As our entire team has had to adapt to different work schedules and surroundings across London, Manchester and Edinburgh. We have launched an interview series to catch up with individuals and see what creative change, tips, and observations they've been experiencing during this time. This week we speak to Architect Matt Beaumont in London.
How are you feeling given the current situation at this point?
MB: I feel a bit guilty saying it (as I know how tough some have found lockdown) but I have found it to be a welcome change of pace. I’m a bit of a hermit by nature so maybe it suits my temperament… having said that, ask me again in a month.
Who are you isolating with and how are you all finding it?
I have been isolating with my girlfriend, Katy, in our flat in South East London. We are still together.
Have you taken up a new skill/hobby since lockdown?
Usually I commute to the office by bike & would consider myself a moderately keen cyclist (is that a hobby?). Maintaining any kind of routine going out on the bike has required much more dedication than I had anticipated. We are fortunate enough to have some outside space so I have taken the opportunity to get stuck in with some gardening. So far we have Red Hot Pokers, Gladioli and an assortment of grasses. We also seem to have acquired the neighbour’s cat.
During the times you've been out, what are the biggest changes you've noticed?
In the first couple of weeks of lockdown, cycling on London’s streets was surreal. Embankment was as busy as a country road. Largely because of this, I’ve noticed many more cyclists out and about which is great to see.
What’s been the most challenging thing about lockdown so far?
The blurred lines between work and home life have been a real challenge. Because you no longer need to get up and leave to return home, the temptation to push on for a few more hours is very real and can ultimately eat up your evenings. Forcing myself to go out on the bike for an hour each day has been a key self-preservation strategy.
What project are you working on?
Since April I have been working on the Ugly Brown Building – Building A, picking up the project at the beginning of RIBA Stage 3. The scheme is a 10,000m² retail and office building near Kings Cross and will be the first of the five buildings on the master plan to go to site.
How are you finding working from home?
Good! The Ugly Brown team are based in London, Edinburgh and Rome at the moment so communicating by video link would be necessary in any case.
Any tools or tricks are you using to stay organised with work and on top of it all?
Working from home has meant adapting for the better too – instead of physically printing and marking up drawings, we now mark-up digital boards with stylus pens and share that with the team, consultants and clients. No more stacks of waste paper!
* #BASIL_ is an acronym for 'Bennetts Associates Self Isolation Loves', our curated content on social media that brings together inspiration for the #wfh days.
A family of mixed-use buildings for life sciences placed in a strategic location along the Regent’s Canal.