Justin Davis-Bishop: Stories of 2017

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This is the eighth reflection of our Conversations: Stories of 2017 series. Justin Davis-Bishop is an Associate based in our Adelaide office. Justin is the first person to be made associate in this studio, a fantastic achievement which is well deserved. 


Years ago I dabbled with the idea of joining Cox Architecture. It was back in the early days of the Adelaide Oval Redevelopment, when I was a rookie Dad attempting a work-from-home arrangement, and the Adelaide Studio was a shared satellite office, not the grown up stand-alone studio it is now.

Nearing 3 years ago I decided to take the plunge and join Cox in Adelaide. I joined as a Senior Project Architect to run a couple of projects, and to assist with the mentoring of a young team, passing on as much archi-knowledge as could from what I had learned over the last decade or so. I never thought the mentoring side of the role would have been so fulfilling; maybe I’ve just been lucky to have such a decent group who are keen to learn.

Architecture knowledge seems to stay in your head, and this is usually good stuff to pass on to others. Some things work really well and you’re proud of the results achieved, or they go pear-shaped and you vow never to let something so terrible happen again.

Live and learn and then pass it on to others. It’s great feeling knowing the work that is coming out of our office today, produced by a relatively young team, and that you’ve been able to help guide it in some way or another.

I’ve been very privileged to work on some incredible projects over the last few years. I was fortunate enough to lead the first significant building in the Adelaide Park Lands, Narnungga Park 25 Sports Hub, from concept through to construction. The Sports Hub is comprised of a 3-level pavilion with beautiful views over immaculate playing fields, that will reach practical completion in early 2018.

I also went on to lead Project Architect role for our first vertical school, the Adelaide Botanic High School. Currently under construction, this $100M STEM-based public education project will support 1250 students when it opens in 2019.

All hard work pays off in some way or another and this year has been a big one personally. I was recently endorsed as the first Associate of the Cox Architecture Adelaide Studio. I am honoured that my efforts and commitment to our talented Adelaide group has been recognised within such a well-regarded Australian practice, and for this I am truly grateful.

I’m certainly glad I took that leap a few years ago, I haven’t looked back since.