A new direction | James Bastable

The story so far…

James graduate from the Welsh School of Architecture in 2004 and completed his Part 3 studies in 2006 following two years in practice elsewhere in Bath. After deciding the time was right for a fresh challenge James joined DKA in the autumn of 2006.

James says “Although I have been involved in projects across many sectors, 90% of my projects during my 11 years at DKA have been in the industrial, engineering and automotive sectors. During this time I have inherited and developed a specialist understanding of building and operational requirements in what can be a very challenging, yet interesting and enjoyable sector.”



People may not know…

People may not know that James is a qualified Project Manager as well as an Architect. James genuinely believes that Architects are well placed in the construction industry to fulfil this role as they typically have a holistic overview of the construction process under their role as ‘Lead Consultant’.

James says: “I may have been neither had my 48 match accumulator bet on every match of the 2003 Rugby World Cup not failed on the Australia versus New Zealand semi-final! I had England to win the World Cup by beating New Zealand in the final.”


Ricardo UK



How do you approach your work, James?

I would like to think that one of my strengths is successful project delivery and this stems from and understanding of the client, building, building type and operational requirements. Ensuring design information is as robust as it can be is an essential part of project delivery and this begins from day one of the project.

Successful project delivery is about the collective efforts of the team, including clients, consultants and contractors and establishing proactive working relationships from the outset is crucial. It is important that we, as Lead Consultants, lead by example and my ability to manage and coordinate design, client and delivery teams is a strength.

It is important to remember that you should never expect others to go the extra mile to make a project a success if you are not prepared to do so yourself and that approach underpins my working life.


Centenary Heritage and Innovation Centre


What would be your dream project?

I have always been a sports fan, especially rugby and motorsports. So outside of reality my dream project would probably be demolish and rebuild Twickenham stadium. No jokes from my Welsh, Scottish and Irish colleagues please!

Failing that designing a new Formula 1 circuit and associated infra structure would be a good alternative!


As a director how will you lead DKA forward?

I genuinely believe that DKA is a great practice with a great reputation amongst clients, consultants and contractors alike. It is very important that we do not forget what has made us successful and that we build and enhance on this success.

We are sometimes not the best at shouting about our achievements and it always amazes me how often we speak to clients and contractors and hear comments such as, ‘I didn’t know you had experience in that sector’ or ‘I think your interior design and project management services could have added real value to that project’.  It is also important to remember that our people and the information that we issue are our strength and we must not lose sight of that, regardless of what market conditions may be.

I would like to think that I am a people person and part of my role moving forward will be in Business Development. From my perspective making sure everyone out there knows who are, what we do and what our point of difference is will be essential to ensuring the practice continues to thrive and grow in the exciting years we have ahead.

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