Blog: SECBE Awards 2021 finalist - Kathryn Gundry (West Waddy Archadia)

18 May 2021

sponsored by Innovative Future Leaders Programme (IFLP)

Kathryn Gundry (West Waddy Archadia)

G4C Future Leader SECBE Award 2021 Winner

Kathryn Gundry, a Project Architect at WWA, has a passion for inclusive and people-centric design. She is already influencing the direction of both WWA and the wider construction industry in these areas, gaining recognition at a national level.

Within the business, she puts the end user first and has enshrined this approach in the practice’s Business Plan. Kathryn developed this Business Plan collaboratively as part of a team with her focus on research and people. The owners of the business have been impressed by her contribution and praised her thoroughness and innovative thinking. As part of this, she has developed a KPI survey for WWA’s clients in order that WWA can constantly improve and evolve the service offered, to be an intelligent client to their supply chains.

She takes the lead on research at WWA and pieces of her work have been published at a national level. One piece of research is Design Guidelines for inclusive enabling environments for adults with complex needs, which highlights the lack of knowledge in this field. She is now applying for funding to write a design guide on housing for this group of people. Another is Wellbeing at Home research, which worked collaboratively to improve the home adaptations process. Again she is not resting on her laurels and has designed a modular solution for home adaptations which she is looking to realise with a construction partner. She was invited as a guest speaker at the Housing LIN 2020 Summit to present her findings and is creating a legacy in this field.

In addition, she won the Habinteg 2020 Prize for her essay on what the next 50 years of accessible and inclusive homes and neighbourhoods might be like. She has also been asked to write a chapter in a new book, 'Inclusive Design for the Built Environment'.

Her passion for sustainability is evident throughout her designs and research pieces. Her reaction to the Covid pandemic, based on personal experiences, was to take the government’s guidelines for people classed as ‘vulnerable’ and analysed how these impact building design. This led to the creation of the 'Lessons Learned From Isolation During A Pandemic' document. Following its publication, she wrote a guest blog for the Housing LIN on the subject.

In 2020 she has also taken a position on the board of WISH (Women in Social Housing) and has taken responsibility for Education. Through this role, her aim is to bring young people into social housing careers and promote construction industry occupations.

All of the above is in addition to successfully running and coordinating architectural projects across all RIBA stages. She is a respected member of the WWA team who they note always improves the mood of her colleagues with her infectious cheery demeanour. 

Key facts:

  • Kathryn is pushing the boundaries of accessible design through a research-led approach, delivering on the Construction 2025 objectives and improving the built environment.
  • She takes a leading role on the Board of WISH (Women in Social Housing) in Education, inspiring young people to take up a career in the construction industry.
  • She has already gained recognition for her work at a national Level winning the Habinteg Essay Competition for her vision for accessible housing.

About the G4C Future Leader Award: 

G4C is a driving force for industry change, through the development and connection of future industry leaders. The award is open to a person with less than ten years of experience in the construction and built environment sector (typically less than 35 years of age). More info.

Find out who wins at the Constructing Excellence SECBE Awards 2021 Summit & Awards Ceremony on Thurs 1st July 2021. Free attendance.

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