Press Release 09.11.2021

Gillespies promotes nine talented designers

Leading landscape and placemaking experts Gillespies has promoted nine of their talented designers.

These latest promotions will strengthen the practice's leadership team, ensuring Gillespies continues to lead the way in delivering healthy and well-designed landscapes and city masterplans that will improve people's quality of life and help combat climate change.

Gokce Gerekli Yilmaz has been promoted from Principal to Associate Landscape Architect. From the moment Gokce joined Gillespies' Oxford studio in 2017 she has been instrumental in leading a range of high-end developments, working across Russia, the Middle East and Europe. Notable projects include Golden Island 2, a high-end residential-led mixed-use development located on a historical site in Moscow and the creation of a series of exceptional open spaces for Emirates Towers District Phase One, the refurbishment and densification of an iconic twin-tower site in Dubai to provide a richer commercial and residential offer. Her strong focus on design rigour and talent for storytelling has seen her deliver landscapes of all sizes and complexities that offer residents unique and unforgettable moments.

Sissy Xiang has been named a Principal Landscape Architect. Based in Oxford, Sissy has been with the practice for six years, supporting the senior management team in delivering several landmark residential and hospitality projects across the Middle East, including Emaar Dubai Hotels, The Hive Talal al Ghaf and Harbour Views Dubai.

Other promotions in Oxford include the promotion of Kyle Mackintosh and Yulia Emeilanova to Senior Landscape Architects. Kyle and Yulia have been at Gillespies for two and three years, respectively, working on some of the practice's most complex and high-profile projects, including the University of Oxford Science Area and Humanities Building, Thames Tideway Tunnel and Wylfa Newydd Power Station.

In Hale, Peter Livings and Karen Lees have were promoted to Principal Landscape Architects back in March, strengthening the studio's management team. These promotions recognise their exceptional design, planning and leadership skills, particularly their prominent roles in leading several high-profile schemes, such as High Speed 2 and Rochdale Town Hall Square.

In London, Leo Song has been awarded the new title of Principal Landscape Architect and Concept Artist. This new role recognises Leo's jaw-dropping talent in hand-drawing. Since he joined the practice in 2013, Leo has helped the studio's landscape team convey ideas, evolve concepts and bring projects to life, much to the delight of our clients. But Leo is not just a talented artist; he has also been instrumental in supporting the delivery of several exciting and very high-profile landscapes in China and the UK. He was part of the design team for RIBA Stirling Prize-shortlisted British Museum and central London's multi-award-winning London School of Economics development.

Other promotions include Tareq Razzouk's promotion to Principal Urban Designer and Nadia Balduzzi to Senior Urban Designer. Both Tareq and Nadia have spent the last two years working on significant masterplans and highly complex competitions in Saudi Arabia, including an international competition for the world's largest park, a regional masterplan for Al Ula, and a comprehensive masterplan for an immersive luxury mountain destination in Al Soudah.

Each of these talented individuals has contributed to our success as a business. These promotions recognise Gillespies' desire to reward skill and talent and grow the Practice and management team effectively.

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