Head of Design (Architecture)

Node Living Node Living Employer:
Barcelona, ESLocation:
Mon, Oct 11 '21Posted on:

About Node

Node is a global build-to-rent and co-living company that invests, develops and manages urban rental apartment communities in creative capital cities around the world. Our mission is to create the next generation of global apartment living with affordable, design-led and community focused residences that meet the growing lifestyle needs of urban renters.  Node residences are in cities throughout North America and Europe.

Node is pioneering the concept of curated living, a next generation, build-to-rent apartment community that combines traditional multifamily apartments, furnished micro unit studios and co-living apartments into one residential building. Amenities include residents' lounges and co-working spaces to cater for the increasing trend of working from home as well as curated residents' events.  Node has a global technology platform and app that helps to foster a better sense of community and drive operational efficiencies on maintenance, access control and payments.  Node residents are typically young professionals, entrepreneurs and freelancers who seek community connection and an all-inclusive rent that includes locally inspired interior designed furniture, wi-fi, utilities and a WFH co-working space.

Node has received institutional funding commitments from multiple capital partners in North America and Europe and is embarking on a 5,000 bed + expansion plan. 

Role Description 

We’re looking for a Head of Design to lead all design related initiatives across the Spain and wider global portfolio. Our ideal candidate will be a well-rounded design connoisseur who will be able to grow over time and oversee all design initiatives within the company such as brand implementation and design elements that are prominent through Node’s customer journey. Prior experience in a Design / Technical Management with a Developer, Contractor or asset manager is essential.

The candidate will be responsible for leading the co-development of the Spain portfolio which will comprise of ground-up assets between 15,000 - 25,000 sqm. Node will be the operator and is currently co-developing alongside a leading Spanish developer. Node is responsible for detailed design, FF&E procurement / selection and amenity planning; with a clear focus on setting up the asset for future operations. The role will require extensive coordination with internal and external stakeholders and previous experience developing large scale residential assets is essential. 

The candidate will also be responsible for working alongside our Development Director on supporting the company on existing developments across multiple global markets.  Over time, the ideal candidate will be able to take on more responsibilities beyond architectural design and asset development which will entail building an internal team responsible for all design related initiatives within Node. Node is a design centric organisation working on building a consumer brand that re-imagines all touchpoints for the urban renter.

This position will be based in Barcelona with travel to the London HQ (when required) and will initially report to our Development Director. We are looking for a highly motivated individual, with previous experience in designing and developing large scale residential assets, who wants to be part of one an innovative company that will shape the  global residential market. 

Key Responsibilities


  • Design Lead - Oversee feasibility, concept and detailed design of new assets ranging between 200 - 900 beds (10,000-25,000 m2)

  • Iberian Portfolio Lead - Be the internal lead for the design of our Iberian ground-up portfolio, 5-7 large scale 500-900 bed coliving buildings in Madrid and other key cities

  • Team Management - Manage both internal and external project teams ensuring effective collaboration to design successful projects 

  • Risk Management - Prepare and manage a design risk register, with the input from the external teams 

  • Work with the Development Director to flag key design risks to delivery of the projects and collaborate on design concepts to the CEO and MD of Iberia

Initial Concept and Project Brief 

  • Formulation of design brief and concept based on Node brand guidelines, interior design guidance and company ethos 

  • Undertake design due diligence with Development Director and project team via coordination of building surveys, space planning, consideration of building code, regulations, structural, mechanical, electrical engineering, planning entitlements and permits 


  • Represent Node on all design aspects where Node acts as co-developer or design manager  by working on the building design, FF&E and amenity planning

  • Develop, design and produce best in class (project specific) units comprising of studios, micro studios, apartments and shared co-living with ancillary amenities 

  • Design and develop bespoke FF&E and joinery with external teams to promote best use of space 

  • Liaise with internal teams, project Architects and global brand designers to form the look and feel strategy for Node brand implementation 

  • Coordinate architectural drawings between global concept and local project architects 

  • Liaise with the interior design team, where necessary, for approval on all finishes

  • Review technical and M&E drawings/plans with input from local consultants 

  • Assist and coordinate value engineering exercises 

  • Review and production of internal packages with assistance of project consultants, including both drawings and specification documentation

  • Design workshops on key project elements, programming exercises, drawing sign-off’s, evaluating brand standard compliance and buildability


  • FF&E and loose furniture design & procurement - work with interior designers and FF&E providers on furniture and joinery selection including coordination with contractors 

  • Ensure any changes to the design, layouts or budget are communicated with the procurement,  furniture teams and internal teams 

  • Establish a project team culture based on a design / costing / value engineering process (liaising closely with the internal teams and the interior designer), to assist in achieving budget targets, without losing focus on design and programme

  • Build relationships with key suppliers and form framework agreements for future role out of key Node approved products 

Project and Brand Delivery 

  • Proactively manage construction drawings and communication between the teams, contractors and suppliers ensuring fast turnaround on comments

  • Review and mark-up Architectural and M&E drawings, identifying any areas lacking, or that require a design review with the internal teams

  • Review the contractor and sub-contractor’s drawings, identifying any possible cost, design or programme issues, in order for these to be captured early on and addressed 

  • Coordination and review of design information with the project team throughout the project lifecycle, including but not limited to architecture, MEP, landscape, building control, interior design and structure, to make sure drawings and delivery are fully coordinated

  • Reviewing drawings to assist in solving issues throughout the construction period, including value engineered decisions

  • Ensure brand guidelines are adhered to and delivered at all times flagging any issues / risks to the Development Director 

Relationship and Partnership Management

  • Coordinate relationships with internal and external stakeholders, including the lead developer, investor and external consultants

  • Oversee the relationship with external Node Global Brand Designer for effective brand implementation

  • Develop partnerships and structure contracts with third party companies to assist in execution of large-scale assets in Spain such as F&B providers, laundry services, car and bike rental and other associated service lines that will benefit the operation of the asset  

Innovation and Sustainability 

  • Research, identify and present building innovation ideas that can be used to future proof global assets 

  • Identify opportunities to use smart building technology for development and operations , including but not limited to development monitoring, smart CCTV , automatic meter reading, energy consumption and  maintenance

  • Ensure that sustainability and wellbeing initiatives are at the heart of key design decisions

  • Participate in relevant industry conferences and workshops relating to building and design innovation in the residential space

Candidate Requirements

  • BA/BSC degree required in an Architecture, Engineering or Design Related discipline 

  • 10+ years experience with real estate developer, operator, or construction company

  • Excellent Spanish and English language skills (almost native language skills in both is essential )  

  • Excellent management and communication skills

  • Creative and proven problem solving skills 

  • Highly analytical individual and detail oriented

  • Excellent organizational and time management skills

  • Experience with design and 3D modelling software (Autodesk, Luminion, Autocad, Bluebeam, Revit or similar)

  • Expert in Adobe Creative Suite and Microsoft packages 

  • Interest in designing buildings for the future and through leadership on residential living

  • Interest in sustainability

The position is a full-time, salaried role with a permanent contract. The position will be based in our Barcelona or London office. Travel between offices, Madrid and other future global projects will also be required. The candidate will  be given the opportunity to live & work from any Node global property one month of the year (subject to availability and approval). These currently include Barcelona, Madrid, London, Dublin, New York and Los Angeles.

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