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London Build

07 Oct 2019

Speaker Spotlight: An interview with Lia Silva

Speaker Spotlight: An interview with Lia Silva

What is your current role?

I am the Development Director leading the development management team responsible for the delivery of one of the largest and most ambitious regeneration projects in the UK: the '1bn Joint Venture with the London Borough of Havering, comprising the regeneration of 12 estates. The Joint Venture will deliver over 5,200 new homes in the London Borough of Havering over the next 12 years.


What inspires you?

Everyone deserves a great place to live.

I feel a strong connection to the places and people with whom I have the privilege of working with. I am grateful for the opportunity to be part of their lives, their communities and the history that defines each unique place. The history and the stories that make the place and its people are the foundation of the new places that we create.


What is your proudest moment?

Right after college I worked for an architectural practice in Milan and the Department of Islamic Arts in the Louvre in Paris was one of the projects I had the privilege of contributing to. Visiting the Louvre after completion of the works was the proudest moment of my career and will never forget how it felt to see for the first time an actual building that I have helped designing. Surrounded by art and an ever-changing wave shaped golden roof, the atmosphere was mystical.


What is the best book you've ever read?

It is difficult to identify one, but in light of my passion for innovation in the build sector, I'll select 'Pillars of the Earth', Ken Follet. This remarkable journey to build a cathedral is anchored in always looking for ways to extend the art of structure and architectural detail allied to the community effort to create places that they are proud of.


What's going to be the next big thing in your sector?

Our customers want to reconnect with nature, place and community. This desire needs to be translated into new approaches to management, ownership of place, identity and bringing back the connection with neighbours through community engagement and shared values. We will see the return of the connection to the nature and the life around us. We will be looking at finding time in our busy lives to go back and learn from the life of our ancestors: growing our food or vegetables, looking after plants, trees, nature and the planet that allows our lives to exist. We will know the name of our neighbours again, even if we live in the busy city. Our industry will be responsible for thinking, designing and building these innovative spaces to live, work and enjoy life as a community.


What are you looking forward to most at London Build?

Innovation will take us forward as society, employers, companies, communities and individuals.

At London Build, I look forward to seeing innovative ideas to improve our industry and find people dedicated to always looking for a better way of delivering new great places for all of us to live and enjoy.

I will be looking for efficient systems for off-site manufacturing capable of improving the speed and quality of construction, while helping us delivering our developments with the least possible impact to our neighbouring communities.

It will be great to hear industry leaders sharing new products that transform challenges of our industry into opportunities for innovation.

Written by: Costello Palmer

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