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The Stephen Lawrence Trust propelled me as an architect

Simone de Gale
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Simone de Gale, 33, is one of the first Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust alumni to set up their own architectural practice

In 2009, in the midst of the recession, I launched an architectural services company after completing my Part 2. Six years on, Simone de Gale Architects employs four staff and is securing multimillion-pound residential and commercial contracts.

After graduating in architecture from the University of Westminster in 2005, I attended the annual Stephen Lawrence memorial lecture at the RIBA, and later applied for and was awarded a financial bursary.

'The Stephen Lawrence Trust gave me so much more than a bursary'

The trust was set up in 1998 by Stephen's mother, Doreen Lawrence. She wanted to ensure that future generations of young people would enjoy the opportunities that were denied to her son.

The Stephen Lawrence Trust gave me so much more than a bursary. It has given me the opportunity to network, to become involved in projects I wouldn't otherwise have been able to do, and to present on its behalf to the likes of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

In 2008, I was invited to attend a Stephen Lawrence Charity Gala at the Dorchester Hotel in London, where I met a former scientist who has helped to take my design for a spherical art gallery in a new direction. We are now developing a blast absorption material for the defence industry. The Ministry of Defence awarded £50,000 grant funds, and the University of Greenwich is also funding this work.

Simone de Gale

Simone de Gale

Source: Simone de Gale Architects

Reflection Zone, a student space away from the order and rigidity of the college spaces, for Brooke House Sixth Form College

Another introduction, was the opportunity to participate in the Future Brixton masterplan project. I am now an adviser to the trust's Building Futures Programme, creating opportunities for other young aspiring architects.

My company works in residential, commercial and retail architecture, and its main clients are property developers. My contracts are secured through recommendation, repeat business and tender. The practice has just won its biggest contract; a new-build multiple residential scheme for 39 flats in Southall, west London.

As the RIBA secretary of the West London Architectural Society, I am also one of the architect advisers for the Hammersmith Flyunder masterplanning project.

I am now looking towards the hotel design sector, and am completing a number of interior design projects, expanding the company services further. My company ethos is to create a signature style of architecture and to implement this through innovative form and function, new materials and sustainability

Simone de Gale

Simone de Gale

Source: Simone de Gale Architects

Spherical Art Gallery



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