Moving from London to Norwich as a young Architect

Moving from London to Norwich as a young Architect

Georgie Day, Architectural Designer at Hudson Architects

Moving to Norwich was definitely pro-Norwich - I moved here because it’s a creative and imminently liveable city rather than as a jaded Londoner (the cliche of the 30-something refugee flocking to the ‘Kent Riviera’ with a season ticket back to the big smoke for cheap property prices with a sea view!).

Moving to Norwich was definitely pro-Norwich - I moved here because it’s a creative and imminently liveable city rather than as a jaded Londoner (the cliche of the 30-something refugee flocking to the ‘Kent Riviera’ with a season ticket back to the big smoke for cheap property prices with a sea view!).

I visited Norwich originally because some friends and I had recently invested in a small plot of land together nearby to use for wild camping, re-wilding and small pavilion build projects. Some local friends showed me the sights and I was immediately charmed – the market square fronted by the glorious Guildhall, poetic Elm Hill, the river complete with nesting otters and a seal, and the view back over the spires from HMP Norwich. The scale felt humane. I found the architecture inspiring. I was excited by all the artistic ventures I saw in de-consecrated churches, and along the high street. As a market town, it has got the basics right by placing one of the essentials of everyday life at its core and transforming the experience back into something qualitative rather than a mad trolley dash round an anonymous Tesco’s. I googled ‘architecture practices’ as soon as I got home and was delighted to discover Hudsons, and the portfolio of work (then I basically called and emailed until I was taken on!).

Norwich City

For some time in London I had been finding it increasingly difficult to imagine anything. This was not only about being unable to buy a house. I also found that the city had stopped offering up possibility. London is currently subject to development pressures that mean that every square inch is being maximised and rationalised with a formulaic architecture and urban design that leaves no room for curious minds, plotting in pubs with friends, and notebook scribbles about what else might be. Norwich is the opposite – I have an immense sense of possibility here catalysed by the environment at Hudson’s, which is deeply interested and interwoven in the locality.

Moving is hard – it’s a destructive thing to uproot and relocate. I miss deeply the close proximity of my family and friends although I am finding ways to structure my life so I am in regular and meaningful contact. But moving is also an intentional act – about living in a place that you believe in in some sense. I love that in Norwich the loose edges of the city mean that I can put a kayak in the river after work, drive to the sea for fish and chips late on a Sunday evening and that everyone here seems to be spinning multiple projects of the heart at any one time. The cute little flat I am renting on historic Magdalen Street is starting to feel very much like home…

Georgie Day, Architectural Designer

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