SHH has appointed a sixth Associate - Polish-born architect Pawel Nawojczyk - to help manage the consultancy's fast-expanding workload, having more than doubled in size from 25 to 53 staff over the past 18 months.
"We took a hit in the recession like everyone else," commented SHH Managing Director Graham Harris, "but, after twelve straitened months from December 2008 to December 2009, jobs began to pour through the door. Luckily we had been able to retain all our key staff over the course of that year and, with added investment in business development, we really geared up to be ready for the upturn. Now, having also created new space within our existing offices by inserting a mezzanine level and having appointed Pawel as our new Associate, we have been able to expand at speed to meet the new demand, which shows no sign of abating."
There has been a boom in leisure projects at the company, including the rebranding and redesign of the food offer at The Barbican (The Barbican Foodhall and The Barbican Lounge); a huge-scale project re-signing all the UK sites for Butlins and the soon-to-open new restaurant at Manchester's Museum of Science and Industry,
New projects in the office also include some of the largest new-build houses the company has ever worked on, with project values of up to £25m. "These are dream briefs," commented Graham Harris, "and include a 14,000 sq ft contemporary house bordering Hampstead Heath (currently in planning); a second 11,000 sq ft modernist property very close by and a 22,000 sq ft modernist villa on a 2-acre site in Wimbledon. We are also working on a number of high-profile conversions and residential refurbishments, including a 30,000 sq ft palatial property in Green Park."
"The secondary management tier at SHH is vitally important," commented SHH Chairman David Spence, "especially at a time of such rapid expansion, when their team leadership skills are being tested as they bring new members of staff up to speed whilst at the same time managing these very large-scale projects. The Associates working on commercial projects are very much in the limelight, with clients such as The Barbican and Butlins, whilst those who work on housing have to excel in service as most of our clients in this domain are owner-occupiers. Pawel is superb on all these counts - a very professional architect who is incredibly consistent and always delivers."
New Associate Pawel Nawojczyk, who lived in Peru, New Zealand and Chile before returning to his birthplace to study and qualify as an architect at the Gdansk University of Technology, joins a highly cosmopolitan secondary management structure of five other architects and interior designers at SHH, including a South African, a Dutchman, two Australians and a New Zealander.
After graduation, Pawel worked in Poland for the Malgorzata Wojnowska architectural practice and also as a supervisor for the ALFA Construction Company, gaining experience in design, architecture, structural engineering and building before moving to the UK in 2004. He joined SHH on arrival as an Architectural Assistant and worked his way up to becoming a Company Associate six years later. His SHH portfolio includes leisure projects, such as the Nolita restaurant and several schemes for McDonald's, but mainly features large-scale London residential schemes up to £4m in project value.
"Becoming an Associate at SHH is an honour and brings me great pleasure," commented Pawel on his appointment. "It's also confirmation that I made the right choice when starting here 6 years ago! SHH not only has provided me with vital professional experience and development, but has become a part of my life and I'm enjoying every bit of it. It's a great work place with an amazing team of people and the remarkable clients and exciting projects make this journey a real joy."