“When a client is prepared to come on a journey that potentially challenges the way most people think about architecture, that’s the most satisfying part of my job.”
“Problem solving is a huge part of architecture, and of my role at ARM. A lot if it comes down to understanding the people who are using the building and what their ambitions are and how they can be realised together with the greater good. I’m good at identifying problems, which is the most important step in being able to solve them. Once you’ve worked out what the problem really is, the solution is much easier to find or choose. This strength helps me make decisions, work constructively with clients, and lead project teams.
I’ve been at ARM since 2003. I’ve learned that ARM has very good systems, which might not be what outsiders expect. I think they assume we’re seat-of-the-pants type people—often those striving for the cutting edge of design will ignore other elements of the full service, but ARM has really solid systems and we produce excellent documentation packages.
We’re very interested in the pragmatic aspects of design, too, and if you’ve only seen magazine photos of our buildings you might not expect that. But because we make the types of design propositions that we do, we have to test them and document them thoroughly to make sure they’re going to work. We need to ensure that the proposition will genuinely enhance the way the users of the building want to work, behave, or operate.”
In any project there’s always something to learn. I’ve had to learn about symphony orchestras and concert halls, art galleries, ferry terminals, and all sorts of building types. We’re not a practice that does the same thing again and again so, in essence, you learn something on every project.
When a client is prepared to come on the journey that potentially challenges the way most people think about architecture, that’s the most satisfying part of my job.”