designs in the built environment.
We also tutor final year civil engineering students at Manchester University each year on their design projects, setting projects that run in parallel with our own live projects.