Meet the Team: Jon Briscoe

We’ve mentioned before how incredibly proud we are that over half of our team have been at the company ten years or more; there are so many benefits to having skills and relationships built over this period of time – we think that makes this office a welcoming place for our new starters and apprentices, many of whom go on to join the ranks (we have a further 4 members of staff in the five to ten year bracket).

There is another special anniversary at gcp this month, as we take a few moments to celebrate the hugely impressive 19-year work anniversary of Jon Briscoe, who did his year out at gcp in 1997.

Jon studied at Liverpool University and joined gcp following his graduation in 2000. He has worked as an architect since completing his qualification in 2002.

Jon combines his role as an architect with managing gcp Consulting, a separate entity within the overall practice. gcp Consulting provides the knowledge and understanding needed to deliver sustainable low energy buildings, that meet the compliance requirements of funders and local authorities. As our lead assessor, Jon provides energy advice to clients, prepares SAP assessments for statutory compliance and prepares energy strategies to meet Local Authority targets for reductions in energy demand and carbon emissions.

Jon has also completed training to deliver Principal Designer services to meet the requirements of CDM 2015 Health & Safety Regulations.

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jon briscoe

I think the introduction speaks for itself Jon, you really have achieved so much during your time with us. It would be really nice if you could answer a few questions about your life, career and time with gcp. Let’s start with what inspired you to pursue architecture.

Dreaming of being an architect developed out of my childhood enjoyment of drawing.

And if you weren’t an architect, what would you be?

I always fancied being a travel writer in the style of Bill Bryson. Although theme park design also sounds like a lot of fun.

That does sound fun! Maybe we should add a theme park design challenge to our staff events calendar. But on a more serious note – a 22 year association with gcp is a long time; do you think you could tell us a bit about how the office has evolved in that time?

Although some of the people are the same, the way we work has changed. When I first joined there were still some drawing boards in use and for a while the office’s only internet connection and e-mail account was through the computer I was working on. We also used to work until 6pm because that was when the pub opened.

Nowadays we try save the pub for special occasions, or Fridays.

So, in all your time at gcp, what has been your favourite project to work on?

For my favourite project I would have to pick the refurbishment of Fairfield Park Health Centre.

I’ve been doing this for a while now and I must say, I find the favourite project choices really interesting. On a more personal level, do you think you could tell me a bit about your time out in Australia?

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I took a break from the world of work in 2007/8 to explore Australia and New Zealand. Of all the experiences, from cleaning out koala enclosures, snorkelling, or jumping out of an airplane, the most fun we had was enjoying life on the road in a campervan, especially if the days route took in a local vineyard!

Sounds brilliant, I’m always a bit jealous of your year out, it’s on my bucket list.

It’s been fantastic catching up Jon and hearing a bit more about your time at gcp. To finish up do you think you could tell us something we might not already know about you?

As a baseball fan I have enjoyed many trips to American ballparks, but was particularly excited to attend the two game series between the Red Sox and the Yankees in London this year.

Perfect. Pictures attached.

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Jon is a senior architect with experience working on projects in the residential, sports, education and health sectors. With involvement from initial scheme design through to completion on site, Jon has experience of working with clients, submitting planning applications, discharging planning conditions, complying with statutory regulations and working closely with contractors and consultants.

As part of his interest in sustainable design, Jon qualified as a Code for Sustainable Homes assessor, completed the transfer training for its successor, the Home Quality Mark, and is a certified SAP assessor. Extending this further Jon is accredited to prepare thermal bridging calculations.

Recently, Jon has been working predominantly in the residential sector. As a project leader he combines his architectural expertise and sustainable design knowledge to provide a design approach which delivers practical and sustainable housing solutions for Housing Association and private developer clients.

It really is a pleasure to celebrate our staff anniversaries and achievements, today is a particularly special one.

We have another staff interview coming next week and a special anniversary month in September, where we will celebrate gcp becoming another year older so keep an eye on our blog for interviews, images and reminiscing through our birthday month.

Meet the Team: James Pilling

James joined gcp in 2013, part way through a 2-year HNC course at the City of Bristol College, where he studied Construction Management. Prior to this, James worked within the construction industry for over 12 years and holds thorough knowledge of the built environment with his time working on sites as a general builder.

James is currently studying at Oxford Brookes University where he is undertaking an Office-based Part 1 accreditation with the RIBA Studio. 

James is celebrating his six-year anniversary at gcp in August, so to celebrate we interviewed him for the blog!

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Hi James, we’ll jump right in with the big questions. What inspired you to pursue architecture? 

The opportunity to improve lives, wellbeing, communities and the built environment. I enjoy making more of existing spaces that currently do not work, you don’t always need more space to create better space. 

And If you weren’t an architectural assistant, what would you be? 

james-pilling

I’ve always played some sort of sport, so probably a sportsman but it’s so competitive, I’d like to be good at golf – as you also get to travel. I have a recent interest in photography so maybe something in that field. 

What’s your favourite project that you’ve worked on to date? 

My favourite project has probably been my current one, which is the new Pavilion building for Swindon Town Football Club Community Foundation. We have a great design team, contractor and client, who are all different, but together work so well and most importantly have a good laugh doing it! 

You’ve been here six years now, but let’s hear about your best moment at gcp in the last year? 

Best moment would probably be finally gaining planning approval on the Oldbury Court Project – three years in the making! Although the opportunity to eat cake every Monday is always a good moment. 

James often brings in amazing homemade cake, so this seems like a good segue into a few personal questions. First up, what do you like to do in your spare time? 

I don’t have a huge amount of spare time as I’m doing my studies too, but when I do have five minutes I will most likely be working on the house (renovating our Victorian Terrace) or playing some sort of sport, Cricket mainly. 

What’s your proudest personal achievement? 

Cycling to Paris from my front door (in Bristol) last year was pretty cool, the beer under the Eiffel tower is the best beer I’ve ever had! 

Yikes! You do quite a bit of travelling, so what’s the top place you’ve visited? 

Hvar or Santorini, both beautiful places and some of the best food I’ve ever tasted!  

Okay, now I’m hungry. Thanks for your time today James, it’s been fun. Before we go, how about you tell us something we might not know about you? 

I hate olives, shouldn’t be allowed if you ask me. 

Time for lunch! 

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James (with a beer), under the Eiffel Tower

James (with a beer), under the Eiffel Tower

As mentioned above, over the last year or so James has been heavily involved in Foundation Park, the new Pavillion Building for Swindon Town Football Club Community Foundation. Most recently, this work has expanded to writing blog posts about this project, creating display materials for it and attending networking events there, such as the WIP site visit

Keep your eye on our blog for more meeting the team posts over the next few weeks as we are celebrating several work anniversaries through August.

 




Meet the Team: Matt Bonney

matt bonney

Architect Matt Bonney is celebrating his first-year anniversary with gcp. He joined us last year from 360 Architecture in Glasgow. Matt graduated Strathclyde University in 2016, where his studies focused on developing sustainable buildings with inter-seasonal energy storage.

We wanted to get to know Matt a little better, so asked him a few questions!

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So Matt, what inspired you to pursue architecture?

Meccano, K-nex and Lego along with a desire to create and an infinite imagination.

and if you weren’t an architect, what would you be?

Set designer or carpenter.

Can you tell us what’s your best moment at gcp in the last year?

The build up to Christmas!

Matt joins a long list of gcp employees who have a competitive streak - in the run up to Christmas last year we ran several games and challenges amongst the team to win chocolate, wine and - more importantly - glory!

What do you like to do in your spare time?

Cycling or anything sporty really (not sure if appropriate but I also create beer pong tables as a side project).

Certainly interesting though! So, what’s your proudest personal achievement?

A-level art – creating a full-sized grand piano out of match sticks and coloured PVA (photos available)

And attached to this blog! Thanks for your time Matt, just to wrap up could you tell us your favourite project that you’ve worked on to date.

Leyton Urban Cricket Hub.

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Matt has worked on some interesting projects since starting with gcp, including Bristol County Ground, Bristol Tower blocks and the Urban Cricket Hub in Leyton. Outside of his architectural work in the office, he is on both our media and events groups; personally, he has just returned from a cycling expedition through the Alps.

 

Keep an eye on our blog for more staff interviews over the coming weeks.