Posted: 06.09.2016

So what do our team get up to outside of work? Lee from our Derby office shares an insight to what he does when he’s not designing buildings.


What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

I love getting out into the great outdoors as much as possible to go walking or climbing in the Peak District which is so easily accessible living in Derby with the countryside always on your doorstep. I also love travelling the world and have recently been experiencing much more of the planet taking in my other love of motorsport following the Formula 1 season to Abu Dhabi and Barcelona. At the moment I am not getting to do as much travelling as I would like as I am nearing completion of refurbishing my own 1930s home back from an empty shell whilst also living there and planning for a wedding early next year!


What was your dream job when you were a child?

As a child I spent many of my weekends racing go-karts around the country with my Dad in tow. Naturally my career choice would have been a racing driver. As I got older I was hearing more at race weekends about a young lad called Lewis Hamilton who was the next big thing; he didn’t do that well did he? I am hoping in the next few years to dip back into motor racing in the form of an amateur class but have got some saving up and convincing to do first on that dream! After that I always knew architecture was something I would love to do from playing with those first Lego bricks as a child.


What has been your greatest career achievement?


I would consider all of the projects I have undertaken with Derby College, developing their estate my greatest achievement so far! If I had to choose one element of all of these projects, it would be the creation of the Roundhouse Engine Shed Restaurant. This project saw a dilapidated engine workshop turned into a teaching training kitchen and restaurant. The biggest challenge was creating a unique space which felt intimate for the right dining experience whilst also technically delivering a state of the art kitchen to the other half of the space. This was achieved using a custom designed Pod Kitchen enclosing all of the catering needs within a clean room environment, without impacting on the Listed historic structure. This was my first exploration into Building Information Modelling (BIM) with every element of the kitchen created virtually to demonstrate to the planners the minimal impact which our proposal had on this nationally important Listed structure.


Outside work, what are you most proud of?

Outside of work I am really proud of all the work I do as a volunteer Scout Leader. I really enjoy giving back the time I was given as a child as part of this fantastic Worldwide movement. My biggest achievement came last year in August 2015, being part of the management team for Peak 2015 which is an International Scout & Guide camp for 6,000 campers, held at Chatsworth House in Derbyshire every 5 years. In total it was over three years of preparation for one of the hardest and most rewarding weeks of my life! At the camp I also got to meet Bear Grylls, our Chief Scout, when he dropped in by helicopter for the day and had to work with my team to control thousands of campers clambering for his autograph!


I ran a team of 100 volunteers to organise a week’s worth of competitions and events in the main arena for all of campers. The pinnacle and stress point of the week was orchestrating from the top of an abseil tower thousands of campers into the camp logo and filming it with an aerial drone as a special memory for all the campers from around the world. We also got the opportunity to be the first people to film the iconic Chatsworth House at sunset with our drone, shooting a scene of the Baden Powell’s (Founder of Scouting) 1929 Rolls Royce driving up to the front entrance of the house.


The top banner image shows the aerial view Lee had from the abseil tower.

See the video here of how they pulled together all the campers to form the camp logo.