Mark Broom

What's your name and position?

I'm Mark Broom, an Associate at ACME and the Project Architect for the Pavilion at IQL.

What would you say your main responsibilities are in relation to the Pavilion?

I suppose my role is partly managerial on the architectural side of things. I oversee the team here at ACME. I’m ultimately responsible for the architectural design for the project, from genesis of the design, throughout the construction process to completion, although the process is very much a team effort. And I attend a lot of meetings, with the client, other consultants, contractors, planners – a wide range of people.

Where do you enjoy spending time around Stratford?

It’s hard to ignore how wonderful an outdoor space the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park is. There aren’t many workplaces that have an expanse of parkland quite like that on their doorstep.

How did you get into the industry? Was it planned or by accident?

I suppose you could say it was planned from University onwards, because I studied architecture, but at school I had a wide variety of interests. I actually chose architecture because the two subjects I enjoyed most were art and science. Architecture seemed a natural fit because it’s multi-disciplinary. You can be creative and expressive but you still need to be technical and detailed.

What did you do before you started your current role?

I’ve been with ACME for seven years now, working on various designs and taking the role of Project Architect for a number of clients now. Since graduating I’ve always worked in Architectural practices, but I’ve also had the opportunity to travel with work. I spent a year in Beijing after uni and, between jobs in London, I also worked in Singapore, specifically on a huge botanical garden project made from reclaimed land.

Did you study at University? If so, where and what?

I studied both my undergraduate and diploma in Architecture at Sheffield University.

What’s the most exciting aspect of the Pavilion for you?

I think it has to be what has variously been called the “timberality” or “timberness” of the building. It’s a timber structure and it will be timber clad. With timber you get these tactile and visual qualities and warmth that you just don’t get with materials like concrete and steel. It makes it fantastically inviting, and of course it’s a completely renewable and sustainable material.
The building also has a complex geometry to it. It asks you to come in, climb the stairs and discover more, no matter where you approach it from. In that respect it’s a place that will have a powerful impact on the public realm – a true civic space.

What’s the best part of your job?

This one’s easy, but two-fold. Seeing things in the flesh; having a tangible end product after years of work from the initial design stages. And then seeing it come to life when it opens. There’s nothing better than seeing people use and enjoy something you’ve worked on since conception.