calfordseaden is pleased to welcome Rizwan Asif to the Architecture team in our Cambridge office as Partner. This new appointment is part of the continued growth plans to strengthen our Architecture offering across the country. It also continues our Cambridge office’s strategy of expanding all disciplines into the region and continuing the offices growth by offering additional services to our varied client base. Rizwan brings a wealth of experience working on a diverse range of projects across many sectors, with a keen focus on commercial schemes.
My interest for design began at a young age. At college, I was drawn to both engineering and architecture, and I even came second in the Young Engineers of Great Britain competition for a project I submitted. I decided on an Architecture degree as I was ultimately more drawn to the creative element.
Whilst at university, I was offered the opportunity to study abroad at the National University of Singapore for a year. I think this experience really kicked off my curiosity and passion for finding innovative solutions by approaching challenges with an open mind. Studying and working in Singapore enabled me to consider how culture and society shapes design. One of the proudest moments of my career was when my team and I in Singapore submitted a master planning research report to UNESCO.
After completing my course, I joined an Architectural practice in Birmingham where I worked for seven years and qualified as an Architect. I had the opportunity to work on multi-billion pound infrastructure projects such as the Dubai Metro and I gained volumes of experience in the public sector, delivering large scale projects for the Ministry of Justice and Home Office. With a keen interest in infrastructure, I took a slightly unconventional route which involved working in London on the architectural design component of power and petro-chemical facilities. Whilst it was interesting to get involved in engineering projects such as offshore rigs, new refineries, and nuclear plants, I wanted to bring my focus back to mainstream building consultancy. I joined an architectural practice in Cambridge, where I worked for five years focusing mainly on education and commercial projects, before joining calfordseaden in August 2021.
My experience working across various sectors and within different environments, has enabled me to be versatile and innovative in my approach. From thousands of people working on one project to a smaller more agile organisation, it is important to be able to adapt to both the working environment and the project environment, prioritising delivering high quality solutions to the client.
One of the key factors attracting me to the role at calfordseaden, is the Practice’s dedication to responding to the environment and making spaces more sustainable. Having the multi-dis approach enables teams to collaborate with other disciplines to ensure the most innovative and sustainable solutions are considered and implemented. I think that the industry needs to really focus and respond to the climate emergency, and to drive necessary change, we need to generate an integrated solution. As an Architectural team, the close links to our Employer’s Agents and Project Management teams enable us to discuss and plan integrating sustainable solutions from the initial stages of a project.
I am excited about growing our Architectural offering in the Cambridge area, I think that having a local presence is vital to build close connections and be able to respond quickly and efficiently to customer and client needs. Since first opening in January 2015, calfordseaden’s Cambridge office has grown organically as we have responded to projects, and I look forward to now being part of the next stage of growth. I am keen to continue building on the existing strong relationships that we have in the area and drawing on my strong commercial experience to raise the Architecture teams’ commercial profile across all our operating areas.