5 Minutes with Paul
Paul talks about his experience from the UK to Vietnam.
How long have you been at Atlas?
I joined Atlas in 2016 as an Architecture Manager, looking after a number of key Architect and Interior Design client accounts in the UK, Australia and New Zealand markets. My current role is Architecture Group Manager, managing a team of up to 50 very talented local Architects and Technicians, and overseeing delivery of large projects in multiple sectors and regions, including the Middle East.
What were you doing before you discovered Atlas?
I’m a UK Chartered Architect with 18 years post qualification experience. I spent many of those professional years as a Project Leader and later Associate for a London based Architecture Design Practice, working on mostly large scale residential projects from concept design, through detailed planning and technical design, to working drawings on site. Before that, I completed my Architecture Degree and Diploma in Edinburgh and Berlin.
What brings you to Atlas? / How do you know about Atlas?
During my previous London life, we used Atlas services for a number of years on a large urban regeneration project in the UK. As an Atlas client, we developed a strong working relationship with the Vietnam based Atlas documentation team and benefited from their high quality and cost effective support. I recall having Atlas VN staff working in our London office for a couple of months, which really helped cement the Atlas ‘one team’ approach between the project delivery teams in London and Saigon.
What makes you happy about working at Atlas?
The Vietnamese staff here are simply great. They are talented, bright, eager to improve, and focused on learning from each project. Those who get the opportunity to work with our clients abroad or study overseas are bringing back a different mindset for problem solving and are actively involved in helping their fellow colleagues who haven’t had similar opportunities. The predominantly young staff are interested in working with our international clients and learning best practices, new techniques, and fresh skills, and are generally quite honest about the challenges ahead.
What’s the focus of your role?
As Group Manager, my main role is to manage the staff under my supervision to complete projects on time, on budget and to the satisfaction of the client’s scope and brief.
GMs have a pivotal role in communications with clients, supporting BDMs to win work & proposal generation, reporting on commercial & operational matters to senior management, and providing guidance and support to the project delivery teams.
Can you describe a typical day?
I’m often reviewing progress or trouble-shooting on current projects with my teams, attending client calls and operations meetings, or meeting new potential business partners. I can also spend a day working on proposals for new work, negotiating variations, or doing a forecast on pipeline for the coming weeks. It’s all about prioritization and planning. You make your own schedule, so time management is really important.
Which technology excites you the most?
Working for a global company such as Atlas, you see the world changing faster than ever. The emergence of 3D scanning and printing, augmented reality, Building Information Modelling (BIM), drones, autonomous equipment and advanced building materials – all of which are now adopted by our industry. Companies can boost productivity by exploiting such technology, enhance quality and safety, and streamline their management and procedures. That’s pretty exciting.
What is the most interesting project that you have been working on so far?
An emblematic Towers project, designed by a well-known Starchitect.
One last question, how do you spend your spare time?
I love exploring the city- each district has its own vibe and charm. The vibrant café culture in Vietnam is strong- and so is the coffee! The effort put into design of these popular Instagrammable spots is staggering, and very creative. In between café hopping around Saigon, I’m discovering the incredible cuisine and diversity of the local street food. Or if I want to get out of the city, the beach is never far away…