I have known James since he was young and watched him grow from a very bright boy into an exceptional young man who had a zest for life and a devotion to architecture.
James was very keen to join us at Make and started working here in September 2013. He was a diligent, committed partner and a talented architect who was a joy to work with. He contributed towards many projects at Make, including the Taberner House development in Croydon and the Amenities Building for the University of Nottingham. More recently he had joined the design team on one of our largest projects, Rathbone Square, and quickly became an integral member of the team. He had just signed up to take his Part III at the University of Westminster - the final stage of his education - and was due to attend his first session on Monday evening.
He was a constant presence at all social and charity events, becoming a member of the ‘Make Social’ team which organises our extra-curricular activities. He took part in the Taberner House charity abseil and played in football tournaments for the Construction Cup and the Architects’ Football League. He played in our popular Girl v Boy netball matches and took part in softball games against other architects’ offices.
Last Thursday he participated in the 'Beat the Sunset’ 5km run, where 'Team Make’ won the prize for the fastest mixed team and raised over £3,500 for The Prince’s Trust. Also last Friday he joined me and a team of 20 partners in LandAid's ‘Towerathalon’ challenge at Broadgate.
James was the core of many social occasions and went out of his way to make sure people had a good time. He was extremely approachable and always made an effort to get everyone involved. He was a fabulous person to know, with lots of stories to tell from his travels and interesting opinions to share on architecture. He was an incredibly positive person, always up for any challenge and delighted to get involved.
When I gave the most difficult speech I have ever had to give on Monday morning to a stunned office we were all in a state of shock, and continue to be devastated that someone so bright and so young should be taken from us in such a tragic way. All our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends at this most horrific time.
The fact that he died at a charity event is a fitting testament to a young man who was one of the good guys. He leaves a large hole at Make which will be impossible to fill. My father always said to me 'Only the good die young’. Never is this more true than in the case of James Phillips.