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Little Fish - 6 December 2007

In our rotating column comparing life in a small and a large practice, little fish Jonathan Hendry of
Jonathan Hendry Architects has an attack of nerves.

Monday morning at 8.00am and the phone rings: can we visit a site to approve the black Siberian larch we’ve proposed for over-cladding an existing mock-Georgian house?
Our clients are young professionals who have slowly developed trust in our judgement. The five-minute car journey to site seems to take forever – what if it doesn’t look right and what if the client doesn’t like it? When we turn the corner I can smell the Sadolin, and feel reassured. The existing brickwork that we’ve all loathed is slowly disappearing, and our project is starting to look like a proper piece of architecture.
I return to the office; the post arrives. I open a letter from the RIBA – we’ve been shortlisted for a White Rose Award. At this point it all seems worthwhile. We sit in the window drinking a cup of tea. The grass outside is disappearing under a carpet of golden leaves. We reflect on the joys of being a young practice, the delight of seeing our projects being built and receiving recognition for our hard labour.
It’s Friday again, and the project architect for our largest scheme on site calls in sick. Myplans for our Friday lunch ritual of fish and chips are scuppered.

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