Peter Symonds College

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Architect and Former Student, Rodolfo Rodriguez Visits College

Rodolfo Rodriguez with former head of Art, David Thomas, views his light installation in Ashurst
Rodolfo Rodriguez with former head of Art, David Thomas, views his light installation in Ashurst

College welcomed back internationally renowned architect and alumni Rodolfo Rodriguez to view North Ascent and South Ascent, the two light installations he created in the College’s Ashurst Learning Resource Centre during his final year in 2007.

Rodolfo designed North Ascent and South Ascent to encapsulate the continuous evolution and adjustment required to achieve goals, the importance of looking up – as the installations do – and the need to aspire to further possible paths, even if the destination has been conquered.

Rodolfo said: “I’ve worked on a variety of high-profile projects in locations as diverse as Taiwan, Valencia, Dubai, Qatar and Brazil, but I have always wanted to come back to Symonds. I regard my time at Symonds as one of the most pivotal moments in my life.”

“After Symonds I went on to become involved with some of the world’s most notable cultural projects, including the 300th anniversary of the design of Sir Christopher Wren’s St Pauls Cathedral, taking what I’d learned with me. Symonds equipped me with the skills I needed to progress in a profession I love and I can’t put into words how thankful I am to the teachers and their support.”

Rodolfo toured the college with his former tutor, Sandra Showell, and the college’s now retired Head of Art, David Thomas. David, who retired from Symonds in 2012, was critical in supporting Rodolfo conceive and produce the installations 16 years ago.

David Thomas said: “Rodolfo was exceptional and I remember his time here like it was yesterday. He brought determination and ambition to every project he undertook and I felt privileged to share his excitement. It is such a thrill to catch up with him and the fact that his installations remain in Ashurst is real testament to the longevity of their appeal.”

Rodolfo’s return is the latest in a series spotlights on college alumni as part of the Where Are They Now? series which celebrates life beyond Symonds – wherever that may be.

Rodolfo read A Level Fine Art, Product Design, Mathematics and Spanish during his two years at Symonds. He went onto a BA Architecture (ARB/RIBA Part 1) First Class at Oxford Brookes University and a MSt Building History (Distinction) at the University of Cambridge. He is highly decorated, achieving several accolades affiliated with institutions including RIBA, The Ashmolean and The Bartlett School of Architecture.

Posted: 17 October 2023

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