ECE@10 Profiles – Nicola Blincow
Having joined ECE Westworks in 2018 and qualifying as an architect in 2019, Nicola has worked on a number of residential schemes within the practice at various scales. Throughout her period of working at ECE she has been fully immersed within all the project stages, working both independently and in the design team. She has a keen interest in sustainability and is part of the ECE Sustainability Working Group.
Fascinated with the formation of urban networks and how architectural proposals can act as a catalyst to regeneration, she is keen to continue harnessing her design skills to help produce projects which are socially conscious and engaging with the surrounding environment.
What inspired you to become an Architect?
I grew up in the Middle East where my surrounding environment was constantly being developed and adapted due to the fast-paced advancements happening at the time. Whilst I don’t draw many similarities within my design work and this type of large-scale construction, the initial exposure at a young age to varied architectural styles, modern methods of building and differing approaches to urban environments got me interested in studying architecture. My family also have a history of working in the construction industry which definitely helped push me in that direction!
What brought you to ECE?
Following my Masters degree, I moved to Bristol and applied to be a Part II architectural assistant at ECE Westworks. I really liked the office environment Westworks’ offered, the support they provided younger team members and the range of work they were involved with. Since then, I’ve qualified as an architect and been project lead of a 638-bed student accommodation project. Westworks are really helpful with getting you exposed to working on complex and large-scale projects at an early stage of your career.
What has been your favourite ECE project to work on?
I really enjoyed working on 10 Midland Road, a residential scheme of 220 units in Luton. It was the first project I was involved with, and the client really invested in ensuring sustainability was a forefront of the design. The landscaping of the scheme was a key element to the project, incorporating a cooperative garden, additional routes to the train station and a new public space opening onto the high street.
What is key to designing a successful scheme?
I think collaboration between members of the design team is key for a project to be successful. Working closely with other consultants early on in the project can help ensure you can deliver a cohesive and robust design.
When are you most relaxed?
I’m most relaxed when I’m at a quiet countryside pub with a crisp cold pint of cider in my hand! I love going for a good walk and I’m lucky to have the benefit of having family across the West Coast of Scotland which is a great place to explore the countryside.