DB3 Team

Q&A with Nassia our new Birmingham Associate

We are absolutely delighted to have Nassia join DB3 as an Associate. She is based at our Studio in Birmingham and oversees our architects, technicians as well as all the projects there. As part of her induction, she visited our Headquarters in Leeds, which was a perfect chance for us to sit down and get to know her better via a quick round of Q&As. We followed this up a few months later to see how she has been getting on. Here is what we found out about her so far:


What first inspired you to become an Architect?

My mother inspired me without her even realising it! My parents had a little plot somewhere in the suburbs of Athens in Greece and my mother (not in the construction sector herself) used to always scribble down plans and ideas for a potential summer house. As a teenager I would sit with her at the kitchen table and try to draw out ideas. It was at the age of 14 when I asked her whether there are any jobs that involved drawing like this. And she said, yes – the profession is architect and from then onwards I knew what I wanted to become!

Tell us about your first months at DB3.

Tell us about your first months at DB3.

The last two months have been a whirlwind of activities. Our studio interior is taking shape, with project images on the wall and plants enhancing our work space. My team has grown with Reuben and Isobel joining me and we are currently recruiting a Project Architect. We’ve had a wellbeing day and been to a number of networking events already. I’ve also been busy getting all the preparations in place for an inhouse four-sessions Passivhaus training course, which I will be delivering to colleagues first at our Leeds studio, then London and Cardiff later on in the year.

The commonwealth games are in Birmingham this year – what are you looking forward to in particular?

The commonwealth games are in Birmingham this year – what are you looking forward to in particular?

I’ll be especially interested in the Commonwealth Karate Championship as I myself am a sports person and do Karate twice a week. It is not just for self-defence, but to also keep me fit; plus I have a real appreciation for the discipline required in this sport. I also admire the specific mentality of those practicing martial arts and love the team effort required. This may surprise some people who do not think of Karate as being a team sport. But it is the team sprit that keeps you really motivated and this has led me to my 1st kyu grade karate belt so far.

 

What lead you to becoming a Passivhaus Designer?

What lead you to becoming a Passivhaus Designer?

In 2012, whilst working in Greece as an Architect and Building Energy Auditor, I started getting involved more in sustainability and biophilic design when I came across Passivhaus. I have been an advocate ever since which has led me to not only becoming a Certified Passivhaus Designer, but also a Passivhaus Trainer to try and spread the word further!

What is the one thing you can’t live without?

Chocolate!

Which place in Birmingham would you recommend to people?

Which place in Birmingham would you recommend to people?

One of my favourite spots in Birmingham is Blackroot Pool at Sutton Park– it is an amazing park within the city. I really enjoy family walks there – in some spots it feels like you are miles away from civilisation sometimes. In particular I love the greenery and serenity of this space.

What is your favourite film?

French film “Amélie”; it is such a lovely and very touching film.

Why did you choose to join DB3?

Why did you choose to join DB3?

DB3 is a very well-known name, however that was not my main reason for joining. I was looking for the next step up in my career and the Associate role is such a great challenge and opportunity for me. I was also inspired by Nathan’s story, who is the Managing Director of DB3, and hope to learn from him and the DB3 team.

What are your hidden talents?

I really like singing, dancing and baking! I love Latin dancing for fun and used to go to classes in Birmingham before Covid, these have only just resumed, so looking forward to it. I’m also good with languages and speak fluent Greek and English and also know French, Spanish and some German.

What are the highlights of your career so far?

What are the highlights of your career so far?

It probably is my very first project when I moved to the UK in 2016 when I was the Site Architect for the Midland Metropolitan Hospital project in Smethwick, Birmingham. It was a massive project, covering 80,000 square metres and was forecasted at a value of £350 million. It was a unique experience due to the massive scale and numbers involved, which at times was overwhelming but always very exciting. I felt like I had graduated from another school after my 2 years at this project!

You’re happiest when?

You’re happiest when?

When I am on a Greek beach. I’m not one to sunbathe but it is the sea that captures me. Having a sea view, going swimming, watching a sunset or moonrise. Anything to do with water I am very much drawn to.

What is on your wish list for the next few years with DB3?

I would love to do a DB3 Passivhaus residential or educational project! Residential projects in particular have always been close to my heart, because I can really see how my design affects the way people live.

Where is your favourite place in Birmingham?

Where is your favourite place in Birmingham?

I have spent many Friday lunchtimes at St Pauls House bar and restaurant meeting up and networking with architects in the area, so I have happy memories of this place. The atmosphere and music is also great so would recommend it!


What is on your bucket list?

A black belt is definitely on my bucket list for the near future. I would also love to visit Japan, especially given my passion for Karate. The Japanese traditional architecture is of great interest to me as well as Japanese gardens.

My greatest dream is to design and live in my own Passivhaus, one with a nice sea view!

 

Many thanks Nassia it was a real pleasure to meet you. We also had an in-depth conversation about Passivhaus and Nassia’s passion shone right through. We’ll be publishing a separate blog dedicated to this topic soon so watch this space.

Date Published: 19 May 2022

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