Blog: G4C Future Leader SECBE Awards 2020 finalist - Juliet Burch (Jessop and Cook Architects)

09 June 2020

sponsored by Innovative Future Leaders Programme (IFLP)

G4C Future Leader SECBE Awards 2020 finalist - Juliet Burch (Jessop and Cook Architects)

Juliet has been part of the recent changes at the practice, increasing staff engagement in daily office activities, improving staff well-being and assisting in the next steps of the practice towards employer ownership. She has encouraged local authorities to use Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) in a wide portfolio of projects, promoted new consumption cultures that reduce waste and use of natural resources, and guides future generations of architects towards sustainable design practices.

Juliet is now part of the Directors team at Jessop and Cook Architects. She started as a Part II Architectural Assistant, completed her Part III qualification and worked as a Project Architect until appointed as a Director. Juliet is now championing change in the practice - introducing monthly office meetings, updating the existing website and encouraging staff to be more engaged in the practice’s activities.

Through involvement with Oxford City Council, Juliet has pushed forward the adoption and use of MMC for one of the practice’s projects - the Bullingdon Community Centre. Juliet has been leading the design team and client on this project, which is one of the first main projects designed for Offsite construction to be undertaken by the Council. She has rigorously scrutinised the offsite contractors in their bids for the design, ensuring the proposed methods and materials will be suitable for the project. The Council is now actively seeking the use of MMC for other projects.

She is working on numerous projects, including housing schemes, where there is an urgent need to become experts in offsite construction, the use of different materials, and modern techniques to address the climate emergency and skills crisis in the building industry.

The wider world

Aside from the work at Jessop and Cook, Juliet has invested time in the development of a website and company which explores how the concept of a sharing culture could be transformed into a real-world solution to tackle overconsumption of modern society via a peer to peer rental system. This experience led to Juliet becoming involved in the early set up of the SHARE Oxford, A Library of Things, which allows for the rental of a variety of items.

As part of her work as a tutor at Oxford Brookes University, Juliet encourages students to explore responses to the ongoing challenges faced by the wider society and how the built environment has a major effect on the lives of everyone involved. The design studio she currently tutors is focused on the challenges of climate change on the built environment and the studio introduces different types of crises to the students' projects (e.g. floods, refugees, a decrease in energy use) and the students must propose solutions for each of them.

She was also closely involved with the setting up of a co-housing scheme for Oxford. The scheme was focused on making accessible affordable housing within the context of shared living. This would reduce the area requirements and maintenance costs when compared to traditional housing schemes.


  • Providing future generations of architects with the skillset to design for our current climate crisis.
  • Engagement with the Local Authority to increase the use of Modern Methods of Construction.
  • Promoting interest and engagement of staff and improving the wellbeing of Jessop and Cook’s staff

About the G4C Future Leader Award: 

G4C is a driving force for industry change, through the development and connection of future industry leaders. The award is open to a person with less than ten years of experience in the construction and built environment sector (typically less than 35 years of age). Judges are looking for the person that best demonstrates a positive impact on their peers, their organisation and the wider industry, against current G4C priority areas of people development, sustainability and innovation.

> Find out more about the other finalists here

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