I have known Simon Hatcher since he commenced work in the Architects Group at Parsons Brinckerhoff’s Bristol office in 2000. We have worked together on many commercial projects during the period since.
He particularly came to my attention during the education ‘boom’ period in 2004 whilst working on the Newcastle BSF programme. Between phases 1 and 2 of Newcastle BSF he was promoted from Senior Architect to Technical Director for Architecture.
His ability to plan and influence the earliest stages of design was clear as was his ability to work with clients and end users to achieve client satisfaction from the start. His ability and client interface skills were increasingly beneficial and were recognised by all parties.
I have watched him working in many situations over the last 5 years. He directs and controls proceedings without dominating them, he has the vision to see solutions easier than most, he sketches difficult details 3-d, 2-d, whatever, with ease so that others can see them, he is aware and appreciative of the likely engineering constraints of what he is designing and provides appropriate pauses in the design process for engineering interaction to take place.
His work recognises that all architecture must have engineering logic and be constrained by what is reasonably buildable and affordable. His projects have better engineering coordination than most and as a result engineers relate more easily to his work.
He ensures that his teams follow his lead in this respect; drawings are issued with a much better overlap with the engineer’s work than is normal and the consequence is much less iteration than one would have when working with a less appreciative architect. If he is pressured to change things, he thinks about the engineering implications of the change before implementing and always gives the engineer the final say before publishing.
All my engineers have the utmost respect for him and consider him to be up there with the best. I think the same.
I’m an engineer. I can only describe the man from an engineer’s viewpoint and from an engineer’s viewpoint Simon is a dream to work with.