20 years with Octagon – Bob Barlow, Site Manager


“The phrase, it’s not what you know, it’s who you know has never been truer in my case”,  Bob Barlow explains when talking about how he came to work with Octagon more than 20 years ago.

Offered a position as labourer on one of the Group’s flagship developments in Hampstead through a good friend who was working on site, Bob embraced the opportunity, learning more about the construction industry and enrolling in extensive training. Bob was soon recognised for his dedication and hard work and allocated to another North London site for the luxury housebuilder.

“Wall Hall was a huge development for Octagon – it was a 250-year old Grade II listed mansion which was converted into 7 luxury apartments. It was great being part of the journey and working on a site from demolition to completion, and I spent around 5 years here. My day-to-day job varied hugely – from Plant operation, to materials management, a lift operator and general labouring – I then became fully trained as a crane operator!”

Bob worked on various different sites over the following years – from small apartment schemes to a development of 9 luxury townhouses in Fulham, which overlooked the River Thames. With a clear creative flare and hardworking ethic, Bob’s dedication and skillset were noted by Octagon’s CEO Tim Banks, and Bob was offered the opportunity of heading up an Octagon Bespoke mansion in Central London.

“Managing the 3 year project of one most grand and extravagant Octagon mansions to date, has to be the personal highlight of my career with Octagon. The house was simply incredible, with amazing attention to detail and the highest of specifications. I worked with the client very closely and built up a wonderful relationship with the family. Due to the location, we also worked with Westminster Council who have very clear and restrictions in terms of environmental factors, tree protection, noise and vibration monitoring etc, which is also a personal passion of mine and something I feel is important. Sustainability and environmental practices are crucial within the building industry and is something the company is committed to.

Having collected several impressive awards over the years, including the NHBC Pride of the Job Award and a Considerate Contractor award for ‘Performance Beyond Compliance’ is a clear testimony to Bob’s passion, hard work and dedication to building luxury houses.

Bob concludes; “The best part of the job is the variety of homes I get to work on. No two projects are the same, so I am constantly learning and am challenged by every site. While I have worked on around 15 projects and a range of developments over my career, Octagon Bespoke homes are my favourite. Our in-house team of designers and architects can stretch their creative boundaries, and it is such a great feeling seeing a unique masterpiece come together!”

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