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IN PRACTICE - DAVID AUSTIN

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I have had this studio at Ruskin Mill in Nailsworth for 12 years. The office is too small for the photo, so we take a walk up through the valley, alongside the mill lake, then over the bridge I built back in 1996 with students and Cliff Dressel, through the water garden with another of our bridges to the grotto we built.

Afterwards, I visit a site near Stroud with my assistant Manuela. Our impatient self-build client has hired a machine and excavated a large hole at the rear of his house. We meet our consultant engineer Peter to discuss details of retaining walls and underpinning for the extension. I have nine projects of various sizes actively building in this area and the office is swelled by Ed and Matthew, both architecture students working during their vacation. I have a flexible team and can usually call on extra help when needed or collaborate with other practices. I still enjoy drawing, and my most recent work has been freehand drawings for the Garden Restoration Project for the Makhad Trust around St Catherine's Monastery in Sinai for the Jebeliya tribe.

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