Drawing from a seemingly endless well of experience and technical knowledge, Les Canham guides projects to successful outcomes. Les brings insight that’s been collected through years of hands-on experience; not just in the production of working drawings, but in understanding how those visions turn into physical entities – with all the complexity that involves during construction.

Les brings a technical sensibility to everything he does. It’s something the team depends on when it comes to technology and IT. It’s something clients can see in the quality of their buildings and the seamlessness of their projects.

Distinctly, Les is a practical, hands-on figure, always keen to try new things and further his understanding. As he unpicks the way every element of a building works, he finds the opportunities to refine and improve his work that books simply can’t teach.

“I’m very much hands-on and I like the practical side of things. There’s a lot you can only get from the experience of actually doing something yourself. Just recently I was talking to a plasterer on a site. We’d specified what was required, but he could explain and show me why it would be better to do it in a different way. You try to remember those things because, if you understand it from someone else’s perspective and through what they do every day, you can pre-empt things. It minimises disruption later on.”

Acting as a main point of contact for projects once they move into planning and beyond, Les’ responsibilities on a given day vary depending on the specific project and its current state. He’s passionate about forming close relationships with clients, guiding them through the process.

“I think it’s important that, with us, you always keep contact with individuals. We’re not a great big sprawling office with 90-odd staff. Francis is always involved in some capacity. The Senior Associate you met in the initial meetings is there throughout, always checking in. There’s always that level of communication, both within our team and with clients, so everyone knows what is happening.”

Les also brings his technical knowledge to the IT used in the Francis Terry and Associates office, including assessing the benefits of different CAD packages and moving towards Building Information Modelling (BIM). This is just one part of a rich, symbiotic relationship between a close-knit team, where technical knowledge feeds into creative flair and vice-versa.

“It’s important that everyone on the team brings something unique. My years of experience in construction mean I tend towards the technical side of things. Other people in the team are more into the history of architecture than I am. I just like good design. I think we’re just a very good mix, honestly. We all complement each other.”

About Les Canham

Senior Associate, Francis Terry & Associates

A designer with vast experience in architecture and its execution, Les has worked with Francis for over twenty years. During that time, he has managed projects including Tedworth House for Help for Heroes and numerous country homes.

With an eye for the technical, he ensures that designs are transformed into detailed, quality drawings and, in turn, well-built buildings. He also plays an active role in developing our IT component.

Project Contribution

  • Pre-planning: Initial meetings with clients, preparing fee proposals
  • Planning: Managing the production of planning drawings, liaising with Planning Consultants
  • Construction: Continued technical management of projects, acting as a continued point of contact