Pritesh Mistry – Being an architect in Prague

A Story by: Pritesh Mistry
Age: 22
Home Town: Manchester, England (UK)
Degree: Architecture (BA) from the University of Liverpool
Previous work experience: Architectural placements, I.T Support Assistant, Millenium Volunteer.
Favourite thing about Prague: The TV tower, St Vitus Cathedral and SaSaZu. I really like how there is so much happening all the time, and there is lots of creative activities to get involved in.
Often heard saying: “Thats well good”
Destination: Prague (Czech Republic)
Internship position and job roles:
Architectural Assistant, Jiran Kohout architekti – So far my job has involved lots of different roles. Initally I was researching into current building trends and updating the database of various housing schemes around the world. My current project is a villa in Iraq, which is currently in the design development stage. We’re using various methods to try out our ideas, for example on the computer using 3D and 2D CAD packages, making physical models, and drawing sketches. The office is quite an open and friendly space, so we also tend to discuss and bounce off ideas.

Have your expectations of the internship met the reality?
I came onto the programme because it seemed like too good an opportunity to miss. Everything was paid for so that wasn’t a factor to consider, and I hoped to make connections abroad. In terms of my placement I would say that it took a while to settle in. Before I had a specific project to focus on I didn’t feel I was getting the experience I needed. Now I am thoroughly enjoying it.
Being in Prague has also given me opportunity to travel, and see some new places. A few weeks ago I went to Vienna, which takes 3-4 hours. I have travelled before, so not only did it bring back good memories from that but I liked the city too. Depending on money and time I would ideally like to go to Budapest and Berlin aswell.
What are your plans for the future?
I plan to be an architect, but before you can become accredited you have to have 24 logged professional months of experience. This will count as 3 months towards that. It is quite difficult to find placements, so I’m also hoping that when I go back to the UK, having international experience under my belt will make me stand out from other candidates.
What tips do you have for anyone thinking of joining a programme here in Prague?
Think quite hard about what you are looking for from a placement. Researching companies once you know who you are having interviews with will give you some idea about if your ethos and design approach etc match.

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