Ian is the regional director for our Birmingham studio, formerly the in-house architectural arm of Bournville Village Trust (BVT). Unsurprisingly, he specialises in creating places with a people-first approach and is a lead voice in our Shaping Future Places initiative.
An expert in residential and specialist living architecture, Ian led the development of College Green, a £60m care village in the heart of Bournville and chaired the Joint Venture Board at Lightmoor Village, a community development of 1000 homes in Shropshire.
Ian, what is architecture?
First and foremost it is about people. Creating spaces and places that people love to use. It is also about moulding the environment to everyone’s benefit and a mixture of responding and influencing in equal measure.
Architecture is such a great thing to do because it gives you the opportunity to make a difference to so many people. Working for Stride Treglown has allowed me to reach out to a lot more people than I thought possible. So I’d say it’s the variety that architecture provides, that’s the beauty of it.
What is your favourite project you’ve worked on to date?
During my 20’s I spent two years living on site in the Netherlands. Working 12 to 15 hour days, we went out every evening and just had a blast. The project was a European headquarters for an American pharmaceutical company and everyone involved was on site. It was like a mini city of contractors and consultants, living and breathing it for two years.
What is your proudest moment?
When you secure and finish any project you can’t help but feel an immense sense of pride. However, one project that struck me particularly was a school we’d finished. The head teacher did a closing ceremony and read out a poem she had written herself. Each verse was about a different character who’d been involved with the build and it was really touching because a whole verse was dedicated to me. It was special knowing how much that school meant to the children and local community.
Why did you choose a career in architecture?
I wanted to be an architect from an early age, around 13 or 14. All of my friends were playing with their toy soldiers and blowing things up, and there I was, building Lego houses for mine. My Action Man had a 6 bed house!
What advice would you giving your 20 year old self?
I haven’t really got many regrets, I probably should have a few more. Maybe eat less pies.
- QABS Award
- Housing Design Awards