Meet Steve Graves

RRA Architects > Meet Steve Graves

Steve Graves
Part II Architectural Assistant


I grew up in Hereford in a pretty big family. Three siblings, my parents and me so quite a full household. I’ve lived in both Birmingham and London since whilst studying Architecture. I worked in London for a number of years since moving back home to join RRA.


What attracted you to being an Architect?

Architecture is a discipline that’s always attracted me, the structures and buildings we live in have a significant impact on us and our lives. A family home that serves as a backdrop for growing up, a community centre that connects people, or an iconic landmark that becomes the identity of a place. Architecture is at the forefront of how we live.


What attracted you to work for RRA?

I’ve always admired the buildings RRA design even before working here, I’d keep an eye out for new projects and design inspiration.  It’s a really talented and friendly team here that I wanted to be a part of.


What did you like about lockdown?

Watching everyone come together to try and lift each other’s spirit, and helping out those who were more vulnerable, it showed how important community is. Also seeing how much pollution was reduced whilst everyone was locked inside and had nowhere to be.


What did you hate about lockdown?

I’m not the best at sitting still for very long, so not being able to get outdoors was a bit of a struggle. Watching the news in particular wasn’t very pleasant.


Did you take up any new hobbies in lockdown – will you carry on with them?

I started running during lockdown to get out of the house for some exercise, building up distance each time. I’ll definitely keep it up as it’s such a great way to clear your head. I also bought an xbox, not quite as productive but a great way to kill time.


What did you learn from the pandemic?

How insane people can get in a crisis, of all things toilet paper became a currency.


What do you hope the world will learn from the pandemic?

The importance of the internet to be able to connect everybody. We don’t all need to rush around so much. Washing your hands is important.


What do you like to do in your spare time?

In my spare time, I like to get out of the house, walking, biking, kayaking, climbing, going to the beach. Anything outdoors with a pub nearby really. I love to travel too, I try and do as much as possible, hopefully after the travel restrictions lift I’ll be able to visit places abroad a bit more.


What do you actually do in your spare time?

A lot of dog walking, studying and jobs (unfortunately)


What’s your proudest moment in your working life?

Graduating with my masters was a proud moment.


Name one thing on your Bucket List

I’ve always wanted to walk the Appalachian trail, it looks like a lot of fun spending six months walking through some amazing landscapes.


If there was a fire what one object would you most want to save from your home (presuming all people and animals are safe of course)?

I’d probably have to save my glasses, either my glasses or my xbox (as long as I can bring the cables and TV as well)


If you could go anywhere tomorrow, where would you go and why?

Monuments Valley, I’ve always wanted to go. Probably from watching too many movies, especially Forrest Gump.


What advice would you give your younger self?

Don’t bother buying so many lottery tickets.


Are there any famous buildings that you would really love to visit and why?

Loads, I’m hoping that after lockdown restrictions fully lift the first one on my list will be to visit the Alhambra palace, I’m a big fan of hand carved ornament.


If you hadn’t gone into Architecture what other career might you have pursued?

I would’ve been a priest, you get a free house and only work on Sundays. Either that or a stone mason, that’s something I’ve always considered.


Are there any Architects that particularly inspire you?

Mies van der Rohe is the first one that springs to mind, he was really good at showing the importance of simplicity and a good view.


What do you like about your job?

My favourite part is discussing a clients vision for their project and the process of articulating it through drawings. Sometimes clients come to us with a clear vision of what they want, to challenge this with new ideas and design solutions they weren’t aware of is always fun.