Young Architect of the Year
We feel Rekha should win this award due to the dedication she shows to her projects, and how she utilises her great design abilities to support the needs of others. Rekha has been with Anderson Bell + Christie for 6 years, and in that time has shown a great aptitude and desire to take on any new project or problem that comes her way. Rekha is an extremely talented designer, but at the heart of her work is an underlying commitment to help both individuals and communities, and to do the very best with every opportunity she is afforded. Those who have worked with Rekha will testify to her positive and supportive nature, which is afforded to everyone she meets; clients, contractors, consultants and in particular, the public, whether that be during consultation events or site walk rounds long after completion. Seeing residents using and enjoying the building she has designed brings her genuine joy and spurs her on to replicate this on future projects. Within the workplace, Rekha plays a key part in the success of our office environment and has taken it upon herself on numerous occasions to improve the mental health of her colleagues, through various means, such as introducing mindfulness sketching sessions. This has been particularly helpful during lockdown, when she has been able to use her charm and enthusiasm to instigate social events and keep colleagues interacting with one another at often difficult times. Her support for others is visible in everything she does. As part of MCR pathways, Rekha has worked with young people who have experienced the care system in Glasgow. This is a weekly 1-1 mentoring programme which supports young people to find, grow and use their talents. It helps young people to build confidence, broaden aspirations and explore their future pathways. In recent years, Anderson Bell + Christie has moved to become an employee-owned business. Rekha put herself forward and was elected by her colleagues as a trustee on the ABC Trust Board and has played a vital role in the culture of Anderson Bell Christie, and is a strong voice for her colleagues on the ABC Trust Board.
Rekha is an experienced designer whose portfolio focuses on residential and community projects. Rekha was lead co-ordinator for the Design Team at the award-winning Greendykes Phase G development. A 75-unit development of social and Mid-market rent properties in Edinburgh. This project was commended for its rigorous design aesthetic, communal heating system and incorporates innovative ventilation design solutions, which is a collaboration between MEARU and Anderson Bell + Christie. Due to the success of this phase, Rekha will be taking forward the next phase of the Greendykes masterplan for approximately 140 units. Following the success of Greendykes, Rekha became project architect for older people’s housing at Creveul Court in the heart of Alexandria Town Centre. Rekha led consultations with community organisations to help design communal open space and implemented dementia friendly design into all elements of the development. One of Rekha’s key desires was that the project provide meaningful, sheltered outdoor space for residents; alongside this she was able to respond in a considered and appropriate way to the town centre location and local vernacular, so much so, that it is now used by West Dunbartonshire Council’s Planning Performance Framework (PPF) as a piece of exemplar design for future projects. Given the knowledge she gained at Creveul Court, Rekha was invited to present at the Scottish Housing Association conference on Technology Enabled Care to give a CPD about the Dementia Friendly Design elements she was able to incorporate in the project. Rekha has been integral for the research undertaken within the office due to her extensive housing experience and has recently worked with City of Edinburgh Council to develop of number of house and flat types that would cater to the needs of all abilities, future-proofing housing for the long-term. The project also worked with off-site manufacturing contractors to develop designs that were easy to fabricate, whilst maximising space and keeping efficient costs. Rekha continues to expand her knowledge and build on past successes. Currently she is working on a project named Cowan’s Close that represents the culmination of various strands of work, being a residential development in the heart of Edinburgh’s conservation area that incorporates a net zero strategy, is fully wheelchair accessible and has undergone numerous rounds of community consultation to ensure local residents and planners are happy with proposals on the demanding site.