Why Work for a small/medium family-run business?
Why work for a small-medium family run business?
By Adnan Malik - Development Architect
Whats it like working for Jaspar?
I would like to introduce myself as Adnan Malik, a Development Architect working for the Jaspar Group, within the Development arm of the business. I have been here for 7 months now and am finding my role hugely rewarding; owed to the firm’s relentless pre-occupation to enhance and develop their staff at all levels. Since joining Jaspar, I have been immersed in a breadth of high-profile projects. This platform has enabled me to play an instrumental role in the front-end design of these schemes.
Jaspar’s office is more like a close-knit family, with synergy between the departments (Development, Finance, Estates etc.) and this cross-over/cohesion allows one to really understand the components of a property company. As an Architect, traditionally we would report to the ‘Client’; which in this instance is Jaspar Group. Our site acquisitions sub-team decide on the sites we hallmark for development via detailed appraisals, which my work feeds into as lead concept designer. More recently, we have evolved this practice into purely ‘land trading’; without the need to deploy any team/contractors on site. Because of the size of the company, I can be integral to the wider process and not get ‘pigeon-holed’ into one role; which can often be one of the pitfalls of working for a large organisation.
See current vacancies with Jaspar Group
My day-to-day job description includes:
- Front-end concept designer to new site enquiries. I undertake preliminary capacity studies to measure the ‘gut feel’ of a prospective development.
- This material is developed in collaboration with the Land and Planning Directors, and ultimately presented to the CEO and Chairman.
- Develop all planning related items for our ‘live/acquired’ projects. This includes preparing architectural drawings, illustrations, schedules, pre-app and design & access documents.
- Liaise/co-ordinate with the wider Design team and manage/collaborate with external Consultants (engineers, planning consultants, landscape Architects, interior designers etc.)
- Visit prospective sites (preliminary enquiry) and live sites for monitoring role or retrieving information.
Since joining Jaspar I have been involved with a number of projects from conception and helped facilitate change of use, extensions, internal re-configurations, site masterplanning, landscaping and external changes to facades. It’s very enjoyable developing these designs – our Development Team have a number of Architects and Assistants in-house who share ideas off one-another with a view to refine the design process. We have regular ‘pin-up critiques’ and get everyone’s input on a particular element. I have the opportunity to visit a number of sites, which can vary from preliminary (pre-acquisition) to live sites under construction.
Case Study; Powerhouse (Harrow-on-the-Hill)
I have selected this project in particular as I have been working on the planning aspect of it for the last few months. As with any major site within a conservation area, there have been challenges along the way; which have been overcome owed to high quality design and a close-knit pro-active design team. The site comprises of a late nineteenth century power station, which is adjacent to the Grade II listed Old Pye House, a remaining small section of a larger building consisting only of a hall, which served as a Piepowder Court in the Middle Ages. Our proposals are to convert the Powerhouse (powerstation) into residential flats and extend beyond the main building; to develop 3 no. out-building cottage units and 2no. penthouses units to form part of the rooftop extension
The scheme involves an extensive internal re-configuration, with a new circulation core, 1 new infill floor (splitting the double storey space) and a brand new second storey. Although the building is not listed, it is within the conservation area and requires a sensitive design approach/strategy; which this breathtaking building most certainly deserves. As part of the planning process for this site, we have had to apply for ‘external interventions’ that have been developed in principle in partnership with the planning officers (a number of design iterations were presented at pre-application meetings). Also, owed to the various sub-buildings on the site; we have had the opportunity to masterplan this site – paying close attention to a new landscape design, parking layout, entrance forecourt; whilst always paying homage to its embedded industrial nostalgia
Conclusion - What does the future hold?
hope that the above has shed some light on the life of a Development Architect at Jaspar. In terms of what the future holds … on a simplistic level I would strive to continuously develop my craft and provide even better solutions for my forthcoming sites. I most certainly have long-term aspirations in this organisation, coupled with a young, dynamic management team who are keen to nurture and encourage their personnel to flourish.
To summarise, Jaspar’s growing portfolio comprises of a unique collection of projects that enhance communities. As a small/medium size business, Jaspar are rapidly expanding with unique career development opportunities for staff at all levels. If you are ready to take ownership of your role and happy to take on responsibility, then this is without question… the place for you.