DB3 Team

Getting to know our new
Senior Architect Hemal Patel

Joining our DB3 Leeds studio as Senior Architect is Hemal Patel who will be looking at all aspects of design that our DB3 teams produce, running projects and working closely with our clients to ensure DB3 delivery continues to exceed expectations. We had a great chat with her to get to know her better and this is what we found out.

What lead you to Architecture?

When I was young, I became aware that my parents own a substantial plot of land in India in the hopes to retire to one day and it has completely captured my imagination ever since. I was always drawing still life and building in Lego, which was typically commonplace. I tried my hand in fashion by enrolling in a part-time college course alongside attending 6th form and I even contemplated product design before I understood architecture. What would this house that we want to build one day look like? This ultimately inspired me to study architecture and yes, my family are looking for me to design our house, when I am experienced and ready!

What is your greatest fear?

What is your greatest fear?

I am scared of heights! Yes, not ideal as an architect and something that usually comes out when it’s too late and I am at the top of the building, much to the surprise and perhaps part amusement to those who’ve accompanied me. I can’t look down and tend to stay away from the edge before my whole body begins to shake. The fear is very real!

Tell us a bit about your career so far

I graduated with a BArch at Lincoln University, before completing my Master of Architecture at the University of Westminster in 2013. Since then I’ve worked on a number of Retail and Leisure projects whilst at The Harris Partnership, including masterplanning for town centres and out of town developments. I have experience in cinema schemes such as the recently completed Savoy Cinema in Doncaster and Thorpe Park Odeon in Leeds. Most recently, I was involved in the redevelopment of the HM Prison in Northallerton, which was my first experience of Listed Building development. I was also involved in the Bridgehead Commercial Development in Hull, primarily of office spaces and look forward to getting involved in DB3’s other sectors.

Tell us something about yourself that would surprise us.

I could happily live without my mobile phone, in fact I’m not really into modern day technology. I absolutely love classical music, literature and opera and think I would quite enjoy living in the 1700 era if I could!

Tell us about your favourite travel location so far.

As part of my degree I went to Seoul in South Korea and did some project work as well as sightseeing. It was an absolute culture shock in the best way possible and an experience I won’t forget. Although I did have a very close shave with the Korean Military, whilst photographing my project site, which was a little too near their army base, for their liking!

What is your proudest moment so far in your career?

What is your proudest moment so far in your career?

In 2010 I did a work placement in New York for 1100 Architect which was an amazing experience. I was so honoured when the Director gave me a residential project – which turned out to be his own newly purchased penthouse with a stunning view of Brooklyn. Dealing with different measurements was quite a challenge at times, but it was so exciting to get picture updates of my designs becoming a reality, when I was back in the UK.

Which book are you reading at the moment?

I’m a real bookworm and currently on the second book of Game of Thrones. Believe it or not I have not seen the series, as I never watch before reading – so no spoilers please!

If you won the lottery what would you do?

I would fly my family to Africa so we could do some sight-seeing and charity work in Malawi. Having never been, we would like to see where my Dad was born and grew up before coming to the UK. It would be great to see the progress and  to give something back to the country which became a part of my family history.

Tell us something spontaneous you have done?

Tell us something spontaneous you have done?

Last December, in conversation with my hairdresser she told me that she’s travelling to Australia in a few weeks’ time. In response to me saying that I’d love to go there one day, she suddenly suggested that I come along. After double checking she was absolutely sure about it, I started looking at flights whilst she finished my hair! We had a great trip to Sydney, Cairns and Whitsunday Islands and returned mid-January this year, just before Covid-19 kicked off.

Wow – thank you Hemal for sharing some of your great stories, we look forward to working with you and hearing some more. A very warm welcome to DB3 Architecture!

Date Published: 18 November 2020

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