The LOM director on design waste, amazing contractors and why he always looks forward to his next meal
Why did you choose construction as a career?
It was a conscious decision to follow an architectural path but I had limited understanding of what that would mean at the time. So in hindsight I was lucky as it suits me well.
What has been your biggest career challenge to date?
Running a business.
What have you worked on that you are most proud of?
LOM as a practice is the thing that I am most proud of. It is something we have worked on over many years and gives me a great sense of achievement.
If you could change one thing about the industry, what would it be?
Design waste! The amount of work undertaken by consultants that is ultimately never used is extremely wasteful. Architects do a vast amount of speculative design work (supported by other consultants) where any one site may have multiple different schemes developed over time and in competition with each other. It’s uneconomical and generally bad for the industry as it must be paid for somewhere down the line.
Most helpful advice you were given?
I don’t recall any – although I must have had some. However, I think I have generally learnt by doing and continually trying to improve what we do as a practice.
What is your favourite building in the world?
The Pompidou Centre was built at a key point in my architectural development and I love the fact that the French government trusted in the competition process and a young and relatively inexperienced team. They delivered something miraculous at the time that then positively changed a part of Paris for the long term.
What single piece of advice would you give to someone just starting out in your profession?
Make the most of any opportunity that comes your way.
Who do you most admire in the construction industry?
Contractors. Good ones do an amazing job that is incredibly difficult.
What famous building do you wish you had worked on?
Working on the Pompidou project would have been interesting…
Which famous building do you most dislike?
It would be impolite to say.
What is it like being you?
What do you think your best quality is?
What trait do you most dislike in yourself? And in other people?
Do you have a life philosophy?
Live in the moment – which is tricky when you work on projects that take years to complet.
Name three things that you like
Good things come in threes and I love my daughters: Ella, Annie and Katie
What’s a secret skill we don’t know you have?
I build things but I am unsure how skilful I actually am!
What’s your most prized possession?
Gouda, an English Pointer. Although I am not sure you ever “own” a dog.
Early bird or night owl?
Mostly a morning person, but sometimes both.
What’s your favourite food?
The next meal
What would your superpower be?