Celebrating International Women’s Day at ADAM Architecture

March 8, 2024

As we celebrate International Women's Day, ADAM Architecture is proud to announce a significant milestone in our commitment to equality, diversity and inclusivity within our practice. We are delighted to share that the split between men and women now stands at 50/50 in Winchester and London offices combined. Our dedication to an inclusive environment ensures every voice is valued and empowered, enriching our creative process.

As we reflect on our progress towards gender equality at ADAM Architecture, we are thrilled to share some remarkable figures. Our total female staff has risen from 44% in 2023 to an impressive 50% in 2024. Within the drawing office management roles, we've seen an increase in female incumbents of over 70% in one year. Across the entire practice, female staff members are leading the way in key business departments, demonstrating their expertise and leadership in vital areas such as Financial Management, PR/Marketing, Graphics, Architectural Historians, Information Management, Sustainability. We also have a very active Women in ADAM Architecture group, who raise awareness and lead initiatives throughout the practice.

In celebration of this milestone, we introduce the Women in ADAM Architecture (WIAA) Highlights, an initiative to shine a spotlight on the remarkable women within our practice and their outstanding achievements at ADAM. This will showcase the diverse roles, talents, and contributions of our female architects, urban designers, and associates.

Here are a few of our outstanding women sharing their achievements at ADAM and some advice for individuals aspiring to work in the field of architecture:

Lois Lawn - Associate Senior Urban Designer

An Architectural Technologist for ten years, I took my career in an Urban direction following the birth of my children, as because fascinated in how they experienced the public realm. A family friend worked at ADAM and recommended me for an interview and the rest they say is history.

My key achievements at ADAM are being part of the birth of our mentorship programme, leading the scheme for two years, and now leading the Women in ADAM Architecture. I am also part of a working group looking at Safe Streets for women, which is now part of a larger collaboration with Create Communities to be launched this week. There is a lineage of builders in my family, albeit none of them were women, and I always loved looking at floor plans of houses in Estate Agents windows. I loved Lego as a child making sure the bricks were stretcher bond, so I knew I wanted to get into the Built Environment. My advice would be to get some work experience in an area you’re interested in, suck it and see. If you love it, go for it, if not, try something else – life is too short to do something you don’t like doing!

 

Katie Pottrill - Senior Associate, Senior Architect

Katie is a Senior Associate and an experienced Architect, having worked at ADAM Architecture for nearly 8 years.  She leads teams to deliver complex projects of the highest quality, from work on new and existing country houses, period and Listed Buildings, as well as various types of development in sensitive locations such as Conservation Areas, National Parks, and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Katie also has experience working internationally, having worked on projects in Morocco, Nigeria and The Bahamas. She has a breadth and depth of experience across all stages, leading projects from concept through to completion with large consultant teams, administering both large and smaller scale construction contracts for domestic and commercial projects.

My key achievements at ADAM include my recent promotion to Senior Associate this year, promotion to Associate in 2022, winning the RIBA South Student Prize for Highest Standard of Detail in Design, receiving the first prize at the ADAM 2018 design competition for a WWI war memorial in Winchester, and achieving first prize at the ADAM 2017 design competition for the new market hall in Silver Hill, Winchester. My advice for any aspiring architects would be to get on site as much as possible! While design aptitude, communication and presentation skills are important, nothing is quite as invaluable as time on site spent grasping the tectonics of a building, and understanding how every line you draw in the office translates to tangible works on site. There is so much to learn from everyone around you, no matter what profession, trade or level; read up and study but most importantly get involved, soak it up and ask questions!

 

Jodie Howard - Architectural Assistant (Part 2)

Jodie is an experienced Architectural Designer holding qualifications in Interior Architecture as well as a Masters of Architecture. Having completed her Masters studies Part-time during her three years at ADAM Architecture. She has been awarded the PLB Sustainability prize for her late Thesis project and has recently begun her Part 3 qualification at the University of Cambridge. Her expertise lies in delivering high end complex new build and existing country houses, period and listed dwellings. Jodie has varied expertise in high-end interior specification and bespoke joinery and has experience across all RIBA stages, from concept through to completion.

 

To date, my key achievements at ADAM are obtaining my Masters qualification whilst working part-time. Working on the WIAA safer streets research and increasing my engagement in wider office management. Leading both the Mentorship and Work Experience programmes. As well as successfully navigating my Part 3 studies. At a young age, my family decided to undertake a huge project to build our family home. All whilst bringing up two young princesses. Growing up in this environment, alongside my passions to draw and paint for hours on end, I was already an Architect in the making! My advice is pushing yourself out of your comfort zone may not always feel comfortable, but it's where you work best. Remember, it's okay not to have all the answers; nobody knows everything. Don't hesitate to ask that 'stupid' question – curiosity fuels growth. Lastly, prioritize time for yourself and your family; time is  precious and irreplaceable.

 

Bianca Pagliara Vasquez - Urban Designer

Choosing architecture was a natural fit for me, fuelled by a lifelong passion for arts and drawing. The field's appeal lies in its versatility and the opportunity to work globally. My pivotal experience came while working with Estudio Urbano on the New Town of Cayala, sparking an interest in Urbanism and the role of Traditional Architecture in shaping community identity. This inspired me to pursue a Master's in traditional urban design at the University of Notre Dame. Before joining ADAM, I contributed to urban developments in Guatemala, Mexico, and the United States. Since joining ADAM, I've had the privilege of working on diverse projects at various scales and stages with the Master planning Team, gaining insights into English Architecture and its urban complexities.

An early highlight was my involvement in ADAM's submission for the Street Level Australia competition, where our team received a Commendation. This experience allowed me to apply my drawing skills and learn about effective design and presentation strategies. Recently, along with my co-worker Vinuthna Singareddy, I achieved the third prize in the annual ADAM Design Competition for a farmhouse design in Lymington. It was a fun experience where we had plenty of freedom to explore ideas and deliver them into a strong urban and architectural proposal. Reflecting on my journey, my advice for those contemplating architecture is to embrace opportunities in various fields until you discover your true passion. Always strive to refine your skills and make meaningful contributions! It's about shaping spaces, influencing community identities, and contributing to the evolving narrative of architecture.

 

Annabel Clark - Architect

Given my very recent start at ADAM, I haven't yet had the opportunity to achieve significant milestones. However, I'm eager to contribute and am actively working towards making notable accomplishments soon. Watch this space!

My inspiration for pursuing a career in architecture was ignited by witnessing the transformation of my grandparent's redundant farmyard into four high-quality residential homes, one of which my grandmother lives in today. Sneaking through the fencing, I observed the evolution of the build first hand, though I must stress the importance of safety on construction sites, and I don't advocate this behaviour now. Moreover, my passion for the creative aspects of art in school, coupled with my appreciation for the practicality of math and physics, further fuelled my interest in architecture. It provided me with the ideal amalgamation of creativity and technicality, enabling me to continue engaging with these elements in a deeply fulfilling profession. Reflecting on my journey, my advice to aspiring architects would be to cultivate curiosity, pursue diverse experiences, and never underestimate the significance of observation. Whether it's witnessing a construction site transformation, appreciating architectural details around you, or observing how people interact in various spaces, every encounter offers valuable insights into the art and science of architecture.

 

 

Dr Helen Lawrence-Beaton - Senior Architectural Historian

Helen is closely involved in the practice’s historic buildings projects. She has a broad academic knowledge of British architecture and Garden History and has nearly 20 years experience in writing Heritage Statements, Pattern Books and Local Character Studies. She has researched the history and development of numerous listed buildings, historic estates, farms, towns and villages throughout the UK. Helen studied History of Art before joining ADAM Architecture in 2002 and she has since gained a Masters degree in Garden History. She has more recently completed a PhD on Thomas Archer and is now the leading authority on this key architect of the English Baroque.

I have helped us to achieve planning permission at some important historic sites – it gives me a huge sense of satisfaction to see a country house restored and lived in once more, saved for future generations. I have also managed to complete all of my postgraduate studies whilst still working and having a family. I started out in Art History but soon became fascinated by architecture and narrowed down my focus on to that – in particular, the English Baroque. My advice would be not to be afraid to approach a company directly as I did at ADAM Architecture – they made a role for me and it has evolved and grown over the years. I would also advise never to stand still or to feel as though your education is complete – I am still learning every day from my colleagues and through experiencing new buildings of different periods and styles.