Gemma Noakes

Associate Director

I enjoy being able to create or impact small pieces of city. I believe modern life is defined by the city that surrounds it.”

As the writer Richard Sennett puts it, cities are places where strangers meet and new ideas are formed in public spaces — a common ground. My perspective of the city has evolved over time and during my years at Studio Egret West, transforming from a city of opportunity to a place I now call home.

One of the first projects I worked on was the detailed design of Clapham Library. It was an exciting project that challenged the norms of how a library is used, creating a public space designed for interaction and learning. Like my journey with SEW, I have grown with experience and age, developing a broader outlook on the city. I am now more interested in the bigger picture: how the city connects with surrounding communities, and how small parts of the city can become mini cities within themselves. With these thoughts in mind, one relevant project I worked on was Cotton Quay, Salford, which combined my interest in defining new pieces of the city with exciting architectural proposals, alongside numerous new waterfront homes.

Having worked with SEW for a number of years, I have helped shape a wide range of projects of various scales, progressing from working within teams to now leading them. I enjoy designing and managing complex projects and hope to further develop my understanding and appreciation of cities in the coming years.

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