As Auckland Tower nears its official opening date, we commend all those who made the build possible including a trio of amazing women who have been instrumental in the creation of the new welcome centre. Despite the construction industry being widely perceived as male dominated, Helen Redman, Claire Hughes and Claire Chawke have been at the helm of the project to make sure everything runs smoothly.
Meet Claire Chawke (left)
A Project Architect at the award winning Niall McLaughlin Architects who is responsible for bringing the blueprints of this ambitious vision to life. Having previously worked to transform a listed building into Oxford University’s Primary Care Centre, the first class honours graduate, who studied at both the Oslo School of Architecture and University College, Dublin, is certainly enjoying this latest challenge.
“I’m really enjoying working on such a bold, bespoke building.” – Claire Chawke
Meet Claire Hughes (centre)
The Project Manager for Auckland Tower on behalf of The Auckland Project. Claire has been working with Teesside-based Turner & Townsend, who are collaborating with The Auckland Project on its entire construction programme. This includes the creation of a new Spanish Gallery and Faith Museum and the conservation of Auckland Castle itself. Her role has been to work alongside the architects to ensure the building is delivered to the highest possible standard.
“As a bespoke building, there can be some complicated decisions to make at Auckland Tower, but there will be such a sense of satisfaction to see it finished and the doors open.” – Claire Hughes
Meet Helen Redman (right)
The charity’s Head of Projects, who has the overall responsibility for the completion of Auckland Tower and ensuring it fits in with the visitor destination as a whole. Auckland Tower will be the first port of call for visitors, offering a warm welcome and an opportunity to purchase tickets and gather information. Helen previously managed large scale operations in the oil and gas industry. She lives in Spennymoor and has been a part of The Auckland Project since 2015.
“Coming from the local area and working on these projects, I sometimes have to remind myself to step back and look at the bigger picture, it’s going to be amazing.” – Helen Redman.
The first woman recorded in British history to lead building projects was Lady Anne Clifford (1590-1676). The first female architect to draw up her own design is thought to be the aristocrat Lady Elizabeth Wilbraham (1632- 1705), who designed grand houses for her family, such as Weston Park in Staffordshire.