Celebrating ‘Women in Construction’

Introducing Sara Waterfield, Architect and Director at Lytle Associates

Sara has been an architect for 30 years and she still loves it!

‘There is nothing to beat the feeling of walking onto site and into a ‘real life’ building that you have designed and imagined, often for several years by the time it is built. Then watching people occupy and use it, and hearing feedback about the difference the new spaces make. This still gives me an immense feeling of satisfaction.’

Sara’s passion and expertise has always been educational buildings, beginning with a university project remodeling a sixth form college and her first ‘solo’ real life scheme for a kindergarten. She always enjoys meeting the great variety of people there are in schools and colleges and the complexity of the problems she’s presented with. Sara also mentors students, gives careers advice and works as a school governor and the experience gained in these areas definitely feeds into her work.

‘I believe in the genuine benefit our work in the education sector and I get real satisfaction in finding a clever design solution that meets a school’s needs and can actually be achieved within their budget’. 

As Sara describes herself as ‘a well organised and bossy person who likes to be in control’, she believes that being an architect is the perfect job for her! Since she became a director at Lytle Associates, we now employ more women and support flexible family-friendly working. There was a time when Sara was the only female in the practice and would often find herself at the pub after work in the company of 15 men! These days, as the organiser of a Guildford Ladies’ Architecture Meet-up (GLAM), she now gets to go to the pub with 15 women as well.