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 Paul Hazelet [M.Arch. '19] about his experience.
PRP: Tell us about your PRP firm. Where are you working?
I am working at Steven Holl Architects in New York City. It is a 30-40 person firm with offices in NY and Beijing. The firm does all scales of work across the globe, but is known for museums and university buildings primarily.
PRP: Do you enjoy the city you’re working in? Favorite aspects?
Moving to New York was quite a change. I moved to Astoria and I am pretty happy with the location, and it is always active. I love living in New York, even considering the cost. I will miss the ease of walking places and the subway system when I return to Austin, but it will be nice to drive again.
PRP: What is currently on your desk? What are you working on?
Coffee, water, snacks, sketches, to-do lists, drawings…
I am currently working on a handful of projects. A small archive building, a sculpture, editing a book, and a new competition for a concert hall. Right now I am designing the Hall seating layout and circulation. It has been great to work on a variety of projects all at once to keep things interesting and I am learning a lot across a broad array of design topics.
PRP: Describe the firm culture? The office atmosphere?
The people I work with are pretty great. Most days are quiet and diligent, but it hasn’t been hard to make friends. It is a laid back office and everyone is helpful! Steven will have “toasts” for occasions where the whole office will gather over drinks to celebrate a competition win, welcome a new employee, or send off one who is leaving. I look forward to breakfast on Friday (plenty of bagels and pastries) and hours are very reasonable on most days. The office is also very diverse, with coworkers coming from a handful of other countries. Also, we pretty much exclusively use Rhino.
PRP: What is the first thing you'll tell your classmates upon your return to UT?
I will tell them how PRP opened up a dream opportunity and it was worth it. Steven Holl Architects is a great firm and New York is a blast.
PRP: As you’re finishing up the week, what are your plans for this weekend?
This weekend I am going with a handful of coworkers upstate to the site of the archive building I am working on. It is at a site of a few buildings designed by SHA and there will be a groundbreaking ceremony, exhibition opening and a charity luncheon. I am looking forward to seeing a project of mine being built!
PRP: Is there anything else that you would like to add?
If you can swing PRP, you should. Aim high, and choose a firm that really aligns with your ideas and will help you grow in the direction you want to go! And don’t forget to budget for moving…
And feel free to approach me with more questions!