Interview with Maher Latif, School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape (SAPL) architect student discussing his summer internship with Stantec’s Buildings team
As a current architect student at SAPL at the University of Calgary, Maher is building his skills and applying his studies this summer with Stantec’s Building team. Here’s his experience so far.
Why did you choose Stantec for your summer internship?
I applied to Stantec because it’s an integrated firm that has a strong local and international reputation. By talking to architects and intern architects at Stantec through my masters at SAPL, I found that the diversity of sectors and expertise would afford me a lot of learning opportunities, ultimately building skillsets to further my understanding of architectural practice.
What are some aspects you like about the architecture team and the company?
Stantec’s architecture teams are diverse, yet closely involved with one another, which makes it very easy to seek out help and learn from other teams. Within Stantec in general, the degree of integration of different departments gives us the unique opportunity to work with our structural, mechanical, transportation, and other teams to collaborate and provide a unified project. It keeps the elements of design within our reach, where all teams have the same set of goals and intentions they want to follow through in the architecture.
What key project you have worked on at Stantec?
So far, my favourite project I’ve worked on is the BMO Convention Center expansion. Through this project, I’ve researched development and characterization of typologies including how typologies develop, what composes our local typology, and how we can evolve it to produce meaningful architecture for architects, users, and clients. The goal of this research is to investigate how to make the Convention Centre a staple in Calgarian and Canadian architecture.
How does working at Stantec compare to the work you produced in your degree?
The kind of work you end up doing is heavily based on the team and firm you end up in. I was fortunate to end up in a team that wanted me to be heavily involved with the design aspect of new projects while helping with some of the technical bits of others. In that way, the design focus of the SAPL MArch has been well utilized during my time at Stantec.
What is your favorite piece of Stantec architecture?
The Iqaluit International Airport is an interesting piece of contemporary architecture celebrating its local landscape through its form and characteristic materials. It follows the growing trend of reflecting a degree of organicism through its curvilinear ribbon-like form. The airport acts as a reflective screen for the landscape through its glazed façade, allowing the expansive horizon to take on the face of the building. Many projects in Canada are limited in their connectivity to the urban and ecological landscape, so seeing the research and implementation of information that went into the new airport puts it a step ahead of other works.