Main content

Secure Property Design and Construction colleague

“The Interior Designers sit within the Architecture team, but we work with quite a broad range of teams: engineers, surveyors, all the design and build professionals. We actually work with Seismic Engineers very regularly, which might be something a bit unusual for people outside our business.

We’re always working on a range of projects too – embassies, offices, ambassador’s residences. At the moment I’m concentrated mainly on residences, and on that, we have a programme with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office called the Designated Residence Programme.

It looks after about forty residences of historical architectural importance; buildings that are well-known and celebrated in their host nation, often in places of strategic importance for the UK. We maintain them and upgrade them on a rolling basis, caring for about five or six per year. 

We actually work with Seismic Engineers very regularly, which might be something a bit unusual for people outside our business.

One of the best parts of the job for me is that we’re maintaining buildings that represent the UK on the international stage. It’s a platform to promote Britain’s work, and to promote our nation’s skills too. We only source British furnishings and fabrics, and we look to source from young British designers where we can, so it means we’re encouraging talent and industry at home. And of course, we’ll always find the best value for money for the taxpayer. 

Outside the bigger projects, we have lots of smaller day-to-day tasks too. We’ll take on small works projects in embassy offices, for instance, where we’ll do the space planning for new desks to be installed, so that the embassy can take on extra staff or reshuffle its teams inside the building. They’re small tasks, but they mean that government work can continue.

We’re encouraging talent and industry at home. And of course, we’ll always find the best value for money for the taxpayer.

I think, as an Interior Designer, it’s great to be able to see the impact of what we do. With the embassies and the high commissions we work on, the government employees who work in those spaces are spending the majority of their time living and working there. So whilst we’re doing exceptional work that represents Britain overseas, we’re also making spaces that are ergonomic, comfortable, healthy to live in – and we’re improving lives that way. 

I think the level of travel is rare too for someone in my position. You don't think that as an Interior Designer, you’ll get to travel the way I do – and often it’s to places I never imagined I’d go. It’s such an unusual role, with such interesting challenges within it.”