Karl Beckman —
Initially I would describe John as a bit of a rough diamond—a no-nonsense genuine Aussie builder...
who turned up to meetings in an old Ford station wagon, work pants and work boots.
But spend some time with him, talk to his family of loyal clients and go and see some of his completed projects, and you quickly realise that this self-deprecating image hides an enormously talented man, passionate about his work, who is absolutely dedicated to delivering the best possible result for his clients.
John respects the creativity of the architect and understands the fervent desires of the client. Out of what can easily become a hotbed of conﬂicting egos he somehow manages to engender a spirit of cooperation and collaboration between all parties that places the successful completion of the project above all else.
John and his Bellevarde team seemed able to deliver exquisitely simple solutions to complex engineering and design issues. At the same time there was never any concern that quality of construction would ever take second place.
Virginia Kerridge —
It is enjoyable working with Bellevarde. It starts with John. He is businesslike, but less interested in the business of building than in creating extraordinary buildings.
He is easy to talk to. He doesn’t take himself too seriously and is completely up front. If he likes something he tells you and if he doesn’t he tells you that, too. Then he wants to discuss how to make it special.
It is a common thread through everything they do. John values good design, and pushes everyone to make it even better. He surrounds himself with foremen and tradesmen and subbies who feel the same way. You get to know them all.
We had a potential client to whom I wanted to give a feeling for how John builds, so I sent him to a site just to walk around by himself. He came back convinced he should give up banking and work for John!