Meet the team – Jon

Meet the team – Jon

July 8, 2024

Tell us about yourself and your career to date? 

I am a Chartered Architectural Technologist with nearly 30 years experience in various sectors within the industry. My career started in London where I worked on various high-quality residential and commercial schemes. I moved to North Yorkshire in 2001 to join the team at Smith Smalley Architects providing support in the retail and residential sectors.

I have been with S+SA Architects since our inception in 2014, leading across multiple sectors before taking up the role of Industrial and Logistics Lead collaborating with major international blue-chip companies to help realise their development needs, ensuring the smooth and efficient running of their businesses.

What attracted you to a career in architecture? 

Building design has always fascinated me, ever since school when I was part of a friendship group all wanting careers in Architecture.

As a group, we used to take the short train ride into London to marvel at the seemingly endless new skyscrapers being constructed in the city, particularly the recently completed Lloyds Building by Richard Rogers & Partners.

Do you have a favourite project you’ve worked on? 

It’s a difficult question as I have been very fortunate during my career to have worked on many enjoyable projects within several sectors.
Whilst I enjoy the fast-paced nature of the industrial logistics sector that I lead within the practice, a recent favourite is the large residential development ‘Stonebridge Beck’ in Leeds which included the conversion of the last remaining 19th century cotton mill in the city to residential units. The meticulous attention to detail and sympathetic restoration preserved many original features, ensuring the site’s character was retained for years to come. This project required a diverse skill set, from stakeholder engagement to technical conservation detailing, to ensure its successful delivery.

Tell us about your design approach. When you receive a brief what’s your process for responding to it and then delivering it? 

Our work for major online retailers is highly process-driven, adhering strictly to corporate standard compliance.
It is extremely important in the Industrial & Logistics sector as framework Architects to ensure that corporate design standards are met whilst offering realistic value engineering options where applicable.

Sustainability plays a significant role in designing large industrial schemes, with local authorities and corporate occupiers increasingly demanding environmentally friendly solutions. Recently, the emphasis on ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) has intensified, prompting us to demonstrate our impact on the environment and the community.

What’s your favourite part of your role? 

For me, the most enjoyable part of my role is getting out into the ‘field’ and meeting people, both re-enforcing existing client relationships and getting to know new people in the industry through strategic networking.

Collaborating with the younger generation in the practice, to grow and achieve their goals is also very rewarding. We, as a practice, have the enviable position of having every member of staff either professionally qualified or on a pathway to their professional qualification.

How have you seen the industrial and logistics sector change in the last few years? 

The COVID pandemic has certainly reshaped the logistics sector in the last few years, emphasizing adaptability, technology and sustainability.
We have witnessed a large influx of need for efficient E-commerce ‘last mile’ delivery solutions providing greener practices to reduce carbon emissions.

To further help reduce the impact on the environment, the re-use and repurpose of existing industrial building stock is becoming increasingly popular.

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