Architect Insights from Leanne and Wayne from BVA Architects

Architect insights from Architects Leanne Alexander & Wayne Allen of BVA Architects (Pty) Ltd by Janine Course, Pelican Systems

Wayne and Leanne of BVA Architects

What do you enjoy doing outside of Work?

Leanne – Spending time with my family is my number one.  I also practice Karate and play Netball and I enjoy a good movie.

Wayne – Travel, running and being with family and friends.

What do you consider the perfect holiday?

 Leanne – The outdoors, with time to sit back, relax and appreciate what is around us.

Wayne – Lying on a sunny beach with no phone signal – Mauritius comes to mind.

Were you born into Architecture, what is your Fathers & Mother occupation?

 Leanne – No, my Father was a factory manager and my mother was a stay at home mom until my sister and I finished school.

Wayne – No, however my late father taught me to enjoy building with wood.

Are you married, and do you have children?

 Leanne – Yes, married 24 years this year and I have two amazing young daughters.

Wayne – Yes, married for 32 years to a Durban lady I met on a Contiki tour of Europe. We have two adult daughters.

How long has BVA been around for and when did you take over BVA and how did it come about? 

 Leanne – I joined the practice in 1998, 20 years ago, it had already been in business for a few years.   In 2008 which was 10 years ago. The founder Basil Vogas, left South Africa and that’s when Wayne and I stepped in and took over the practice, re-branding it as BVA Architecture (Pty) Ltd.

Wayne – The practice was started by Basil Vogas around 1997. In 2008, he immigrated to Australia and Leanne and I became the new owners. 10 years already!

What differentiates BVA to the other architecture firms in the industry?

 Leanne – Wayne and I are personally involved in every project undertaken in our office which specializes in Healthcare Facilities and we have an awesome loyal team that works alongside us.

Wayne – We have been very fortunate to gain extensive experience in Private Healthcare design.  Our specialised knowledge in this design field has been recognised by the Industry and I am most grateful for that.

Christiaan Barnard Private Hospital

What inspired you to become an architect? 

Leanne – Interest and an idea of what architecture was. Not necessarily what it finished up being though but I really do enjoy what I do!

Wayne – Looking at the beauty of buildings and wanting to design and create them myself.

Which architect has most influenced your work or your work habits?

 Wayne – The late Uwe Potter. He encouraged me to be a confident professional. He was a great practical and patient teacher.

 What advice would you give aspiring architects that you wish you had been told earlier? 

 Leanne – Find out what about architecture you actually enjoy as it will determine what path you should follow, what you should focus on, and how you should work.

Wayne – Your opinion matters, so do not be afraid to share it – in a nice way.

What project up to date has been your favourite project to design and why?

 Leanne – Wow that’s a tough question, I had to change my mind a few times on this one. I think it would have to be Blaauwberg Hospital in the Western Cape as it was the first Green Field Hospital project that I worked on.

Wayne – The new Eden Gardens Private Hospital. Good Client. Good Team. Good Builder. Good Contract. Good Outcome.

Eden Gardens Private Hospital BVA Architects

Trends in Architecture you have noticed or that have changed architecture for you?

Leanne – Lots of products available. More choices.

Wayne – The increase in Statutory Compliance requirements.

Design challenges that come up often?

 Leanne – Discontinued products, equipment changes over time and during the course of a project and designing around medical equipment has its own real challenges.

Wayne – Waterproofing details are always interesting.

How are you incorporating sustainability into your architectural designs or Top 3 Green or Sustainability strategies for design?

Wayne – Efficient work flow, sun control and re-cycled materials where possible.

Tips for clients/Important considerations at the start of a design project?

 Leanne – Be as detailed with the brief as possible and realistic with expectations.

Wayne – Get professional help to choose the right site. Spend quality time on ‘The Brief ’.

KwaDukuza Hospital

BVA Architects

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