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London, UK
Lead architect/designer
at Zaha Hadid Architects

Zaha Hadid Architects is hiring a lead architect/designer to join its team in London.


In this role, you will be closely working with the associates and the wider senior team to create excellent-quality design in line with the ethos and integrity of the ZHA brand. This role is a key position responsible for contributing to the business’ strategic goals. You will be able to steer projects through all work stages whilst leading by example, inspiring your team to reach their targets and creative potential.

Main responsibilities:

  • lead on architectural design; project and design management from financial to contract management; client and quality supervision
  • constructively question and develop a brief for a project, responding effectively, using your own initiative to analyse options and prioritise alternatives
  • create plausible concept or detailed solutions that are delightful and deliverable and managing this with the wider design team, in-house and externally, while responding to the constraints of site, programme, budget and brief
  • prepare contractual documents without supervision, leading, supervising and managing others as they create key stage drawings, specifications and construction information such that a building can be costed and built
  • provide authority, direction and resilience on a number of projects, anticipating resourcing requirements and/or changing contractual circumstances on given projects and bringing these to the attention of the relevant associate
  • influence, nurture and motivate colleagues in-house and externally inspiring them to meet set targets in creating and presenting their best work
  • understand and apply all appropriate legislation to a project: health and safety, building regulations, professional code of conduct, etc
  • maintain and protect the integrity of a design concept as a project develops, through their own work and that of others in the project team
  • devise and manage post occupancy evaluations on projects
  • initiate, maintain and develop relationships with day-to-day clients, other consultants, contractors and suppliers on a number of projects
  • ensure that both client budgets and ZHA’s fee limitations are met on their projects
  • understand ZHA’s responsibilities and the wider legal implications on given projects and mitigate risk by adjusting working methods to accommodate constraints
  • understand ZHA’s financial responsibilities and targets on given projects – budgets and fees, and work accordingly supporting the business targets that have been set for the cluster and assist the cluster rep and associates to deliver accordingly
  • understand and respond effectively to the construction processes and logistics used on projects
  • take a lead in creating submissions for new work, demonstrating commercial skills including an understanding of project profitability and understanding what is required for good financial management on projects and act accordingly, leading other members of the team as required
  • recognise the importance of marketing and PR at a strategic level across the practice by identifying project-based marketing opportunities, new business prospects and generating repeat business within the existing client base by delivering successful projects
  • respect and work within the practice management and administration frameworks, leading by example; however, not being afraid to constructively challenge working methods, to help quality of service, quality of design and efficiency
  • demonstrate a basic understanding of employment legislation by taking responsibility and interest for staff welfare and personnel development on given projects and career aspirations
  • from leading staff appraisals to dealing with conflict management within project teams, discussing difficult decisions with colleagues and superiors and knowing when to seek advice
  • deliver complex presentations at a project level, structuring and delivering formal presentations to clients and the project teams
  • take responsibility/overview of projects teams, written work and drawings ensuring they are clear, accurate and professional in accordance with ZHA’s QA protocols

Your profile:

  • qualified Part 3 architect or equivalent international qualification
  • minimum of five to seven years of relevant experience, including delivery of significant projects
  • confident in software skills such as 3D, 2D and CAD
  • effective communicator when describing complex ideas for drawings or models
  • collaborative and influential team leader and team player
  • highly-organised, effectively managing your time and that of others
  • confident in exercising judgement, making and implementing reasoned decisions
  • professional always and leading by example
  • enquiring and adaptable
  • self-motivated and self-critical
  • willing to develop, learn and go the extra mile

About us

We work at all scales and in all sectors. We create transformative cultural, corporate, residential and other spaces that work in synchronicity with their surroundings.

Zaha Hadid, founding partner of Zaha Hadid Architects, was awarded the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 2004 and is internationally known for her built, theoretical and academic work. Each of her dynamic and innovative projects builds on over thirty years of revolutionary experimentation and research in the interrelated fields of urbanism, architecture and design.

Working with senior office partner Patrik Schumacher, Hadid’s interest is in the rigorous interface between architecture, landscape and geology as the practice integrates natural topography and human-made systems that lead to experimentation with cutting-edge technologies. Such a process often results in unexpected and dynamic architectural forms.

Apply via this link.

Salary: Undisclosed

This position is only available to applicants based in the United Kingdom