A dream come true for University of Suffolk’s architecture graduates

Two of Suffolk’s first architecture graduates have taken on a “once in a lifetime opportunity” by joining KLH Architects.

Vanessa Sandri and Olivia Fellows are among the first to graduate from the University of Suffolk’s architecture course, which is celebrating its third birthday this year.

The pair, who impressed industry professionals during their studies, have joined KLH as Part 1 architectural assistants.

Both are now working hands-on with clients such as Addenbrooke’s Hospital and the Ipswich Regent theatre.

Vanessa, who is originally from Monte di Malo in Italy, said she has “found home” at the company in her first three months.

The 26-year-old said she wants to help people through her designs and one day direct her own company.

She said: “I’ve always been passionate about creating spaces for people – I knew I wanted to become an architect as it’s always been my dream job.

“I was looking at courses with my host family in East Bergholt and funnily enough, we found the course in Ipswich and I thought ‘well, maybe it’s destiny’.

“I want to improve people’s lives through design, and that’s one great thing about working at KLH as we also work on healthcare projects, which is really rewarding.

“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity and I am so thankful to KLH for giving us this chance.”

Likewise for Olivia, the chance to work with a company so involved in her studies was again a dream come true.

The 21-year-old, who moved to Ipswich from Warwickshire, said she wants to inspire more women to get into the world of architecture.

She said: “I stumbled upon the University of Suffolk and it all fell into place. I am really happy with how everything went.

“The three years were really challenging, but that’s what made it so unique and rewarding.

“Coming into university to find out we had interviews with KLH was amazing. It all happened really quickly.

“It is so nice to come into a company that we already knew so well – it is a big architecture firm but there is a real family environment here. Everyone works together really well.”

KLH has a strong affinity with the University of Suffolk, having worked closely with it to launch the now ARB-accredited course in 2018 with the help of now company director and chairman of RIBA Suffolk Bryan Wybrow.

Bryan has now been named a Senior Visiting Fellow at the University in recognition of the firm’s partnership with the course.

He said: “Seeing Vanessa and Olivia excel through their studies and receive their degrees was great, and I am very pleased to have them join the team at KLH.

“It is an honour to have been named a Senior Visiting Fellow and I look forward to working alongside more students and helping Suffolk produce more first-class architects.”

Associate Professor in Architecture and course leader Dr Liana Psarologaki said: “We are very lucky to be supported by the local chapter of the RIBA and our course is the first one to have been born out of such partnership. KLH are very important for the profession in the region and we are proud that some of our most capable graduates are now with them”.

To find out more about Architecture at the University of Suffolk, please visit https://www.uos.ac.uk/architecture or register for the Open Event taking place on Saturday 6 November by visiting https://www.uos.ac.uk/openevents