This past year has been a transformative one for GGA—both inside and out. Executing a full rebrand, taking up a new name and seeing many changes and new faces in our team, we thought why not one more exciting update? We are excited to introduce you to our newest partner, Jonny Hehr.
Jonny began his career at GGA as an Intern Architect and has worked his way up, holding many design leadership roles along the way. We had the pleasure of sitting down with Jonny to discuss his past, present and future vision for GGA.
Starting off easy, here are some fast facts about Jonny:
Tell me a little about your education history, how did you get where you are today?
I completed my Undergrad in Industrial Design from the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design, followed by my Masters of Architecture from the University of Calgary. Also, a little-known fact: I was a Licensed Aircraft Mechanic prior to becoming an Architect!
What previous roles have you held at GGA?
Intern Architect, Design Lead, Design Manager and Managing Director of Design.
What is it about architecture that inspires you? / Any aspects of your job you are especially passionate about?
I always appreciate seeing how people interact with the spaces we create and how we can evoke joy and wonder in some of these spaces.
What is your favourite thing about GGA?
I have always appreciated the autonomy that GGA has afforded to those who work here. There is a level of trust and ownership that comes with that and you can see it in the quality outcomes of the work.
What is your favourite memory from working with GGA?
Laughter. Architecture is a challenging field and without the great people in our office to find moments of laughter and fun in the design studio it just wouldn’t be the same.
This year Jonny celebrates 12 years with GGA, having seen our team through many exciting projects: Chief Crowfoot School in Siksika Nation, The Ampersand and, most recently, Project Thrive: Neoma, to name a few. His design approach—while always evolving—centers on the client’s needs, creating spaces that achieve design excellence and exceed functional expectations.
Jonny works to provide direction and support his team’s ideas, guiding them through processes they don’t have experience with yet. “Active listening is crucial for us as designers,” says Jonny, “It is somewhat cliché but the loudest voice is not always the most impactful.” Jonny aims to emulate this patience and attentiveness to client needs through his own leadership.
Jonny is passionate about continuing to promote an inclusive and collaborative architecture firm, respected and revered by both our clients and the public we serve. In his new role, he has great aspirations for the GGA’s future shaping skylines through architecture in Calgary and beyond.
What is your vision for the future of the company?
I want to continue to promote an inclusive and collaborative firm that is respected and revered with our clients and the public we serve. We need to push ourselves to be bold in our aspirations and continue to be a leading firm in Western Canada.
What advice would you give someone starting their career here?
Well I started my career here in architecture, in fact I didn’t walk into an architecture firm until the day Chito hired me and wouldn’t let me leave without an offer in my hand. I am now a Partner with Chito which shows how this firm invests in the future as without succession there is no firm. This firm is evolving constantly and always looking for new ideas how to grow and be better so for someone starting here there is open opportunity to help shape the future of where we go. We are One Team.
We count ourselves lucky to have Jonny’s passion, innovation, and perception on our side and look have enjoyed watching his design ethos taking shape in this new role over the past few months and look forward to years to come.