Architect Catalina Ionita to speak at North West Build-to-Rent conference

Catalina Ionita, an Architect based in our Manchester Studio, is speaking as a panellist at the North West Build-to-Rent conference, organised by Place North West, on 5th May at the Science & Industry Museum, Manchester.

Place North West is an authority on property and regeneration, producing a regular blend of news and insight on its website. The North West Build-to-Rent event will take the temperature of arguably the hottest movement in property of recent years.

At the event, the speakers will delve deeper into the sustainability of the BTR pipeline and the future of universities and purpose-built student accommodation. They will address whether BTR is sticking around and whether it is on its way out as a hot sector. (Spoiler: it isn’t).

Catalina will be talking about her expertise in the market as well as her research in placemaking, a key aspect of BTR developments. Cat’s thesis focuses on the role of artist-led spaces as what she calls “urban activators” in the UK. Her research explores the argument that successful and sustainable placemaking requires more than just a mix of residential, retail, and commercial uses; there is a crucial role for the arts in this regard, which has not been greatly explored in the UK context. The key to this model is to create a safe and inclusive neighbourhood that engenders pride and a sense of ownership among its diverse and multi-generational demographic.

Her projects include Waterbeach, the latest scheme in Chapman Taylor’s growing residential portfolio. Other notable Chapman Taylor BTR projects include Kampus, Anchorage Gateway, Castle Park View and Flax Place.

North West Build-to-Rent takes place on 5 May 2022, 08:00 - 12:00 at the Science & Industry Museum, Lower Byrom Street, Manchester, M3 4FP. Tickets cost £68+VAT. There will be a mix of presentations and panels. Breakfast and lunch are included, providing plenty of opportunities for business development.


Catalina Ionita (BA(Hons) MArch ARB RIBA AFHEA)

Senior Architect, UK

Catalina joined the Manchester studio in 2021 as an Architect supporting the Feasibility team. She brings a passion for successful placemaking to her work in the residential and mixed-use sectors.

She has experience working on a wide range of projects at all work stages, including large residential developments, masterplans, offices, and listed building restorations.

Catalina is teaching a Masters of Architecture and Urbanism course one day a week at Manchester School of Architecture, whilst completing PhD research, with a focus on art-centred placemaking. In 2020, she made RIBA’s Rising Stars shortlist for her project work and her research on ethics and sustainability in architecture. Cat is also a committee member for Women in Property North West, with a strategic role as Inclusion Champion.

Areas of expertise:

Place making / Residential / Mixed-Use /Research

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