PRP Now! aims to showcase the great experiences students encounter within the Professional Residency Program. PRP offers upper-level architecture students a unique opportunity to expand their education through work experience in the architectural profession. Over the past twenty years, our students have been linked with 260 firms in 29 countries. We will feature a handful of students within each session, graduate and undergraduate, domestic and international firms. PRP staff most recently had the pleasure to speak with Sydney Moore [B.Arch. '18] about her experience.
PRP: Tell us about your PRP firm. Where are you working?
I am working at John Penderson Fox (KPF) in New York City The firm has such an incredible portfolio of large global projects. They are currently in the construction phase for Hudson Yards, the largest private development in the history of NYC as well as One Vanderbilt, a beautiful office tower next to Grand Central Station. There are many breath-taking projects currently cooking in my office of over 300 architects.
PRP: Do you enjoy the city you’re working in? Favorite aspects?
NYC is magical. KPF's office is across the street from Bryant Park where thousands of people come every day to eat lunch on the grassy lawn or on one of the green folding chairs. There are movies in the park every Monday night in the summer, and yoga every Tuesday and Thursday, so now you know where I go after work!
PRP: What is currently on your desk? What are you working on?
Currently at my desk is a cup of coffee (one of about twenty I can pick from at my office), my sketch book, sticky notes, pens, trace paper and a stack of printed renderings with red lines. I am currently working on rendering the interior lobby for an office tower in Shenzen, China. The tower is quite simple and pretty handsome. The architects at KPF are highly experienced in designing large projects with everything from generating the masterplans, to organizing problems, to choosing elevator finishes, to picking the most beautiful handrail. I did not realize interiors could be an important aspect of the design for succh a large firm. KPF is extraordinary in their pursuit to design beautiful buildings.
PRP: Describe the firm culture? The office atmosphere?
The stereotype that New Yorkers are rude is not true. I really enjoy working at KPF because the people here are very friendly, passionate and willing to help you with anything. There never seems to be an air of tension or competition here like I have heard about at other large firms. Employees at KPF come from all over the US and the world. I am meeting someone new at the office almost every day, yet I am very close to my project team of 4 people. I joined the firm's softball team that plays in NYC's S.L.A.M. league composed of about ten architecture firms. We compete every Monday in Central Park and then go out for wings and beer. You can certainly find whatever life style you want working at KPF.
PRP: What is the first thing you'll tell your classmates upon your return to UT?
The first thing I will tell my classmates is that I miss NYC. I love the city and how the different neighborhoods transition between each other so seamlessly. There are no physical barriers in the city like Texas highways dividing East and West or rich and poor. Everything is just layered together.
PRP: As you’re finishing up the week, what are your plans for this weekend?
This weekend I am planning to play volleyball with some friends in Central Park. I am also craving these dumplings I had last week in China Town on the corner of Broome and Eldridge, so I will probably grab dinner there too.