Johnathan Stephen

Senior Landscape Architect

Johnathan is a Canadian-born landscape architect who joined Node in early 2021. Initially having studied architecture, he has built up a wide range of experience working in several architectural practices before diversifying into landscape architecture. He has worked on an extensive range of projects in both the public and private sector, from small and large-scale housing developments, parks and open spaces, schools, historical landscape restoration to green infrastructure projects.

Johnathan has a particular interest in planting design and enjoys roles that enable him to draw on the experience, skills and passion he has to create unique and memorable landscape environments that become integral to the daily lives and experiences of the people that use them.

Favourite building in the UK and why?
One of my favourite buildings in the UK is the Selfridges Department Store building in Birmingham, designed by Future Systems as part of the redevelopment of the Bull Ring, completed in 2003. This is a building unlike any other in the world which has really provided the city with a striking and iconic piece of architecture that has gained international recognition – even featuring as a desktop wallpaper on Windows operating systems! I particularly love the contrast between the space age, aluminium disc-clad façade with the adjacent St Martin in the Bull Ring Church, an impressive and beautifully ornate Victorian sandstone building, both of which stand testament to Birmingham’s motto of ‘Forward’ showing the juxtaposition of old and new in our ever-evolving city.

How did you come up with your Node?
I have incorporated my initials into a rotated symmetrical design which forms a continual loop. It symbolises my design approach which tries to find beauty and creativity in the everyday; as well as my life experiences, with its ups, its downs and its level interludes in between – always moving and evolving, exploring and never remaining static or coming to an end!

What do you do in your spare time?
In my spare time, I love to go out on long walks with my partner and our lovely Australian Labradoodle, Molly Maple! I also enjoy travelling, socialising with friends and family, yoga, weight/strength training, baking and undertaking ambitious DIY projects, having had a real hands-on-but-meticulously-slow approach to renovating our home and garden!

Favourite City and why?
Budapest. It is a place I have visited several times over the years on holidays with friends. Its a stunningly beautiful city of two halves, Buda and Pest, both with distinctive characters and identities and separated by the powerful Danube River over which cross some impressive bridges. The city is filled to the brim with incredibly ornate and grand architecture as well as there being a strong emphasis on high quality contemporary landscape design. It has a rich and colourful history as well as equally rich, comfort-food cuisine! Above all else and what makes the city truly unique is that it holds the title “City of Spas” as it has more thermal and medicinal water springs than any other capital city in the world! No visit to Budapest is complete without visiting one of the many thermal baths, some of which have been in continuous use since the 16th Century. Their relaxing and rejuvenating waters are one of the many reasons I happily enjoy returning time and time again!