Our People 6Simon Dunstan – Director

Simon is a Director of GT3 Architecture. He trained at Newcastle and Oxford Universities before spending 12 years working in London for some of the UK’s most respected practices on large scale commercial developments. The lure of his native North East was too much to resist and in 2004 he returned ‘home’ to bring up his children and embark on the next stage of his career.

Simon believes in a simple approach to architecture and work and is committed to achieving more with less. This means positioning people at the heart of his projects, demystifying the design process and demonstrating the positive impact of the practice’s work. He has worked across a number of sectors and his skills include masterplanning, architecture and workplace consultancy. Outside of work Simon is keen to offset his unhealthy interest in fantastic food and alcohol with lengthy cycle rides, long walks and any sport involving a ball! He is slowly weaning himself off his car ‘habit’ and when not at work loves spending time with his beautiful family.


Gary Thomason – Director

Gary is a Director of GT3 Architects. Born in Manchester, he studied architecture at the University of Sheffield, worked in London and now lives in Nottingham, supporting two teenage children and an underperforming local football team.

Gary has over twenty five years’ experience in practice, gaining a wealth and breadth of knowledge from concept design through to completion of projects on site. Award winning, from the smallest product design (a lectern for the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London) to the largest masterplan (MediaCity:UK Salford, a multi-million pound scheme involving the relocation of BBC Manchester) and everything in between. What characterises Gary’s approach to all projects is a desire to learn; a willingness to listen and engage; an open minded approach to problem solving; lateral thinking; an openness to innovation, regard to the environment and creative flair.

Architecture is a complex business -1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. One key lesson learned – truly successful buildings cannot be delivered without teamwork. Of all of the things I have built, I am proud to be a part of a really talented team at GT3.


Mark Gowdridge – Director

Mark is one of the Uk’s most established architects in the design of sports and leisure buildings. Educated at the University of Hull, Mark brings an operator focused perspective to the design of the studios commercial sport projects, producing some of the countries most innovative mixed-use leisure building projects.

Mark is a founding Director of GT3 Architects and has helped to establish many of the studio’s projects as nationally recognised models for a new form of hybrid sport and leisure building that brings together different user groups under one roof. Currently within the office, he has a business development role, as well as overseeing the development of the programming, site analysis, and concept design of projects, helping to inform the development of the vision and design brief.

Mark has a unique expertise in aquatic and arena design . His experience in recreation design is comparable to few in the industry.



Blanche Simmons – Practice Manager

Blanche joined GT3 Architects in April 2008, taking up the role of Practice Manager. The majority of her career has been spent working in the NHS, most recently as a Practice Manager for a large GP surgery in South West London, before relocating back to Newcastle with her family in the summer of 2007. She has overall responsibility for all aspects of the management of the practice.

Outside of work her interests mainly revolve around spending time with her husband and daughters. She enjoys reading, travelling, eating out and attending regular fitness classes.






Umesh Mistry – Associate Director

Umesh has over 25 years of experience in the architectural profession developing his career through working in private practice operating at both a national and international level. Umesh has a prominent track record in design, development and delivery of construction projects, across a variety of sectors including Sports & Leisure, Retail, Residential, Commercial, Mixed Use & MOD.

Based in Nottingham as an Associate Director, Umesh is responsible for day to day management and leading on the design, project planning, detail & delivery of projects throughout the practice. His focus is on delivering excellence and ensuring clients get an effective, efficient, high quality integrated service.

Outside of work Umesh is an avid traveller and has been fortunate to have travelled extensively both in the UK and internationally. When not travelling Umesh spends as much time with his family as possible enjoying fine wine, food and great company.


Simon Robertson – Senior Architect

After graduating from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne in 2001, Simon spent 9 years working at Ryder Architecture in their London and Newcastle offices, before joining GT3 Architects in November 2010. Simon has extensive experience of designing and delivering major projects in a variety of sectors including commercial, education, urban design, civic and more recently leisure projects. During his time at GT3, Simon worked on the design and delivery of a £30M leisure and civic quarter, and is currently involved in two major leisure projects as part of the regeneration of Slough. Alongside his role as project architect, Simon has key interests in sustainable and passive design methods, and the utilisation of BIM technology as part of the architectural design process. Simon is also Quality Manager with overall responsibility for our Quality Management Systems.

Away from the office, Simon is a keen walker and long distance runner, enjoys cooking and travelling, and continues his unrivalled support for an unnamed League 2 football team!



Suzanne Blair Senior Architect

Suzanne studied both her Part I and Part II at Newcastle University, graduating in 2008, and worked at Ryder Architecture throughout and up until she joined GT3 in 2016. She has a range of experience across the sectors and has led several education projects from small nursery fit-outs to large batched secondary schools. Suzanne has also led projects in the rail and bio-sciences sectors. A developed BIM user, but also an advocate of the hand sketch, Suzanne has strong experience across all stages of a project.

With the rest of her time she gets creative with ceramics, portraiture and photography and gets hands on with property refurbishment. Suzanne is also into general fitness, running and snowboarding and loves to travel. Favourite Website www.twistedsifter.com





Emanuela Lo Faro – Architect

Originally from Italy, she has a varied background after her Master Degree in Architecture in 2005, a Master in Design of Sports Facilities and a PhD in Representation and survey of Architecture.

She has a good experience working on leisure, residential, refurbishment and interiors projects. Passionate and curious, she developed a very good knowledge about 3D modelling and BIM, with strong visualisation & graphic design skills.

Emanuela joined GT3 in 2014, where she is improving her experience in designing indoor and outdoor leisure (including pitches and their refurbishment).

Outside of work she enjoys travelling, cooking, running, painting/urban sketching, producing objects with laser cutter technology, watching movies and TV series.



Rachel Currie – Architect

Originally from Sheffield Rachel studied her Part 1 in Architecture at Newcastle University, she spent the next 3 years studying and working in other regions before returning to the North East. Rachel joined GT3 Architects in 2010 having graduated from Nottingham University with distinction earlier that year. Having qualified as an architect she has experience of large scale civic projects, numerous commercial fit out and interiors projects and has also completed a number of smaller bespoke residential projects. Rachel has involvement in developing new areas of the practice including small projects and Performance Plus.

Outside of work she enjoys surface design and printing, fashion, good food and wine and fell walking.




Michael Simpson – Architect

After graduating from the Universities of Lincoln and Newcastle ‘Meeks’ (Michael) joined GT3 Architects in December 2012. Having recently qualified as an architect Meeks has developed his organisational skills and keen eye for detail on a range of complex workplace and interior projects.

Alongside practice work Meeks has been a design tutor at Newcastle University since 2011 which continues to strengthen and build upon our connections with education and research. His strong visualisation skills have played a role in the development of the practice’s graphic output and he has recently taken over the responsibility of social secretary.

Outside of work Meeks can be found having a self-confessed geek-out with books/Japanese anime, on a badminton court or with a large glass of wine in hand.



Joshua Treverton – Architect

Qualified Architect, Joshua has experience of Level 2 BIM coordination, office design, leisure, commercial and masterplanning. His dual training in Architecture and Structural Engineering training and knowledge of BIM gives him a unique understanding of the engineering possibilities of a scheme combined with an innovative approach to design.

Joshua joined GT3 Architects in 2013 after attained a distinction from Northumbria University for his Part II. Prior to this he also achieved a dual masters degree in Architecture and Structural Engineering from the University of Sheffield.

Outside of work he enjoys Rugby, Film, Technology and Graphic Design. Joshua regularly volunteers for national charity, ‘mynewhair’ he has played an integral role in developing the web-based presence for the charity, and overhauling promotional and fundraising materials. Website: http://www.mynewhair.org/Home.aspx



Judith Forster – Architect

Judith graduated from Northumbria University with a master in architecture in 2013, and moved to London to gain experience in the healthcare sector, where she worked on various large scale hospital projects.

Judith joined GT3 Architects at the beginning of 2015 and qualified as an architect soon after. Since working at GT3 Architects, Judith has had experience working on masterplanning, commercial, residential and leisure projects. Judith is interested in BIM and has a key role in BIM training and the development of the BIM protocols and strategy within GT3.





Steven Mirtle – Senior Technologist

Steve graduated from Northumbria University as an Architectural Technologist over ten years ago. Since graduating he has gained experience in a number of retail, commercial & residential projects. However for the past 7 years he has been working extensively on a number of sports and leisure projects throughout the country.

Steve joined GT3 in 2013 and has helped to deliver a number of leisure centres through the construction stage of the project to completion. He enjoys the technical aspects and challenges of a project, bringing a building design to reality and getting his hands dirty on site.

Outside the office Steve likes nothing more than getting out and about on his mountain bike, the occasional bit of DIY around the house and playing football with his son.



Daniel Skorin – Senior Technologist

Daniel started in the architecture industry at 18 years of age, working for a local architects office in his hometown of Newark on Trent. His experience started with work on heritage and listed manor houses whilst taking day release to Lincoln college to train for 4 years as an architectural technician.

His experience continued with 11 years in the retail industry with large international architects designing shopping malls and residential.

Daniel has now been working in Leisure for over 8 years and has a wealth of experience in this sector with projects ranging from dry centres to international pool facilities with flumes and flow rider surfing rides.

Outside of work Daniel enjoys local beer festivals, holidays to Zakynthos in Greece, 3 times a year, and currently trying to complete his private pilots licence.


Sean Johns – Architectural Assistant

With a skillset spanning the entire creative spectrum, Sean prides himself on always being on the cutting edge of design and technology and is passionate about all facets of Architecture. Having focussed his Part II design thesis on Sustainable BIM Design, he has become proficient in a wide range of Building Information Modelling & Management procedures and techniques. His twelve plus years of professional and academic experience gives him a modest foundation to tackle most aspects of architectural production.

Sean is a self-proclaimed BIM nerd and is often found trying to convince colleagues and fellow industry professionals that it’s the way forward.

As a former nomadic Jamaican born Brit, he takes great pride in flip flopping between nationalities when convenient. As an ardent tech geek, Manchester United fan, father, husband, humanitarian, and all round good guy, Sean is constantly trying to squeeze more time into his life.



Chrysanthi Tsiasioti – Architectural Assistant

Christie (aka Chrysanthi) completed her Master in Architectural Engineering in 2012 and spent the next years working both as a founding member of a freelance design team and an architectural assistant in architectural practices. She has gained experience mainly working on competitions, master planning, interiors projects and a number of residential projects.

Originally from Greece, she moved to London where she successfully completed the March in Urban Design at the Bartlett School of Architecture before joining +3 Architecture in January 2015. Since working at GT3 Architects, Christie has had experience working on commercial, master planning, residential and leisure projects and developed her skills on BIM.

She has a varied background with a keen interest to urban design, and strong visualisation & graphic design skills.Outside of work she is an enthusiastic amateur photographer, an on/off ‘craftswoman’, a yogi and a world explorer. Favourite website: https://www.yatzer.com/


Amber Sadler – Architectural Technologist

Amber has recently joined GT3 Architects after graduating from Northumbria University as an Architectural Technologist. She joined GT3 Architects with experience in education and leisure after working on numerous BIM Level 2 projects. Whilst in her final year of university she participated in Building Information Modelling & Management research, with a particular interest in utilising management techniques and procedures to create a more efficient design and construction process. Amber is now developing her knowledge of leisure projects and is continually improving her BIM skills.

Outside of work she will normally be found with a whisk in hand baking totally delicious cakes.





Anna Cumberland – Architectural Assistant

Anna joined GT3 Architects in 2016 after completing her MArch at Newcastle University, with a merit, earlier the same year. She undertook her Part 1 experience in near her home town in Cheshire, gaining experience in the leisure industry with a focus on cinema projects.

Outside of work Anna enjoys travelling to new places, spurred on by a semester studying in Stockholm. She took the opportunity to carry out her Master’s Thesis project on the island of Zanzibar focussing on rural development and a contemporary twist on traditional tropical architecture and remains involved with an ongoing research project there.





Paolo Coyle – Architectural Assistant

Paolo completed RIBA Parts I and II from Northumbria University, gaining an MArch in Architecture with Distinction. He has been taught with a strong design approach towards craft, context and sustainability and has developed a personal interest in Scandinavian design. His creative interests have led to entering design competitions as a way of exploring new ideas; it has become an additive hobby helping to continually refine design skills.

Besides architecture Paolo enjoys playing football, cycling, cooking and travelling. In recent years he has visited South East Asia and various cities with his favourite being New York. He enjoys the local culture, sites and culinary delights of different places and is always on the lookout for the next adventure.




Jon Acton – Bid Manager

Jon attended the University of Sheffield and in 2008 he completed a degree in Business Management. Jon then studied for his PGCE and taught in Key Stage 2 for five years, in addition to being the school Sports Coordinator. After completing his CIPD training within HR, Jon re-joined the corporate sector, starting at GT3 in 2016.

Away from work Jon is a keen sportsman who plays football, tennis, golf and semi-professional cricket. He enjoys holidays, cooking, reading and country walks that often include stops for good food and drink.





Maria Aldescu – Architectural Assistant

Although she is from Romania, Maria insists she is absolutely no relation to Count Dracula! A Graduate of the University of Bucharest with a Master’s Degree in Architecture, she has previously worked for Leach Rhodes & Walker in both Manchester and Bucharest offices. Her first visit to England was to take up a work experience placement at Manchester Airport after she wrote to them for some information about the massive Airport City Project.

Maria is also an artist and one of her paintings was exhibited in the Art Gallery at Manchester Airport. Her work was also featured in a full-page article in the Manchester business magazine ‘Lift Off.’ She donated another painting to the charity auction to raise funds for a children’s hospital in Uganda. Starting from High School, she was involved in Youth Exchange Projects in Europe, being an active member of the ‘Zamolxes’ Foundation. The highlight of Maria’s first trip to England was seeing her name in lights on the Old Trafford Score Board before a match as an official welcome from Manchester United Football Club. She is passionate about architecture and design and also has a great love for art in general.


Nadia Lazaridou – Architectural Assistant

Originally from Greece, Nadia moved to the UK after completing her MArch in Architectural Engineering in 2015 with distinction. She has a varied background including masterplanning, residential, commercial, hospitality, leisure and mixed-use projects. She has strong modelling and graphic-design skills with a keen interest in environmentally responsible and low-energy design.

Nadia joined GT3 in December 2016 after graduating with distinction from the University of Nottingham. She completed her Masters in Renewable Energy and Architecture and brings extensive knowledge and experience of renewable energy, sustainability and climate-adaptive design to our practice.

In her spare time, Nadia plays volleyball and enjoys salsa dancing. She loves to travel, meet local people and explore traditions from different places.

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