PRP Now! Tanvi Solanki // Gensler Houston

August 27, 2019
PRP Now! is a series of interviews that highlight a current UTSOA Professional Residency Program student every few weeks.
Prp now

PRP: Tell us about your PRP firm. Where are you working?
I am working at Gensler in Houston. It’s not only our second office out of our 48 locations worldwide, but it is one of our bigger offices with about 300 employees split into 9 studios. Our office works on a wide range of projects all over the world, but we have a focus on more local projects in the Houston office.

PRP: What is currently on your desk? What are you working on?
I have some stone and carpet samples, two M&M cookies from the shop downstairs in the tunnels, and some redlines to pick up on my desk. I have been jumping back and forth on a couple of projects– renovations to an educational facility, additions to an aviation center, and interior work for a few bank branches.

PRP: Describe the firm culture? The office atmosphere?
Gensler is known to be the world’s biggest firm with many resources and opportunities, but they pride themselves on this idea of a “one-firm firm culture.” There’s some sort of event every day - whether it’s a professional development lecture from one of our colleagues, a vendor presentation, or just a studio happy hour. So even though we are spread across 3 floors currently, there are many ways to get to know others and to participate in various activities. I not only had the opportunity to work with colleagues from other studios in our office, but I was able to work with others from our Austin and Chicago offices as well. 

PRP: What is the first thing you'll tell your classmates upon your return to UT?
Let’s go to Chuy’s.

PRP: As you’re finishing up the week, what are your plans for this weekend?
I am going to see the Buffalo Bayou Park Cistern and the Glassell School of Art by Steven Holl Architects. Even though I have lived in the Houston area for my entire life, there are still parts of the city I haven’t seen because the city is so vast. Both the cistern and the new school have been on my list for a while, so I’m glad I’m finally getting the chance to go see them.

PRP: Is there anything else that you would like to add?
Bluebeam is a great tool. I had never really heard of Bluebeam prior to working at Gensler, but I found it to be a very useful tool for having markup sessions, measuring distances, or just editing PDFs. I highly recommend trying it out sometime.