Emerging Woman Architect of the Year shortlist: Hazel Rounding
Hazel Rounding is director at shedKM
Hazel Rounding became a director at ShedKM in 2001. Returning to the practice from maternity leave, this year Rounding set up the practice’s London office. ShedKM has since won an architectural competiton to design a 46,000m2 office within Foster’s masterplan for Ruskin Square, Croydon, and landed ShedKM’s largest project to date, a £100 million mixed-use redevelopment of Circus Street, Brighton.
Why did you become an architect?
I grew up with a seemingly in-built awareness of my surroundings and built environment, with family members mostly working in the construction industry. Others suggested it was a man’s career. This is when I made up my mind – it was time to prove them all wrong!
What is your design ethos?
A clear-thinking, geometric, rational approach. A balance of client brief with legible, strong forms.
Which women architects inspire you?
No one in particular; I’ve never been a star-spotter. Everyone is individual and has the potential to excel with opportunity and discovery of ‘their subject’.
What is your advice to aspiring female architects?
Believe in yourself and don’t think of yourself as a woman; think of yourself as an architect. Always remember self-belief and assertiveness give confidence to others. This is different to arrogance. You need to nurture understanding and trust in all relationships.
Why do women leave architecture?
You have to be very strong to deal with the subject – it is a huge subject for either sex; balancing not just design skills but people skills and sheer hard work. This can leave it very hard to reconcile a personal life, especially with a partner from a different subject.
What is the best defence against sexism?
Place of study BA Hons (Arch) London South Bank University (1994); PG Dip (Arch) Liverpool John Moores University (1998)
Current projects Circus Street, Brighton - a £100 million mixed use development for Cathedral Group, with Brighton University and South East Dance; Ruskin Square, Croydon - a £22.5 million new build office for Stanhope Soapworks; Salford - a £25 million office-led regeneration for Carlyle Group, with Abstract Securities; Nikal Whitgift Centre, Croydon - Outline Planning for residential elements of the retail quarter renewal
Clients Abstract Securities, Carlyle Group, Cathedral Group, Hammersons, Mount Anvil, Nikal, Stanhope, Urban Splash