Tanja Smith OBE

Tanja Smith OBE
Technical Director

With one foot firmly in UK, the other in South Africa and one hand in Mongolia, Tanja seems to be embarking on an international game of twister. Adaptability to change has become integral to her life and what she does.

After graduating in Cape Town during a recession, Tanja’s career started out in an electrical engineers drawing office; from there she worked in an Urban Design team where she was part of many exciting changes to the City of Cape Town. Coming to England allowed her to practice more of what she studied for in the first place – Architecture. It was also here that she decided to do another degree in Architecture and achieved first class honours with two awards from CIAT and CIOB for excellence.

Over the years Tanja has worked in a number of diverse practices and is able to draw from this experience which in turn and being part of our inception, has informed the foundation of Gradon Architecture.

Apart from Architectural Technology, Tanja plays a key role in our bid writing and is the QMS Manager, ensuring that the practice maintains its ISO9001 and ISO 14001 accreditation.

Having established our studio in Ulaanbaatar while living there for two years, Tanja is now based in the UK but continues to coordinate our Mongolia operations on a daily basis. Testament to what she has achieved for us in Mongolia, Tanja currently holds the prestigious honour of being The National Outstanding Women of the Year for Women in Construction. Tanja also sits on the UK national committee of NAWIC representing women in construction both in the UK and in Mongolia.

Outside of work she enjoys life with her adopted Mongolian street dog Haachi - now a UK citizen!

Words to live by…

You, the people, have the power to make this life free and beautiful - Charlie Chaplain