Bevan carries the reluctant half smile of a well-trained carpenter. His formative years were on the receiving end of the aesthetic desires of architects, who were more concerned with ‘what it looks like’ rather than ‘how to do it’. His dad was a carpenter, and he’s grown up with the whole spectrum of characters on a building site.
“I was going to be a police officer, but someone suggested I should learn about people first. Going into construction helped me do that”. After a decade on-site, he became a student at 28, studying building science at the University of Victoria Architectural School. Supported by RCP, he shifted from singlets and stubbies to collared shirts. “Going from smokos on-site into boardrooms was a culture shock,” he quips.
Initially, Bevan thought he would be “chucked into the delivery of jobs.” Instead, he became engaged in ‘the dark side’ of design and tendering. “The industry has moved from the traditional chippy model to involving good builders at the table where practical solutions are discussed from the outset.”
“I have a personal interest in the environmental approach to building. We are one of the guiltiest industries in terms of impact. Environmental approaches can be sexy, and we are pushing a lot of new boundaries in the work we do. In my team in Wellington, we encourage an incubator environment. There are so many factors involved at the ideation stage.”