3 min read
13 Dec 2023

SGP bids “adieu” to Lee Wong

By Marcus Madden-Smith
Lee Wong Collage

After 33 years with Stephen George + Partners (SGP), Lee Wong will be retiring from the practice on 29th December.

“I’ve loved working at SGP – that’s why I’ve been here so long! I love the people and the projects and the feeling of teamwork and friendship that I’ve experienced throughout my time here.”

Lee joined SGP on 2nd July 1990 as a Chartered Architectural Technologist at the old Leicester office on London Road, working his way up through the ranks to become Studio Director for the Leicester office – on 1st July 2010.

“When I started at SGP, we had 12 or 15 staff and were doing a lot of social housing refurbishment for Leicester Housing Association and had a strong workload of industrial units and offices mainly for Wilson Bowden Properties. Since then, I developed a specialisation in industrial and warehousing schemes with a fair scattering of retail parks and offices, including the competition-winning Unipath Headquarters in Bedford. I was head of delivery of the SGP logistics sector group, being responsible for increasing efficiencies, streamlining processes and ensuring consistency in the output and delivery. I still love that unique buzz when we deliver a great project, although in the past two years I have moved more into mentoring, project and team management and enjoy supporting colleagues from all of our offices, using my years of experience to help solve technical problems.”

Lee’s career began at a time when drawing boards were a key feature of the office and building regulations could all be contained in a single slender volume. The impact of technology changed the process of architectural design and delivery beyond all expectation, from the first fax machines which could send drawings in a matter of seconds to the collaborative BIM programmes that allow stakeholders to make real-time adjustments.

Continues Lee: “Regulations have made the buildings safer and more focused on the users – rightly so, but as an architect, the client is still – as they always have been – the main focus for us. Delivering a project that makes the client happy is our main goal.  We have a great staff at SGP with enthusiasm and skills that I’m sure will take SGP onwards for another thirty-odd years. I’ll miss my friends and colleagues but I’ll be able to spend more time on my existing hobbies – like playing bass guitar and double bass in musical theatre productions across the Midlands – and starting new ones like repairing mechanical watches. I have all the equipment; I just hope I have the patience!”

Lee Wong Collage

Says Marcus Madden-Smith, Partner at SGP: “Lee has sustained a huge commitment to SGP after 33 years and has been instrumental in our growth in the Industrial sector through the 1990’s to the present day, demonstrating and growing our delivery capability and helping to establish our reputation. The Partners wish Lee all the best for a relaxing and fulfilled retirement and a huge thank you for his contribution to the business.”

Lee’s time at SGP will be celebrated with a final encore of the famous – or infamous – SGP Market Harborough pub crawl in January 2024.

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