The architect's inventory

Jimmy Kim

Lead Architect at Bruce Henderson International in London


1. What was your first project?

The arches for Wembley Stadium at Norman Fosters, Aged 16, I was responsible for repairs to the presentation model they had in the site office overlooking the old Wembley Stadium, from that point onwards I was hooked.

2. What is your favourite type of work?

Any really, but in particular one where the client is very aware of the challenges both in terms of design, time and the costs.

3. What was your childhood earliest ambition?

To be able to make a living making things.

4. Technical or Art School?

Art, although when I was studying at school, we were discouraged from being Artists.

5. Ambition or Talent?

Both, I never thought I was talented but super ambitious.

6. Who was or still is your mentor?

Everyone who has taught me, not only Architecture but every other subject that is taught.

7. What is the building you want to build one day?

Super-tall mixed-use high-rise, a city in the sky

8. Your biggest achievement so far?

Working in Korea for a number of years, that in itself was a challenge, given that although my background is South Korean. I had no real knowledge of the culture, and the business environment.

9. Where are you happiest?

Unfortunately when I am in the office, but I do enjoy driving out of the city at weekends and going into nature.

10. Which is your favourite place?

London, Tokyo, Melbourne, Seoul, Everywhere in Italy!

11. The greatest challenge for architects today?

The role of being a designer, someone who is paid to advise on what aesthetics and details should be applied to construction, whether it is a building or a product. Given that many large projects are now driven with people who have no real background of what society needs and wants as a built-form, nor the societal, environmental issues we face now, that’s the challenge.

12. Coffee or tea?

I used to live in India as a child and remember asking our maid for one tea and one coffee, so out came a kettle with a scoop of tea and a scoop of coffee mixed inside of it tasted interesting. Strong black coffee, please.

13. Your satisfaction from 1 (lowest) to 10 (maximum)

As an Architect—10 but, we can push this scale to 20 right?