A location independent lifestyle is seemingly the antithesis to life as an architect. Unless you’re remote working from a project site, how can an architect logistically run a studio while living thousands of miles away? UK Architect Principal Chris Kennedy’s two week working holiday in Peru is an example of how this can be successfully accomplished.
We sat down with Chris to find out about what excited him about his trip and how he managed the studio from so far away.
What are your biggest takeaways from your trip?
The terrain throughout the country was really unique and diverse for a country that is not extremely large. We saw so many different things - coastline, desserts, volcanoes (including one actively erupting), Lake Titicaca (which feels like the Mediterranean Sea), really high jagged mountains with snow and glaciers, deep canyons with condors flying above them, high plains (+/- 12,000 ft with lots of llamas and alpacas), amazing indigenous remains (including Machu Picchu), beautiful Spanish colonial buildings, great food, and great people.
On top of all that there is lots of other stuff to see. Peru is really a place to consider going.
Are there design ideas that you saw there that you think would be good to implement in NH?
The Inca stone work was really a technical marvel. They were able to fit stone walls together without any mortar. The joints in the stonework were so tight you could not slide a sheet of paper into the joints.
With all the historic structures throughout the country, they still do not have a fear of the new and modern. The historic buildings in the major cities are mixed in with some of the most interesting contemporary buildings and it all just works. Sometimes in New England we can get challenged by this.
What was your favorite meal?
I had reservations at a restaurant called Central which is #5 on the list of the best restaurants in the world. We had a 9 course meal based on the various altitudes of Peru. It was a singular experience. However, I really have to say that the food throughout Peru is very good.
How did you do work while there? Was it convenient or difficult to manage?
I was able to work on my laptop, using the wifi in my accommodations. I actually spent a few hours on 2 occasions dealing with construction site issues back in Hanover. I was able to do this without any problems.
I also had an international plan added to my phone for the duration of the trip so that I could answer phone calls and texts just as if I was back in the office.
Being able to take short working holiday trips like Chris’ Peru adventure is an excellent way to find inspiration to reinvigorate your firms’ work and processes.