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Woman Architect of the Year shortlist: Joanna Bacon

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Allies and Morrison partner Joanna Bacon has been shortlisted for the 2015 Woman Architect of the Year Award

Joanna Bacon joined Allies and Morrison in 1988 when it had just four staff. Now the burgeoning AJ100 practice employs more than 90 architects. She became a partner at the firm in 2001 and manages the day-to-day operations of the practice, besides chairing its partnership meetings. Alongside managing the practice’s transition to BIM, she has also headed up its internal Women in Architecture campaign, leading an in-house group reviewing how women are supported within the practice. Bacon was responsible for Allies and Morrison’s largest building project to date – a 41-storey commercial tower at 100 Bishopsgate. Described by fellow partner Graham Morrison as ‘pivotal to the next phase of our development’, she is also establishing offices in Abu Dhabi and Doha.

Q&A

Joanna Bacon

Studied University of Cambridge
First practice
James Stirling Michael Wilford and Associates
First project
Extension to Hollybank, Chorleywood
Current projects
100 Bishopsgate, BBC White City Media Village, and a feasibility study for a project in Newcastle upon Tyne
Current clients
Brookfield; Stanhope; Milligan
Favourite architects
Carlo Scarpa, Richard Rogers
Favourite building
Castelvecchio Museum, Verona
Why architecture
Inspired by family members in architecture and landscape architecture despite my father’s construction industry view, at the time, that ‘women make rotten architects’!
Biggest challenge facing women in architecture
Confidence to think about turning skills into careers.
Advice to aspiring female architects
Listen to the needs of your clients and your team. Be ambitious and tenacious. Look for great support at home and inspire a good team at work, while recognising every day how lucky we are to be involved with such a fascinating and effective profession.

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