MEET OUR KEY PEOPLE
The “JDDK Family” is a close-knit, hardworking, committed (and fun loving) group of talented individuals. Our creativity is matched by our technical skills and we work as a team, to our own strengths, in order to provide our clients with the highest level of service throughout the “Discover, Design, Deliver” process. JDDK enjoy an exceedingly low staff turnover, many of us having been at JDDK since the very early stages of our careers. Scroll over and click on each box to find out more about each of us (we hope you enjoy seeing our personal collections of objects as much as we did putting them together).
Karen joined the practice in June 2019, after starting an accounts role in 1998 for an Italian Company travelling occasionally to various parts of Italy, she found the role challenging and rewarding. Karen developed particular skills and experience throughout her carer and is now welcoming the new challenge ahead.
Three things Karen cannot do without:
My wonderful family, holidays in the sun and watching my son's rugby (mainly in the rain!)
BSc(Hons) M.Arch Adv Dip ARB RIBA
Gavin was born in the Borneo Island of Malaysia and has worked on various residential and high rise projects in Kuala Lumpur before pursuing his architectural education and career in the UK. Upon acquiring his Part 2 in Newcastle University, Gavin joined JDDK in February 2018 and completed his Part 3 with RIBA in 2021. He enjoys the problem solving challenges of space planning, conceptual design and model making, all fuelling his passion in architecture. He is also a mentor in the RIBA Student Mentoring since 2020.
Three things Gavin cannot do without:
Family, Friday Fun Facts and Google (teaching me since 2005)
BA(Hons) M.Arch PGDip ARB RIBA
Olie was raised in the countryside around Stoke-on-Trent and joined JDDK in September 2017, having completed both his Architectural degrees at Northumbria. His interests in sustainable design and well-being made him a great fit for JDDK, not least did a new-found belonging in Newcastle. Prior to joining, Olie had built art in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert and had his Master’s thesis shortlisted for a national competition.
Three things Olie cannot do without:
Climbing, passport and my VW camper van
BA(Hons) BArch(Hons) ARB RIBA
Mura graduated with distinction from Manchester University in 1994, gaining her final qualification in 1996 after working for Buttress Fuller Alsop Williams. Following a further period of working in Manchester, for Michael Hyde & Associates, Mura moved to Newcastle and joined JDDK in 2000, becoming a Director in 2009. Mura has been project architect on schemes across a number of sectors, having developed particular skills and expertise in the affordable and specialist housing field. Mura also leads JDDK’s health sector work and has delivered a number of major palliative care projects including Marie Curie Hospices in Glasgow and the West Midlands. Mura has acted as a Civic Trust Award assessor and is on the North East’s design review panel.
Three things Mura cannot do without:
My fantastic family, my kindle and a good night’s sleep
BSc(Hons) M.Arch Adv Dip
LeeXin is from West Malaysia where she obtained her first architectural degree and has worked in Kuala Lumpur experiencing architecture of various sectors. She joined JDDK in July 2019 after completing her Part 2 MArch in Northumbria University. She believes in Architecture as the balance between Art and Science. In addition, she is an advocate of architectural representation and has been exploring different techniques of visualisation and narratives to manifest the spatial experience of the users. She is determined to take this artistic balance with pragmatic approach further as part of her route to be a qualified architect with JDDK.
Three things LeeXin cannot do without:
black coffee, creativity and a good bowl of noodle
BA(Hons) BArch(Hons) ARB RIBA
Nicky graduated from Newcastle University in 1992. During her training she studied in both France and Italy and worked for a spell in Botswana. Nicky was awarded the year prize for her part III examination. Nicky joined JDDK in 1993, becoming a Director in 2000, and works across a number of sectors, particularly within the housing, community and education fields. Nicky has acted as an RIBA Award assessor, is a Visiting Fellow at Northumbria University, is an external examiner for the Masters in Architecture course at the University of Salford and is an elected member of the RIBA Council.
Three things Nicky cannot do without:
Family, Monday night singing with Sage Gateshead Chamber Choir, the Sauvignon Blanc grape
BA(Hons) MA ARB, RIBA CR, Certified Passivhaus Designer
Adam’s first experience of Architecture was a Site Engineer prior to studying Architecture at Sheffield University, completing his first degree in 1995. A year working in Paris followed before returning to Sheffield where he completed his Diploma in 1998 and extended his dissertation to gain an MA. After extensive work in Ireland, Adam returned to his native Newcastle to join JDDK in 2005, becoming a Director in 2016, where his work has been in a number of development sectors whilst his particular interests in both environmentally sustainable architecture and design for conservation settings has flourished. Adam is a Certified Passivhaus Designer and joined the RIBA Conservation Register in 2012. He has acted as ‘Conservation Expert’ and ‘Sustainability Expert’ for the RIBA Awards, and is co-chair of the RIBA North East Sustainability Forum.
Three things Adam cannot do without:
Marmite, my iPod and sailing with the wind in my ‘hair’.
In 1990 at the tender age of 16 Romanda joined the practice as a trainee administrative assistant on the Youth Training Scheme of the time. Romanda now acts as PA to the Director’s and entertainment organiser extraordinaire.
Three things Romanda cannot do without:
Family & friends; cheese, wine & chocolate; mini-breaks (sorry, I couldn’t get it down to three, six will have to do)
HND Building Studies, NEBOSH
A native of Sunderland, Kevin gained both an ONC and HNC in Building Studies from Newcastle Polytechnic whilst working for Douglas Wise & Partners in Newcastle. After gaining experience with Powell Moya on the Wansbeck General Hospital project, he joined JDDK in 1992, becoming a Director in 2003. In addition to leading and being a hands on member of the practice’s technical team, Kevin has particular responsibility for Health and Safety matters, and technical documentation. (NEBOSH Qualified in 2008).
Three things Kevin cannot do without:
My wife, Kate, friends and golf – I think that’s the right order…
BA(Hons) BArch(Hons) ARB RIBA
Stuart’s earliest architectural work was as an Architectural Technician with Conservation Architects Arrol & Snell whilst gaining distinctions in ONC and HND in Building Studies at Stoke-on-Trent College. In 1999 he graduated from Newcastle University with 1st Class Honours Architectural degrees and joined JDDK. He became an Associate Director in 2016. Stuart has worked across a diverse range of sectors, especially involved in many of the practice’s Education and Healthcare projects, particularly as project architect for over 15 Early Years projects in the region and for a number of hospice development projects across the UK. Stuart has regularly involvement in studio teaching at Newcastle University.
Three things Stuart cannot do without:
Love, Peace and my Jet Boil camping stove
Born in Hong Kong, Chun moved to Newcastle at an early age and joined JDDK in 2013 having graduated from Huddersfield University in 2012. A keen advocate of ‘green construction’ technology and minimising the impact of buildings on the environment, Chun is a key part of the team responsible for the detail design and practical delivery of a diverse range of projects across all sectors within the practice. Chun is also Chartered Member of the Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologist and became an Associate in 2023. In that role Chun has a particular responsibility for JDDK’s regulations compliance.
Three things Chun cannot do without:
Phone, Wallet and Keys.
BA(Hons) BArch(Hons) ARB
Since graduating from Newcastle University in 1994, Russell has worked in both the private and public sector as well as a spell in India on the construction of the Delhi Metro. Russell joined JDDK in 2010 and has worked across the healthcare and housing sectors, delivering detail design for both RSL’s and private developers, including the redevelopment of the flagship refurbishment scheme at Holborn House for ISOS Housing and new build scheme The Elms for Cestria Housing acclaimed by the HCA as a benchmark for extra care in the North East. Russell’s work in other sectors has included new build and refurbishments in health, hospices and leisure.
Three things Russell cannot do without:
Tea, films and comedy.... with family being a given.
BSC(Hons), MCIAT, Certified Passivhaus Designer
Tristan joined JDDK in 2005 at the start of his Northumbria University’s day release Architectural Technology BSc Hons degree course. Whilst studying on the course Tristan also completed an NVQ in Technical Design. At JDDK Tristan has lead the detail design and delivery of much of the practice’s affordable and supported housing schemes as well as working at production information stage for private house builders and on major healthcare projects within the practice. Tristan became an Associate Director in 2023 and in that role has a particular responsibility for Health and Safety. Tristan is a Chartered Member of the Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists, he is also a Certified Passivhaus Designer.
Three things Tristan cannot do without:
Books, exercise and travelling.
BA(Hons) MArch(Hons) ARB RIBA
Otis studied his Part I and II at Northumbria University and joined the practice 2013, completing his final architectural qualification in 2016.
He has experience of design and delivery across a wide variety of projects including those in student accommodation, affordable housing, healthcare and commercial sectors. Within this he has worked as project architect leading on the design and delivery of an apartment complex ‘Whitburn Towers’ and a development for users with specialist needs North East Disability Resource Centre.
He has a keen interest in meeting the climate challenge through Improving and optimising building performance, new or retrofit. He continues to build his knowledge base through the association or environmentally conscious buildings.
Otis also has a background in digital fabrication and is involved in design tutoring in digital media at Newcastle University.
Three things Otis cannot do without:
Surfing, Good Coffee, Chocolate Cake
BA(Hons) Dip Arch ARB RIBA, Accredited Conservation Architect
Samantha joined the practice in 2013; since then her work at JDDK has included a number of housing projects including specialist housing for end-users with specific cultural, physical and emotional needs as well as a number of one-off projects such as the refurbishment of the Grade II Listed building for the charity Changing Lives Bentinck Terrace in Newcastle. She has delivered and managed a number of complex healthcare projects and has developed specific skills and knowledge in the conservation and heritage sectors, through both project experience and formal training. Samantha became an Associate in 2023 and is also a RIBA Accredited Conservation Architect.
Three things Samantha cannot do without:
My Family, Coffee, Baking Cakes
BA(Hons) BArch(Hons) PGDip, ARB RIBA
Clair initially joined the practice in 2006 for a two year placement following graduation from Newcastle University, and returned full time following completion of her second degree. Since obtaining her Part III qualification in 2012, Clair has taken a leading role on a number of housing schemes for both the public and private sectors and worked as project architect for the new commercial premises at the Milkhope Centre for Blagdon Estates. She has been part of our team designing and delivering major refurbishment projects for a number of Leisure Centres across Northumberland. Clair became an Associate Director in 2023 and has particular responsibility for JDDK’s Quality Management.
Three things Clair cannot do without:
Music, my partner in crime and a nice cup of green tea.
BA(Hons) BArch(Hons) ARB RIBA
Alison undertook her architectural training at Newcastle University, working in London between her two degrees and both graduating and joining JDDK in 1991. She has worked across many sectors, often in historically or environmentally sensitive locations across the North East Region and further afield. Community consultation has also been a key area in Alison’s work, demonstrated in high profile developments such as The Sill Landscape Discovery Centre in Northumberland and Sherwood Forest Visitor Centre. Her design for the RSPB’s hugely successful Saltholme Visitor Centre swept the board for architectural awards.
Three things Alison cannot do without:
Family, Nature and Art.
HND Building Studies
Andy gained his OND in Construction & Land Use at Newcastle College followed by an HND in Building Studies at Northumbria University in 1994. He previously worked for the Alan J Smith partnership and, later, Summers & Partners. Andy joined JDDK in 2000 and in the proceeding years has acted as project technician on the detail and on-site stages of numerous complex projects including two major Hospices for Marie Curie and an innovative proton bean therapy facility in Northumberland. Andy takes responsibility for the day to day management of the practice’s IT resources, and has been an Associate Director since 2016.
Three things Andrew cannot do without:
The smiles and laughter of my darling daughters, the love and support of my best friend, Mura, and Rioja.
Matt completed his Architecture BA Honours degree at Oxford Brookes University in 1996. Having worked in the south of England and Australia for a number of years Matt joined JDDK in 2004 when he returned to his native Newcastle. Matt leads on JDDKs Building Information Modelling (BIM) work and delivers the practices Level 2 BIM projects and also supports staff in delivering BIM projects. Matt’s work has been diverse including residential, industrial and large scale public projects such as the award-winning Sill Landscape Discovery Centre, RSPB Sherwood Forest Visitor Centre and veterinary healthcare schemes such as Wear Referrals and Dick White Referrals Hospital. Matt became an Associate Director in 2015 and is a member of the Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists.
Three things Matthew cannot do without:
Mountain Bike, Road Bike and Pub Bike.
BA(Hons) BArch(Hons) ARB RIBA
Nicky joined JDDK in 1992 after graduating from Newcastle University in the same year, having worked previously for the practice for 12 months and spent three months at “L’Ecole d’Architecture de Nancy” in France as part of her training. Nicky became an Associate of the Practice in 2000 and an Associate Director in 2016. She has worked as Project Architect on a wide range of projects, from small rural developments to a number of large scale and complex health and palliative care schemes such as the 36million Euro Curraheen Hospital and Hospice in Cork and the £20million redevelopment of St Colomba’s Hospice in Edinburgh.
Three things Nicola cannot do without:
My husband and children, coffee and a biscuit whilst I’m working and a good mystery book on the go at all times.