Development & Alumni Relations Office 


Jonathan Gibson BSc (Died 5 May 2020, aged 53)

Obituary available to be viewed in the Royal Society of Ulster Architects Year book

Jonathan Gibson, aged 53, died in May 2020 whilst working abroad in Nigeria. Jonathan had completed 28 years of professional practice after he graduated from Queen's University Belfast in 1988. He established his career with the Boyd Partnership and became partner in 1999.

He became a sole practitioner in 2009, and in January 2012 he diversified to the Middle East, Europe and East and West Africa. Jonathan experienced his first job working overseas in Saudi Arabia where he was project manager for the Bay La Sun Hotel and Marina in King Abdullah's Economic City. This led Jonathan to spend six years in Kampala, Uganda, as a project manager for an International company with headquarters in Kenya, Uganda, Botswana and South Sudan, which allowed him to experience a career spanning across a spectrum of construction sectors.

He developed a diverse international overseas experience, and he was also given the opportunity to travel to Kenya and Rwanda, to broaden his experiences of East Africa even further. Whilst in Kampala, Jonathan gave business to local carpenters, artisans and artists for the million-dollar fit outs that he was a part of in offices and hotels. He also incorporated design aspects from overseas designers and the Hilton technical team based in Dubai. Some of his projects whilst working in East Africa included the Hilton Hotel, Nakasero, Kampala; the Aga Khan University Hospital, Kampala; the Serena Hotel Group, Kampala and the Imperial- Hotel Apartments and Commercial Centre in Entebbe. Jonathan was proud to present a scheme for the Serena Hotel Group in which his audience included His Highness Prince Aga. Khan IV.

After returning to work in the United Kingdom in 2018, the appeal to work abroad encouraged Jonathan to seek another job overseas. In October 2019, his love of Africa and the challenges that this posed to his career, allowed him to accept a position in Nigeria as a Senior Project Manager for Profica, working in a range of projects and construction. Jonathan sought adventure and had a passion to continue to enhance his career and capabilities. 

Jonathan was often described as an excellent mentor and he always showed patience and respect to all members of his teams. He supported people to find their desired career path within architecture and always helped to build the confidence of young architects whom he was working with. Jonathan loved his career in architecture, and repeatedly mentioned how every day was different. He developed his career as a construction professional, which he believed allowed him to become a better equipped architect. Jonathan always ensured that he was part of all aspects of his projects - from design to detailing and site execution.

Jonathan leaves behind his wife Barbara, and his daughter Zoë, who will be starting her master's in architecture in September 2020.

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