KNOWLES TEAM | Q&A with Knowles Project Manager, Tony Trapani
Q. Tell us about yourself and your career history.
Once I completed a high-level City & Guilds Plastering Qualification and a Higher National Certificate in Building Studies, I started working for Knowles Brothers, with Robin and his Father. I then followed Robin to his new Company, which focused on retrofit structural basements, waterproofing and associated fitting out works within London.
As Site Manager, I managed both single residential dwelling works, and conversions of basement storage and cellar levels within Victorian mansion blocks. From there, I quickly moved into a Project Management role, where I primarily managed Phase 1 ‘shell & waterproofing’ and Phase 2 ‘fitting out’ works across multiple retrofit basement project.
I have continued my role as Project Manager ever since then and today at Knowles, I primarily manage London-based structural, waterproofing, and envelope works for both retro-fit basements and whole of house refurbishment projects.
Q. What projects are you working on at Knowles?
I am currently working on two private residential projects in North London.
64 Hamilton Terrace is a super-prime residential scheme located in St Johns Wood and involves the complete remodel and extension of the existing the residence, which includes the formation of a new 2500 sq/ft basement.
The other project is located nearby in Little Venice, and involves the transformation of a neo-classical detached property, with phase 1 works including demolition, full strip out, structural alterations, excavation, formation of new 2,000 sq/ft basement which will sit under the existing property, as well as the creation of new two-storey side extension. Once completed the property will total 11,000 sq/ft.
Q. What is your favourite projects that you have you worked on in the past?
My favourite projects that I have been involved in with for Knowles are St Marks Coptic Church in Kensington which involved the delivery of an incredibly complex retro-fit basement beneath the church floor, a Private Residence in Wimbledon where I managed the Phase 1 subterranean structure and waterproofing, and an AUTOCAVE project in Oxshott which involved the structural formation of subterranean box and installation of 6-car hydraulic stacking system for a clients collection of cars.
Q. How has Knowles evolved over the years, and what most excites you about working with Knowles?
Having worked with Robin Knowles for more than 20 years, from initially using cement-based waterproofing/tanking systems within existing ‘Victorian’ cellars, to then the company evolving and expanding to work with more innovative structural underpinning/cavity membranes systems. The step-up in both technology and scale of projects has developed more than I could have imagined during this period.
I am very lucky to have had the opportunity to work on new types and calibres of projects during my time at Knowles, which has enabled my learning of construction to develop on almost a daily basis. I also very much enjoy building relationships with Clients, and often, we end up working with the Clients again on multipale projects, so that is a very rewarding part of the role.
Q. What’s your project management ethos?
As a Project Manager, I aim to do my job to the best of my ability, completing the job on time and on budget, with all my workforce completing their tasks safely and effectively. I think it is important to help teach those working under my management develop their knowledge if I can, to try assist with their job roles and future careers. It is imperative to help the client where I can make the process as pleasurable as possible, to leave them with a positive experience so that they would want to return to Knowles should they require works in the future.