Since graduating from LSBU, Oliver Andrew (Class of 2011) has worked at two of London’s leading architecture practices and won several international competitions and awards.
A proactive student, Oliver was keen to establish his name within the industry by working on various projects alongside his course. The support from his tutors helped secure interviews but he knew it was important to gain as much exposure as possible. He came across the Fentress Global Challenge, an international design competition inviting architecture and engineering students to submit their vision for the Airport of the Future.
International award winner
Out of the 200 submissions, Oliver's concept of LDN Delta Airport was selected as the award-winning design. The airport has been designed as a number of prefabricated, mass-produced islands situated in the Thames Estuary, downstream from London. To help relieve the airport from overcrowding, it would only be accessible via public transport, have no check-in desks with flight information directly to passenger's phones. The designs of the planes themselves were based on the form of Concorde, a keen interest of Oliver's from a young age.
The judging panel described his plans for LDN Delta as 'futuristic and environmentally sustainable' and praised his 'creative approach, response to site, sustainability and functionality.' In winning the competition Oliver received a £3,000 cash prize and a month placement at Fentress Architects in Denver, Colorado. His concept was also featured by American Institute of Architects (AIA) and Oliver is now on the AIA future talents list of up- and-coming architects.
As a global leader in airport architecture, Fentress boasts a portfolio including Los Angeles Airport's new terminal and Denver International, the second largest in the world at a staggering 53 square miles. The competition aimed to encourage the very best up and coming architects to apply innovative thinking to the fast-expanding aviation industry and, hopefully, usher in a new golden age of iconic airport design that simultaneously looks back at the glamour of the Jet Age and ahead to the economic and environmental challenges of the future.
Oliver was able to work on completing the new terminal at LAX airport during his placement, and also worked on some conceptual designs. He got the chance to experience a number of other projects the firm worked on.
Power plants and bus stops
Oliver also went on to graduate with a Master's in Architecture and now works at Grimshaw Architects. He has just been commissioned for his first private project, a luxury house in Buckinghamshire, and is also working on Generation Park, a biomass power station in Norwich that will convert energy from straw waste into power and district heating.
In the meantime, Oliver continues to push the boundaries of environmentally-friendly architectural design. In 2014, he won Detail Magazine’s Architecture Student Award for Best Architectural Detail. This year, he was one of the finalists for the Mayor of London's Low Carbon Entrepreneur competition, which recognised his design for his A-Z ecological bus shelter that recycles water and produces solar power while cutting carbon emissions and this same design has just been short-listed for the 2015 Architectural Journal and Hoare Lea Engineers Bursary.
Oliver says he wants to own his own firm, an objective he believes “will come in time.” In the meantime, he is looking forward to becoming a fully qualified architect this October: "When LSBU took me on, they took a bit of a chance. I didn't have the best grades but I did have a natural passion for architecture. Now I have a great opportunity to use that passion to try to make a difference to people's lives through design." Oliver has returned to LSBU a number of times since graduating to lecture current students, acting as a guest mentor to critique students work. "I always like to return to LSBU and give back for what it gave me."