Senior associate architect, Weston Williamson + Partners
Kirsten Galea has spent much of her career at Weston Williamson + Partners, developing an expertise in transport projects alongside pushing the agenda for women in the practice and architecture. She studied architecture and civil engineering at the University of Malta before joining WW+P in 2007 on an internship.
Galea's career at WW+P started with the seven stations for the DLR Stratford International Extension (SIE). She went on to work on the Victoria Station Upgrade that proposes to relieve congestion at the second busiest station on London’s tube network. Galea first managed the submission of tender drawings for the new North Ticket Hall, then led the detailed design of the Paid Area Link package and later completed the detailed design of the modifications for the existing areas of the Victoria Station. Paddington Station has been another flagship project for Galea. She was put to work on the detailed design and construction information for platform 12 and the stair, lift and escalator core connecting the platform with the new taxi facility above for the Paddington Integrated Project.
Galea has also worked on international projects for WW+P. Her first secondment was to Kuala Lumpur to assist on the design delivery of 14 stations along the northern end of the Klang Valley Blue Line. Her second, where she is now, is in Australia as a subject matter expert for the independent certification team on the Sydney Metro Northwest.
Before her current secondment, Galea managed a multi-disciplinary team to deliver the Mile End Park and Eleanor Street shafts serving the Crossrail underground tunnels.
Galea has been instrumental in pushing the role of women in the office, founding the group of Women at WW+P (W@WW) in 2015. At that time, the board was eager to invest in improving gender balance in the practice, as well as in the industry. A year on, W@WW has grown in its ambitions, and is now involved in the wider agenda of gender equality in construction and rail and in other STEM professions.
Her boss, Chris Williamson, founding partner, WW+P. is confident of Galea's abilities: 'We see Kirsten progressing to partner level and being an important part of our management team.'
What would you most like to improve about the industry?
I would like to see the industry be more inclusive to race, gender and sexual orientation. As a foreign woman working in London, I’m especially aware of gender inequality, and I believe we will only truly have a real chance at obtaining gender equality once the government brings in legislation to make parental leave rights equal for both sexes and provide help for the smaller/medium firms to implement this too.
Who would you most like to work with?
If I could turn the clock back, I would probably want to work at Adler & Sullivan when Frank Lloyd Wright was there. Between Sullivan, the father of the high-rise buildings who coined the statement ‘form follows function’, and Wright, designing structures that were in harmony with humanity and their environment, I’m sure it would have been an exciting place to work.