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Part 3 Success for Alex Sonechkina

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By Debbie Kyrkili – 9th November 2022

The whole Corstorphine & Wright team are proud to congratulate Alex Sonechkina on the successful completion of her architectural education journey. She has recently passed her Part III which qualifies her as an Architect.

Read on to learn about Alex’s inspirations, current projects she is involved in and some great advice for others completing their Part III studies.

“I was fortunate to travel a lot with my parents as a child and a teenager. Although, my parents don’t come from an architectural background, they were fascinated with cities and architecture, and loved exploring every city they visited, finding the secret places that only locals would know about. That curiosity in architecture, no doubt, passed onto me. It is fascinating to see how culture, experiences and everyday life shape modern cities and its buildings. Even today, if I need a little inspiration, I go out for a quick walk in a town centre.

My educational journey into architecture started in perhaps one of the most beautiful and inspirational cities in the world – Edinburgh. Our university studios had a stunning view of Edinburgh Castle, which somewhat compensated for them being cold and drafty! After completing my Part I at University of Edinburgh, I did my Part II in University of Westminster in London.

I am based in the Corstorphine & Wright Warwick Studio but working on projects across the country. Currently, I am working on a retail and leisure masterplan scheme. The project is in its early stages, and it is very exciting to come up with concepts, ideas and figuring out how the masterplan will work together. I am also working on a restaurant scheme in Tunbridge Wells, currently developing its facade, looking at materials and details. It is nice to work on projects of such different scales at the same time, balancing large-scale thinking with zooming in on a specific building detail.

In my personal life, I am a big fan of board games. We have a huge collection at home – large enough that I could build my own house using just board game boxes! My partner and our family play as much as our free time allows us. And we get very competitive!

Looking back, I did not expect to enjoy Part III. At first the idea of PEDRs (professional experience development records) and starting the case study is anxiety inducing, however once I got working, I really enjoyed it.

To those who are starting their Part III course, I know it can feel overwhelming! However, you may surprise yourself by how much you already know through working in architecture. In many ways your Part III journey started long before you applied for the course. So much of the Part III journey is reflecting on your past experiences and appreciating how much you have achieved already. And there might be a lot to learn but it is all very interesting.

Remember, no one, even the strictest of examiners, ever expects you to know everything at this stage when you are embarking on your architectural career. Especially during the interview, it is okay to acknowledge that you don’t know something. Integrity and professionalism count for far more than attempting to know it all. To anyone currently studying within the architectural field, try and enjoy the experience. Honestly, I wish I worried less so I could enjoy it more!”

We are all extremely proud of Alex successfully passing her Part III. It’s a huge undertaking to study whilst also working. Her progression during this process has been fantastic and we are looking forward to seeing how her career develops.

Ian Wilson


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