Building a career working part-time? At an architecture firm? That’s possible. In the interview, oow associate Svenja Tarabusi talks about her unusual career – and how she, as a mother of two, helps shape a major project.
It has been quite a fundamental change! At that time, there were mainly limited-term contracts and it was almost customary to move from one firm to another after graduating. Today, on the other hand, there is so much construction that there is a shortage of skilled workers. Now it is the applicants who can choose the studios. The entire situation has done a one-eighty.
Here it is! (laughs) Everyone knows that I only work in the mornings, and that works out really well, no problems whatsoever. On top of that, I also work from home. I live in the suburbs and it would take me over an hour to get to the office. With two small children, that would be a major hassle. But Sebastian and Mathis accommodated me in that regard as well and made it happen. Many companies today claim to be family-friendly without really being it. Here, on the other hand, it is put into practice and the bosses find ways to accommodate each individual! I was even promoted while working part-time and from home. That was a wonderful recognition of my work.
Yes and no. (laughs) I took art and math as advanced courses at school, and architecture really does combine the mathematical and artistic aspects. But I definitely wouldn’t have imagined it to be so complex and I didn’t realise that there are so many specialist planners that an architect has to “manage”. For example, our degree programmes do include some statics, of course, but in my day-to-day work it is the structural engineer who does the calculations and not us – I was not aware of that before. It is definitely an incredibly varied job and it’s great to be involved in a project from the very beginning. And, of course, to see it built at some point!
I was honestly involved in everything, which is what made it so exciting. I joined the project during the conceptual phase, then worked on the planning permission and am now working on the detailed design. The next thing I have coming up is the tender. A colleague is in charge of supervision on the construction site in Bonn, but for other projects I will of course also be on site. I do enjoy the fact that I’m not only responsible for one thing, but can really “watch a building grow”. It just makes you relate to the building in a completely different way.