DB3 Team

Introducing Lee Holmes - our new Associate

Joining our DB3 Leeds studio is our new Associate Lee Holmes, who brings with him a wealth of architectural experience in the public, private and government sectors including Healthcare, Education, Private Residential and Ministry of Defence.

To get to know him better, we had a great Q&A conversation via teams and here is what we found out about him.

 

Describe yourself in three words.

Engaged

Interested

And I never read the instructions!

What do you enjoy the most about being an architect?

What do you enjoy the most about being an architect?

Every day is so different and I enjoy the social aspect of meeting and working with people. However, what draws me most to Architecture is how the buildings and spaces get used and can make such a difference to people’s lives. The learning element of my job is also very enjoyable for me and immersing myself in a project. For example, by speaking with the health care professionals in great detail about their role, the in-depth knowledge gained enables me to design a purposeful space that enhances and aids their ability to treat patients efficiently. Having the opportunity to design spaces which contribute to people’s lives is incredibly rewarding for me.

If you could have a super power which would you choose?

If you could have a super power which would you choose?

My super power would definitely have to be the ability to pause time! So, for example, I could have more time in the morning when the children wake me up far too early, or I could have more time to think or just to breathe and take in the day.

What led you to Architecture?

What led you to Architecture?

I was always curious about spaces and places and remember that the song from my Primary School “Little Box on the Hillside” often made me think about what they were and why. This could well be post rationalising, but I think it got my brain thinking in a certain way.

My Dad was a joiner, so I was always making things with him and familiar with building sites, but I didn’t consider Architecture until after the UCAS assessment gave this as my first recommendation.

Although I didn’t fully grasp at the time what Architecture entailed.  My first year at University was a complete shell shock – I hadn’t expected the conceptual element of Architecture at all! “What is a cup?” – was one of our first lectures and my mind was blown. My eureka moment didn’t come until the third year when things fell into place.

But it is a skillset I consider as one of my key strengths now and something I continue to explore to this day, with students as part of the mentoring I do at the University of Huddersfield.

What was the first ever Concert you went to?

What was the first ever Concert you went to?

In 1993, five friends and I went to see Rage Against the Machine at Liverpool Royal Court. It was my first independent trip away from Wales, where I grew up, and I came back as a new person!

The concert was epic and the music opened my eyes and made me more politically aware. Music is one of my biggest passions and my taste is very eclectic – there is no specific genre I align myself to although I get drawn to emotive music and anything I can stomp my foot to!

Which project are you most proud of?

Which project are you most proud of?

The Frederick Holmes School is a project that I am not only most proud of but which is closest to my heart.  As a SEND school for pupils from the ages of 2 to 19 with severe physical/learning disabilities and those with profound and multiple needs, getting the design right was key. Gaining a real understanding of the actual needs of the pupils and how best to meet these through the building, was so important to me, so we engaged directly with the staff and pupils to discuss their wants and needs. The design was driven by delivering a happy, safe, inspiring and enriching SEND educational space as opposed to mere aesthetics, resulting in a purpose built school that features facilities such as hydrotherapy pool, rebound room, soft play and sensory rooms, and was driven by designing out lost time between activities. 

What is the most important innovation you’ve seen in your lifetime?

What is the most important innovation you’ve seen in your lifetime?

It would have to be telecommunication as it affects everything, not just in a good way as to what it enables us to do, but on the flip side it can also be quite disruptive.

What is the last Joke you have heard?

What is the last Joke you have heard?

This Bob Mortimer joke was overheard by my son (and thus quickly tweaked by myself!) and is very popular in my house at the moment: “An explorer sees a monkey in the jungle with a tin opener and says, ‘You don’t need a tin opener to open bananas’. To which the monkey replies, ‘It’s not for the banana’s – it’s for the *flipping* custard’.”

We also asked Lee which he would want most – flying cars, robot housekeepers, or moon cities – he instantly said none as we have damaged our planet enough in his view so why harm the moon too (he’s also not convinced we’ve ever been!). Lee’s passion for the environment, protecting nature and finding ways to minimise our impact became very clear as our conversation turned to utilising more localised resources, implementing passivhaus and BREEAM within our sectors.

Lee’s chosen super power would have come in very handy at this point ­– before we knew it our Q&A time was up! Thank you so much Lee and welcome to the team ­– we look forward to working with you.

Date Published: 23 April 2021
Tags: architect, architecture, education architecture, healthcare architect, SEN school, sustainability

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