For the next In our occasional series we talk to Associate, James Hall.
What got you into architecture originally?
When I was young I had an aspiration to work in an industry that allowed me to create and develop an idea to make it a reality. I was influenced a lot by my father, who I helped with various projects around the house, which he himself had conceived.
Throughout school I developed an interest in Engineering, Product Design and Architecture but I never really knew exactly which direction I wanted to move in. It wasn’t until my University’s open day, when I walked into the Architecture School, that I knew.
Describe your role at Lees Associates.
As one of two Associates, I lead teams working on our prime residential, renovation, fit-out and new-build projects from the initial stages to completion. I also have the task of developing our new office standards and BIM drawing template, the aim of which is to improve office efficiency and allow us to meet the latest BIM standards.
Where do your particular passions, skills and interests lie?
Architecturally, I have a strong belief in how the contextual space and environment drives the design process. I also never underestimate the importance of maintaining a close client / architect relationship throughout all project stages. My previous experience working within a small firm strengthened my abilities in all stages from initial design to technical detailing.
Outside of architecture my main interests are, in order, food and travelling. When travelling, the days are always planned around the restaurants, food stalls and markets that have the best reviews or have been recommended.
What do you enjoy most about what you do?
The industry is constantly changing, we are always learning new things from clients, consultants, contractors, suppliers and manufacturers. This knowledge and experience helps us find new and better solutions to problems and project briefs, whether technical or aesthetic. Seeing the end result after all your hard work is also nice too.
Which project are you most proud of?
I have the pleasure of leading the refurbishment of a Grade II listed “warehouse” conversion in the heart of London. As Architect and Interior Designer we have worked closely with the client to tailor the scheme into a personal home. The combination of the complexity of design, the uniqueness of the building and client satisfaction has put this at the top of the list.
What are your plans for the future?
My current plan is furthering my career at Lees Associates and helping to build on the great reputation that the company already has.
As much as I love London and the UK, eventually I would like to go back home to Australia. I have always seen myself retiring there, enjoying the food and relaxing lifestyle, perhaps working a little bit to pass the time.