Dorte Bækby Jensen has worked for C.F. Møller Architects for ten years, during which she has several times been about to become a project architect. But with the arrival of two children and her subsequent maternity leave, family life caused her to prioritise differently - until now.
It was a special day for Dorte Bækby Jensen when she participated in the inauguration of the AP Møller School in Schleswig, the new school for the Danish School Association funded by the AP Møller Foundation. She has been involved in many construction projects, including the Field's shopping centre and the Vestas domicile, but the AP Møller School was her first project as project architect.
Dorte has been with C.F. Møller Architects for ten years, and has several times been about to become a project architect. But with two children and subsequent periods of maternity leave, family life had to come first - until a few years ago, when the opportunity once again presented itself with the AP Møller School project.
As project architect, Dorte has been responsible for the C.F. Møller Architects team and has represented the company outwardly, for example at the many meetings on the building site in Schleswig.
"It is important to me that I continue to learn and develop in my work," says Dorte, "and I felt it would be exciting to take on the role of project architect, so I grabbed the chance when it came along with the AP Møller School. The working week is longer, and you have to co-ordinate that with your private life, but now my boys are getting bigger and have both started school, and I could accept that some periods would require special planning in the family."
She feels that she has learned a lot in the role of project architect. "Previously I was mainly involved in drafting and some project planning, so my work typically ended at the implementation stage. It has been a boost to my professional development to be with a project from start to finish," says Dorte, who this time has been involved in the project all the way from the competition proposal to the inauguration speech.
Sparring with colleagues
"I have gained a different, more balanced impression of the whole process by visiting the building site myself and seeing the consequences of the decisions taken at an early stage. It has been very educational. One of the things I have become aware of is how the handovers take place between the many players on a building site. It is incredibly important that there is precise communication here, in order to optimise the working procedures."
She also feels that she has learned a lot from sparring with colleagues. "We have a very positive and open working culture at C.F. Møller Architects, and we can always seek advice and guidance from each other. That has been very rewarding for me, and has meant that I was not afraid to take on such a big task."
Now that the pupils and teachers have moved into the AP Møller School, Dorte is ready for her next assignment: the New University Hospital in Aarhus, in which she will initially help to compile the design manual, and subsequently undertake a managerial role for part of the major hospital project.