Subjit Jassy, partner at Resolution Properties, on not believing your own press and encouraging architects to think freely
What kind of schemes are you currently working on?
Ocean Terminal Shopping Centre, Edinburgh; Great Northern Warehouse, Manchester [masterplanned by Will Alsop]; Ampersand Building and 15 Hollen Street, Soho with Darling Associates.
How have the last few years been for you and how do you foresee the coming years [are you targeting other cities outside of London? Economic pressures have brought challenges in recent years although London is a completely different story, with its own very robust metropolitan economy. However, we’re now seeing meaningful signs of recovery in the regions and we have been looking further into the UK’s regional markets for suitable opportunities.
What do you want from an architect? A mixture of skills. Being able to understand the local town planning landscape is fundamental, as any project has to have some local context. Understanding how to deliver buildings within a timescale and budget is also essential. After that, it is great to see design flair and innovative solutions to complicated issues. We encourage our architects to think freely, instead of processing what they might have become accustomed to. Unlocking value from property assets that may have eluded others is central to Resolution’s approach, and a good architect can play a big part in this process.
How do you find your architects? We often work with talented smaller or younger practices, rather than sticking with the mainstream commercial firms. We canvass opinions from local consultants and perhaps even local stakeholders as to who they would like to work with. And of course we have our own views about who might best deliver imaginative and transformative projects.
What do you think about devolution to city regions? Some form of devolution would help regenerate those cities. I like the idea of improved infrastructure, such as the principle of linking northern cities like Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds and Hull. If properly executed, such a scheme would almost certainly create more opportunities for those locations.
What do you think about the current government’s attempts to drive development? Mixed views. Sometimes governments in general spend too much time tinkering with policies, but perhaps more devolution would help that, allowing regions more opportunity to determine what is best for them.
What would you most like the government to do for you? Have a broader ambition to make meaningful change, as opposed to focusing on peripheral measures to appeal to voters. I guess I’m am too idealistic.
What do you want to be known for? In business, treating everyone fairly and making a small difference.
Which regeneration scheme most inspires you and why? King’s Cross Central is impressive and has gone beyond people’s expectations. There are some good design elements and they put a lot of thought into public space too.
Who has given you the best advice and what was it? I was once told by my first boss Roger Palmano to never believe your own press, as that was the moment things would start to go downhill.