A new direction | Alex Bell
The story so far…
Alex joined DKA in 2002 – the year the Euro was introduced across the 12 EU member states and Gareth Gates’ Unchained Melody topped the charts for a (staggering) 4 weeks. After 6 years at the University of Bath, Alex graduated as the recipient of the RIBA Wessex Prize for design. With the world at his feet, he accepted a position at DKA, 1.4 miles from the University.
Alex says “I’ve been lucky enough to run projects across many sectors over 15 years. As a young architect I designed motor dealerships and primary schools, then commercial offices, housing schemes and latterly historic refurbishments. I’ve also worked on three new build projects supporting nuclear skills training for Hinkley C. This gives me the confidence to turn my hand to any building type.”
People may not know…
Alex spent his formative years in Hong Kong. He has designed two successful iPhone apps about brickwork design and amateur astronomy. He dyed his hair blonde for three years for reasons even he cannot quite remember. If Alex was on Mastermind, his specialist subject would be ‘The British Rock Band, The Verve’.
How do you approach your work, Alex?
I love the stage of a project where the concept is fluid and anything is possible. I enjoy developing the brief and offering the client exciting (often unexpected) solutions. Projects with many constraints and a challenging brief can still result in highly creative designs – if often only takes one good idea to unlock everything. I use a range of tools from pencil sketching to Revit to help communicate my ideas. I take a methodical approach and enjoy turning designs into reality.
What would be your dream project?
I am a total geek for music production and recording studios. I’ve been lucky enough to design a BBC radio studio but I’d love to design a recording studio complex or get behind the scenes at somewhere like Abbey Road. Otherwise, anything to do with the space industry – another of my passions.
As a director, how will you lead DKA forward?
I want to instil our team with a confidence to challenge preconceptions, provide an creative studio atmosphere and respect the trust that clients place in us. I’d like to build upon DKA’s strong reputation for a proactive design service underpinned by cool heads and talented designers. I have grown up in this culture at DKA and want others to have the same opportunities to develop their skills and take pride in their work. Together we can do great things.