CMYA Finalist

Employer: Bouygues

Project: Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford

Jamie O’Shea’s dedication and collaborative approach resolved the multitude of complicated interfaces required between the different disciplines to construct two highly bespoke academic buildings.

Constructing buildings that require old-fashioned values and time in the context of modern supply chain and expectations demands a high level of collaboration and dedication between all disciplines on site merely to resolve all the complicated interfaces. The 1,000+ early warnings issued by Jamie O’Shea during this project to build a residential/teaching facility and a graduate centre make it clear that this was far from the case here.

Without clear and detailed information from the architect, the task of completing the buildings began to seem impossible. The highly bespoke nature of the project and lack of interface detail provided thwarted efficient progress.

Fortunately, Jamie had quickly established himself with the client’s team as a credible construction professional during preconstruction. The 3D sketches he hand-drew declared his understanding of the project requirements, underpinned by his visits to similar schemes and the brick and stone suppliers to see what lessons he could incorporate.

Communicating constantly with the supply chain and client representatives to develop solutions to the issues on site, he persevered and kept the works progressing. The big break came when the client replaced the concept architect with a detail-based firm after Jamie pointed out the impossibility of constructing the upper floors while maintaining the required fire integrity of the structures in the configuration shown by the architect.

Faltering progress was soon replaced by gathering momentum. Jamie resolved the technical and design issues associated with the many contractor design packages – temporary works for the basement, concrete slabs and lift shafts, brick arches, timber windows and doors, vaulted ceilings, decorative cornices, natural stone stairs and ground source heating with speed and confidence. Jamie’s qualities of technical understanding, conflict resolution and scheduling plus his persistence, determination and love of the job delivered an exceptionally complex scheme against the odds.