5 Minutes with Nam Phuong
Every month we’re portraying a different Atlas employee, so you can learn more about the person behind the role. In this issue, we focus on Phuong Pham, an architecture manager based in our Ho Chi Minh City production office. She shares with us what enticed her to join Atlas, why Atlas has a big impact on her career, and her thoughts on architecture in many aspects.
How long have you been at Atlas?
Roughly 10 years from 2004, with a break of 6 years in between when I came to London for my master degree and a couple years of working with UK practices.
What were you doing before you discovered Atlas?
Designing private houses in my hometown, with a small group of young architects
What brings you to Atlas? / How do you know about Atlas?
Atlas had a reputation for being a good place for young graduates so one of my friend convinced me to give it a try even though I was not confident about my English at the time.
What makes you happy about working at Atlas?
Having the opportunities to approach cutting-edge projects – from schools to airports, from department stores to high-end hotels, etc. at various design stages – concept through to construction. Technical knowledge & software skills gained from working on these projects are invaluable. What also equally amazing is that you achieve all those with a team, not on your own!
What’s the focus of your role?
As an architecture deliver manager, I consider myself a bridge between the design team (clients) and documentation team (Atlas) – That is interpreting the clients’ requirements into a clear map of tasks and making sure the final documentation package is well received.
I highly value the QA/QC process, especially how to prevent mistakes before they occur. In order to do that, a clear communication channel needs to be maintained at all time.
I know I do it right when we have happy client and happy team
Can you describe a typical day?
Checking clients’ e-mails then talking to my (various) project teams and making sure our thoughts are aligned on what we need to do during the day. At this point, I will answer as many questions I can, then other queries will be put on RFI forms and sent to the clients for further clarification. Once the teams finish their work, I will do a final check before we confirm completion to the clients.
Which technology excites you the most?
I am not a tech person but I found that BIM has a great impact on our workflow. It is the power of managing all information in one place to allow different teams to work and update instantly. This tech requires a certain level of knowledge that we use within Atlas, however it is not widely used yet in the consulting industry.
What is the most interesting project that you have been working on so far?
A mix-used scheme in the Middle East – The site comprises a residential tower, a hotel and its facilities, luxury villas, a cinema complex, restaurants and retails promenade. It takes us nearly 4 years from schematic design to tender stage with numerous design changes, technical coordination, etc.
What advice would you pass to someone entering the industry?
Focus your mind into what you do, do your best and never stop learning.
One last question, how do you spend your spare time?
Err….What is spare time?