At Taylor Hazell we pride ourselves on giving our co-op students the best possible experience and opportunities to not only learn more about architecture and the conservation of heritage architecture, but to put what they learn into practice. They quickly become deeply integrated into our team and take on a high degree of responsibility with a variety of projects at different stage of the architectural project life cycle. See how three of our current students feel about their experiences at THA so far.
Alexis Kirkwood graduated from Carleton University with a Bachelor of Architectural Studies in June of 2019, and joined THA in September of 2019. She has previous experience as a mural artist, graphic designer and as a Heritage Coordinator for the Township of North Glengarry.
“At THA, I have had the opportunity to be involved in various stages of the architectural design process, on a wide range of projects. One of the projects that I have played a more active role in is the Toronto Judicial Precinct security upgrades. This includes renovations to the Superior Court of Justice and Osgoode Hall. I have been able to interact with consultants and contractors, visit the site on several occasions, and issue instructions as part of my role as Project Coordinator. I have also been able to assist with design development drawings on projects such as the Port Weller Search and Rescue Station.
Other notable buildings I have worked on in my time at THA include Casa Loma and the Clark Centre for the Arts. On top of site visits and contract administration, I have also assisted with working drawings, diagrams, reports and presentations, and contributed to the firm’s social media presence. This has all been under the continuous guidance and support of the firm’s senior staff and principals.
My experiences at THA have given me a deeper appreciation for Heritage Architecture, and a fuller understanding of the stages of architectural design and interventions that will inform my creative decisions as my career develops.”
Janet Li is a fourth-year student at the University of Waterloo School of Architecture who has returned for her 8-month co-op having previously worked at THA in 2018. Janet’s other co-op terms have included new construction architectural experience in Hamilton, as well as project management and LEED consulting.
“I enjoy the deep integration and responsibility I experience with the variety of projects I am involved with at THA. Currently, I am very involved as the primary assistance for the multi-phase interior retrofit and exterior conservation of the Whitney Block. This has given me the opportunity to attend weekly site visits and assist with construction administration. Notably, I have been shadowing Charles on his work on the Masonry Restoration. I attend regular site visits with him on the scaffold and witnessed cutting out of stone, mock-ups of stone staining, and structural half-cell testing. With the guidance of senior staff and the principal, I also write and issue site visit reports, and site instructions. I am also actively involved in a number of other projects that include Casa Loma and the R.C. Harris Water Treatment Plant, and assist with various reports, diagrams, renderings, and 3D models.
I feel my co-op experience at THA fulfils my desire to learn about all stages of architectural design and actively participate in them as an integral part of the team. The senior staff members and principals at THA have taken the time to teach me about the stories that buildings tell and the attention to detail required for Heritage Architecture. These interactions have profoundly informed my work and will continue to do so as my career develops.”
Xin Lan is currently a fourth-year architecture student at University of Waterloo School of Architecture that has recently joined THA for her 8-month co-op. In previous internship roles, she worked as an architectural intern in New York City, Vancouver, and Shanghai.
“Since joining THA, I have been able to assist in various projects. Most notably, I have been involved in the renovation and redesign project for the Clark Centre for the Arts at Guild Park and Gardens. This has included attending biweekly site visits and assisting the project team throughout the Construction Administration phase. More recently, I have started working on a rendered animation of the building, showing the interior atmosphere of the Clark Centre for the Arts, to be presented in an upcoming presentation to the community. I have also been assisting senior project architects and associates with a project involving an all-gender washroom study. Some of the other projects I have been involved in include the Port Weller Search and Rescue Station, Law Society of Ontario Capital Plan, and York Memorial Collegiate Institute Reconstruction. My work has involved design drawings, diagrams, reports, renderings and presentations.
My experience at THA has allowed me to be deeply involved in different stages of the architectural project cycle and given me an understanding of the importance and interesting outcomes that can be had in the conservation of heritage building and sites. Working closely with the senior project architects and principals, I have gained a more comprehensive understanding of how architecture can hold opportunities for me in the future.”