Quattro Design Architects is delighted to announce that Jonathan Parker, BA (Hons), Dip Arch, is now a registered Architect.
Below is an interview with Jonathan by Rachel Hodges – Quattro’s recently appointed Marketing & Communications Manager.
I’d love to hear more about this “journey” Jonathan…..when did it begin?
I joined Quattro in March 2013 – I had been working in Australia for 5 years in Architecture & Design and I wanted to return to the U.K. – get established and get my Part 3 under my belt. I returned to the U.K. late Summer 2012 – the end of the recession was still hanging around and I was really happy to pick up work with Quattro.
Initially, I was employed as a contractor, but I knew from discussions in my interview that Quattro has a solid system in place to support Part 3 Studies. This wasn’t the only thing that attracted me to Quattro – they were also interested in the design experience I gained abroad and were preparing to switch their software to BIM, another area where I had expertise…. It was a perfect fit…..
On arriving at Quattro were your expectations met?
Yes! And I’ve never looked back really. I was an experienced Part 2 when I joined Quattro and I liked the fact that this was acknowledged and respected from the outset. I worked between the Education and Healthcare Teams initially and quickly became involved with the BIM Team.
Now I work predominantly within the Education and Leisure & Community Teams – it’s here I developed a love of community based projects. We did a major refurb of Ross-on-Wye’s swimming pool. I was directly involved from very early stages right through to completion. I live in Ross and I saw the direct impact of our work. I realised making a difference (on my doorstep!) and benefiting the local community is important to me. Quattro are champions for this. Their collaborative culture and steady stream of community based projects is perfect for me and really fulfilling…
Besides being Champions of Community Projects, what else attracts you to Quattro?
The scope and scale of our projects. We win the good ones. What I really like is that often Community Projects are strapped for cash and the design suffers…. but at Quattro they (we) are really good at making the budget go a long way – from a design point of view. That’s very attractive and very rewarding. Clients are delighted, then sometimes we win awards and you get such great job satisfaction. Makes it so worthwhile.
Another attraction is Quattro’s technical strength. From the beginning, the Quattro Team have helped me pull together the strands of my design experience and interpret them robustly from a technical point of view. Design is important but so is solid, robust architecture. We are well known for that – it’s important.
From a personal perspective, which Projects are you most proud of?
Page Park Café was great, it’s a good example of how we made the budget work without negatively impacting the design. We won Best Regional Public Building in the LABC Awards.
QEH Bristol (Independent School), Colwall Primary School and Shaftesbury Park Rugby ground are also key projects for me.
We’ve talked about Quattro’s work….what about the People?
They’re a great team. The community ethos carries on internally really. So does the collaborative culture. I like the way we are all encouraged to share our experiences. I will now be part of the supporting structure at Quattro, ready to share my experiences with the next generation of Part 3 Trainees.
Also, Mike, one of our four Directors and Head of Education, has been absolutely fantastic. He supported me all the way through Part 3. He was so helpful.
In what way was Mike (& Quattro) so helpful?
Funding for fees is pretty standard now, but over and above this I had 5 paid study days and Mike went the extra mile to make sure I signed up for the right course at the right place.
In the first instance, he gave me a good overview of what kind of courses were available. I had moved to a new house, I had 2 young kids and I didn’t want to topple my work/life balance. Mike told me about flexible courses – without timeline constraints – he told me about a course at UWE – it was perfect for me.
I did start my Part 3 in 2016 by the way! It’s taken a while and it wouldn’t suit everybody, but it was great for me. I’ve had time with my family, decorated our new house and completed my Part 3. I even had 6 months paternity leave in the middle of this. I have recently negotiated a 4-day week in-line with my work/life balance requirements.
How does it feel to be a Registered Architect?
I actually passed my exams before Christmas, but I have only just received my “badge”!
I was so relieved to pass my exams – after all that hard work – but to be an actual Registered Architect has made me really happy. It’s helped with confidence – I feel proud to represent Quattro – it’s official and it feels great!