Neil takes first steps to becoming architect

Neil Mair has graduated with an MSc in Architecture from RGU.
Neil Mair has graduated with an MSc in Architecture from RGU.

Late nights and a hefty workload have paid off for a Fraserburgh student who is celebrating his first step towards becoming a fully-fledged architect.

Neil Mair (20), graduated with a BSc Architecture degree with Distinction from Robert Gordon University (RGU), on Friday, July 17.

It is the first in a series of stages the former Fraserburgh Academy pupil will have to complete on his way to becoming a fully qualified architect and he has already embarked on a year-long placement with Edinburgh based practice, Comprehensive Design Architects (CDA).

Following the placement, Neil plans to return to RGU to study for his Masters of Architecture degree.

He said: “I knew from the outset that the course would be extremely challenging, but many of the things I’ve achieved over these first three years I would never have expected to have done prior to taking the course.

“Architects are required to have an extremely wide knowledge base which allows us to work with a whole range of people in the industry and be able to consider buildings from each and every aspect, whether this is in regards to how it is built and operates at a technical level or simply how a space is to be used, and the needs and comforts of people who inhabit a building.

“It is for this reason that I have acquired a whole new range of skills over the past three years, some of which are specialist and some of which are more related to organisation and time management.

“Perhaps some of the most important of these include presentation skills and people skills, in the ability to not only work well in a team but be able to naturally lead a team of fellow students in some of the design projects and exhibitions that have been undertaken as part of the design studio aspect of the course.”

He added: “This year has been extremely challenging simply because of the volume of work expected of us at any one time.

“Despite these issues the amount learned from the course and the various achievements I have had throughout these first three years makes it all worthwhile.”

Neil cites being chosen to present to an international panel of industry professionals at the Scott Sutherland School of Architecture and Built Environment’s annual Big Crit as one of the highlights of his time at RGU so far.

He was also awarded the prize for Best Stage 2 Architecture student in 2014, as well as receiving nominations for the Scottish Ecological Design Association (SEDA) Krystyna Johnson Award.

One of his projects, which focused on reimagining Gray’s School of Art as an exhibition and conference centre, was highly commended in this year’s Rob Hunter Award.