Ngaire Stuart Gongora recently joined the ranks of the firm’s registered architects. Today we celebrate her accomplishments.
Since joining Payette in 2016, Ngaire has worked on design and construction administration for the Boston University Rajen Kilachand Center for Integrated Life Sciences and Engineering, MIT Building 4 and the National Coast Guard Museum. She earned her Bachelor of Architecture from Cornell University.
What inspires you?
Everything from the built environment, to books, to a bike ride or a casual conversation. I never seem to know when or where inspiration is going to come from, but when it does something clicks into place.
What is the best part of your job?
I would have to say the opportunity to learn something new every day and from a great group of people. As architects, we strive to attain the best solutions to problems. Every project is unique and requires its own particular solutions. My colleagues bring to the table their own experiences, design perspectives and innovation – being in that environment and being open to acquiring as much new knowledge as I can to inform my own decisions has been very rewarding.
What is the most important thing you’ve learned so far?
During my time at Payette there are a couple of lessons that keep reappearing 1.) Always ask yourself ‘Why?’ and 2.) It’s okay to make mistakes.
We find ourselves pressed for time at deadlines or carrying out marching orders, but there is value in asking “why are we doing this and why is it being done this way?” Occasionally, you will pick up on something that hasn’t been seen before or a new acuity can be found in revisiting an outdated idea.
It’s not about if you will make a mistake, but when you make it. After initial processing, finding a solution and learning from it should be the next steps.
The sky is the limit: if you could design or redesign anything, what would it be?
My go to answer is to redesign the New England Aquarium – but, since the sky is the limit, I’d design a contemporary second Aquarium and leave the 70’s one untouched.