We would like to introduce Karen Price, head of our design management team. Karen joined Knight Harwood three years ago, initially making her mark on our luxury residential project, Athlone House in Hampstead Heath. Karen manages the design management function across all of Knight Harwood’s projects, where no two projects and no two days are ever the same. She thrives on bringing consistency to how the company plans, monitors and resolves the technical design challenges we encounter on each of our projects.
Karen’s role as head of our design management team involves a broad range of responsibility; from early collaboration with consultants to unlock design challenges and 3D models, all the way through to coordinating subcontractor design and studying construction details onsite with our specialist supply chain She particularly enjoys seeing intricately-planned designs built on site. An aspect of Karen’s role also focuses on reviewing tenders for prospective work, actively unlocking key design challenges and finding buildable, and cost effective solutions to present to the client.
Being part of the team involved in the successful completion of returning Athlone House, a stunning historic villa overlooking Hampstead Heath, to its former glory as a family home, has been a huge career highlight for Karen. The restoration of many of the historic features whilst sensitively integrating new, modern architecture with the existing house and gardens was a credit to the whole team. Karen enjoyed seeing the restoration of these features, especially the original weathervane at the top of the tower with its decorative beaver complete with a bullet hole where a previous owner of the house had hit it!
After starting her career as an architect, Karen moved into design management to fulfil her desire to work with the people building the projects she dreamt about. Working with clients, architects, engineers and specialists in the trades is part of the role that Karen enjoys. In particular, being able to ensure fluid communication between the architects and specialist subcontractors, making sure that each understands the other’s requirements and the finished project looks and performs right.
Outside of work, Karen enjoys time with her family, including her husband, two young children and cat. Like many of us during lockdown, Zoom calls have proved challenging at times, especially when presenting design proposals to bid for high-profile projects with children and pets on the other side of the door! She enjoys a challenge, sometimes racing on her mountain bike for 24 hours nonstop. A stressful workday seems easy in comparison!