The National Trust and leading architecture practice, GT3 Architects, have teamed up with Northumbria University to search for the next generation of talented architects as part of a project supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

The Rising Stars creative partnership is a strand of the National Trust’s The Curtain Rises  project, centred on conservation and improvement work at the historic Seaton Delaval Hall, which was acquired by the trust in 2009.

A live project inspired by the building was set up to give students an opportunity to flex their creative skills and offer invaluable industry experience. With more than 20 students from Northumbria’s BA Interior Architecture programme taking part in the project, Hattie Keel was crowned the winner with her striking structure centred around visual trickery.

Hattie’s installation was unveiled with a celebration at Seaton Delaval Hall, where it has now been constructed for visitors to enjoy.

After recently graduating from Northumbria, Hattie has secured a job with GT3 and is now working as a designer for the company, which has studios in Newcastle and Nottingham.

She explained: “My time at Northumbria gave me great insight into the industry through numerous live projects, including this partnership with the National Trust. Throughout the process I also worked alongside GT3 Architects, giving me valuable career experience in the industry.

“The Rising Stars competition put my foot in the door to life after graduation; the knowledge it gave me boosted my confidence in my creativity and design capabilities. I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity provided by Northumbria, as this enhanced my portfolio and assisted in securing my role as a Graduate Interior Architectural Designer at GT3.”

Taylor Grindley, project architect at GT3, was the day-to-day lead on the work. He said: “We really enjoyed taking part in the Rising Stars project and working closely with the National Trust and Northumbria University. All the designs were fantastic and incredibly creative, but Hattie’s really blew us all away.

“We worked really closely with Hattie to ensure all aspects of the design were viable and that we could bring it to life, with the construction handled by Raskl. We love educating and inspiring the next generation of architects and designers, so the Rising Stars project has been a brilliant experience.”

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