Meet Terrie, Architect Data Centres

After finishing her master’s in Architecture, Urbanism and Building sciences, Terrie enrolled in the Professional Experience Programme. A two-year, postgraduate programme for graduates with a master’s degree in architecture, urban planning, landscape architecture or interior architecture. During those two years, she combined theoretical knowledge with practice, in all different stages of an architectural project. And after finishing the programme, she could officially call herself an architect and she joined our company. Curios about what she likes about data centre projects? Then keep on reading!
Terrie van den Brink

I really appreciate the freedom I get to develop myself.

Terrie van den BrinkArchitect

An introduction to parametric design

“I didn’t immediately join the data centre team when I joined Royal HaskoningDHV, because my first project was for Amazon. We had to do a site analysis, to see if all elements fitted on the plot: the building, the parking spaces, roads, entry and exit points, green areas, etc. To do this we used parametric design. This is a technique I had heard about, but I had never used it before in a project. By applying parametric design, we did not have to draw all parking spaces manually, but this was done by the computer. This made the whole design process a lot faster!”

More than just designing

After finishing the project for Amazon, Terrie was asked to join the data centre team. “When I joined the team, the design of the data centre was almost coming to an end, but on the site, there was an existing office building which they wanted to reuse. As an architect it was my job to redesign the building according to the requirements of the customer.”

“Where the architect usually thinks about how to design something and a modeler makes this into a 3D design, I also did the modelling myself. So, I designed something, and immediately put it into the 3D model of the building. This allows you to immediately see the impact of your design decisions on, for example, the electrical and mechanical installations.”

Functionality first

Working on a data centre project automatically means working together in a multidisciplinary team. “In the design of many buildings, architecture is seen as the dominant discipline, which means that other disciplines have to adapt their plans based on the architectural design. This is different when it comes to data centres. Here it is all about the installations and the building is seen as the shell around it. This sometimes creates a complex puzzle that you as an Architect have to solve. And this doesn’t mean you can’t design a beautiful building, because you can, for example, still design an awesome façade for the building. But functionality comes first. This is something that suits me, since I’m more of a functional architect who first looks at how something should be put together logically and then starts to think about how to make it look good.”

Trying new things

At Royal HaskoningDHV you can craft your own career, with your personal development path. By following your curiosity and own interest, you will discover various areas of expertise, new roles to grow in and new colleagues to learn from and with. “I really appreciate the freedom I get to develop myself. I participate in the Young Professional Program where I will spend 1,5 years on developing both my hard and soft skills and I just followed a course on parametric design. And that's great, because parametric design is the future. By applying this, you can test so much more design options which ultimately results in a more efficient and better result! We also have parametric specialists, who are architects, engineers and computational design specialists who are dedicated to embedding parametric design in the organisation.”

“But your development is not only supported with courses, you also get the chance to try different types of work. Therefore, I am currently working on a permit application. Something I don't necessarily find very inspiring but want to have done at least once as it is an important part of architecture. Because don't you have a permit? Then the building cannot be constructed. Having basic knowledge of the different disciplines and parts of a project is something I find important.”

Freedom to work where you want

“I experience a lot of freedom in deciding where I work. Do I have to concentrate, and don’t I need specific people for that? Then I work from home. But do I want to interact with others or need help with something? Then I go to an office. And with multiple offices in the Netherlands, you can even vary the office location you’re working from.”

Do you want to develop yourself?

Then our global data centre competence team is the place to be.

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