Simon’s role takes prominence at the briefing stage of a project, with responsibilities ranging from exploring best practice to working with clients in order to develop their project vision and concept design.
Simon specialises in healthcare, bringing his understanding of technical requirements to the briefing, design and delivery of healthcare buildings across the UK. With expertise in research design, he has also delivered a number of laboratories for universities and healthcare providers in the UK and overseas.
What are the key challenges facing healthcare?
The limited availability of funding and rising demand is coupled with an aging existing estate. With a lot of projects, there is a huge backlog of maintenance necessary before you can start on the re-provision. Going forward, we need to think about being more flexible and how we can respond effectively towards changing clinical demands.
What’s your favourite project you’ve worked on to date?
The Haydn Ellis building, a large flexible research facility for Cardiff University. It was fascinating working with the researchers to understand what they do and how they work. From this, we created a building for them in which they could work more collaboratively. I went back a couple of years ago to talk to some of the people working there. They mentioned how they had had significant breakthroughs and this was partly down to being able to work in a space that facilitated teamwork.
Where do you see your career taking you?
Having joined 12 months ago, I’ll have to wait and see. I’ve been lucky so far to get the opportunity to work on some great projects and I’ve been able to travel around the world as a part of my work. I just hope this continues and perhaps I can put my hand to a few more new things – that’s the great thing about being an architect, things are always changing.
If you weren’t an architect what would you be?
A furniture maker; I take a very hands on approach to design and the direct engagement with the process of making is fantastic.
What’s the greatest invention ever?
As a keen cyclist, I’d have to say the bike. Living in Cardiff, I am lucky enough to do mountain biking locally and I commute on my bike whenever I can. The simplicity of it is just great.
- Haydn Ellis building won the Design Through Innovation Award (RICS 2015 Awards Wales) and the BREEAM Higher Education Award Wales 2012.
- Oberlands Mental Health Centre, Guersney, Building Better Healthcare, Design in Mental Health Awards, Project of the Year 2016.