It’s our anniversary! Edmiston Jones GBB clicks over 12 months since the two firms merged. We are well past the honeymoon period and have settled into a comfortable relationship with the identity of a combined unit stronger than the history of the individual parts.
There has been the addition of new team members and individuals have moved between offices, some permanently, further blurring any residual boundaries. We have got to know each other a little better through our internal newsletter which has been a valuable platform to share insights, holiday stories and hobbies. The 12 months has seen 22 excuses for cake with the celebration birthdays.
For me, a pivotal event in the year was our annual retreat last September, only a few months into the ‘marriage’ and coinciding with moving into our new Wollongong office. In the relaxed atmosphere of the Blue Mountains we reaffirmed our vision for the firm and shared how we put our values into action. We examined the three pillars of our culture, considered, connected and collaborative, and how these principles guide our actions day to day.
This September, our retreat will take us to Uluru. The location has been considered carefully as it creates a unique opportunity to focus on two areas that are important in the evolution of the firm. Firstly, culture. We have seen the importance of a transparent culture as the two firms came together combining decades of history. We want to better understand our culture in the context of the nation and, in particular, it’s indigenous history.
Secondly, we want to use this time to heighten our sensitivity and understanding of ‘place’. ‘Respect of site’, the subject of a previous blog, underpins our design philosophy. Our clients have stewardship of a property for a short period in the history of the land and, as architects, we have a responsibility to consider the past as well as what may be in the future.
Our merger did come with one liability – a clumsy combined name to carry the imprint of each firm’s history. Confident in our team, and that our credibility with clients is more than a moniker, you will see a transition over the next month as we simplify our name to Edmiston Jones.