In the next of our Meet the Team series, we talk to Senior Architectural Assistant, Vishal Baichande.
What got you into architecture originally?
At the risk of sounding like a cliché, it was largely the influence of my upbringing and surroundings.
I come from a family of carpenters and my father has always been very pro-active in DIY around the house and in making bespoke pieces of furniture; he never held back in letting me help. From a young age I was exposed to a lot of construction projects through him and I was always fascinated by construction.
My sister and I had a very humble upbringing and our “house” was practically an open plan studio for four of us. So it was important that this space was maximised and flexible. We had a lot of tricks and clever solutions to get the most out of that space.
My mother was the one that pushed us more towards academia and instilled in us the value of a good education.
I guess the amalgamation of my father’s practicality and my mother’s drive towards academics lead to my interest in Architecture.
Describe your role at Lees Associates
I am a Senior Architectural Assistant and most of my time is spent on implementation of client briefs into drawings and production of construction drawings.
A lot of the time is spent on co-ordination of information from different consultants and collaborating with other team members to meet deadlines.
I am fortunate enough to work with a tight-knit team that are very hard working and always show full commitment towards the project.
Where do your particular passions, skills and interests lie?
Outside of Architecture, my main interests are football (watching and playing), food, travel and I am partial to a good TV show or movie.
I like to believe that I am a happy and upbeat person who is able to stay calm in stressful situations and can boost the morale of the whole team during tough times. In those terms I would say I am a good team member.
What do you enjoy most about what you do?
My favourite thing about my job is problem solving. It is what excites me the most, being able to explore different options and solutions to come up with the optimum resolution.
I also really enjoy seeing our designs come to life on site from the demolition stage to completion.
Which project are you most proud of?
I have been lucky enough to be involved some very interesting large, high-end projects. But my favourite still remains one of the smallest ones I have completed. That project was designed for an ex-Formula 1 driver: the whole ethos for the project was to be like a Formula 1 car, precise and with “no fat”. Every corner of the one-bedroom flat was maximised and a lot of very clever solutions and tricks made this project both simple at first glance but very complex under the skin. It was all-round a very satisfying project for a very particular client.
My current project also has the making of a very complex project where every aspect is unique. I am finding it both challenging and very exciting at the same time.
What are you plans for the future?
Long term future would be to have my own practice one day but that is way down the line. For now I just want to be involved in as wide a variety of projects as possible and to learn as much as I can about every aspect of construction.
On a day to day basis the plan is generally to keep working, keep playing, keep eating and keep experiencing as much of life as imaginable.