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Piercy Conner is building an award-winning reputation for changing the way we use and construct homes. The practice has seven full-time staff and four qualified architects; the partners have also founded a creative agency with a staff of 40. The studio's strong design approach has been highly commended by CABE and the British Council.

Piercy Conner believes that the future of urban architecture is about inventing new building types that respond to culture, demographics, technology and the changing patterns of our lives.

The form and language of its architecture, the practice argues, is crafted by the synthesis of these complex issues to create modern, responsive and emotive architecture.

This young practice has developed more than 20 modular housing concepts. Driven by the concept of 'mass customisation not mass production', it aims to offer diversity and choice while embracing sustainable, economic and efficient construction.

Past projects have included the PCM 'Evening Standard - Homes & Property' £60k house and the delivery of a 'kit house' for the emerging Indian market. The emphasis is on product architecture - buildings that are assembled from a kit of parts - which lends itself to residential or commercial projects. At MIPIM this year, the focus will be on new types of homes.

Piercy Conner recently won the AJ/Corus 40 Under 40 'Best Use of Steel' award for an unusual project that involved the conversion of a Martello tower (a scheduled monument) for a private client on the Suffolk coast. In a sensitive conversion, the roof form and the interior fit-out sit harmoniously with the existing structural fabric. The new lightweight roof floats above the existing parapet of the tower. Constructed of steel and laminated plywood, it sits on fi ve 50mm-diameter V-shaped columns anchored into the brickwork. A skirt of frameless curved glass below the roof provides a 360° view of the coastal landscape.

A detailed 3D model removed the limitations of fabricating complex forms by unfolding the roof into 2D cutting patterns.

The project was fabricated in Hull and shipped to site and assembled as a kit.

Another recent challenge was the proposal for 190-196 Kennington Park Road in south London, adjacent to a conservation area opposite Kennington Park. The steel-framed project provides 28 residential units over five storeys - a previous application having only achieved 18 units. Through 3D modelling and light studies, a density of 650 HRH (habitable rooms per hectare) was achieved. The scheme is fully modular, and the design received planning consent with full support of the London Borough of Lambeth.

Piercy Conner recently opened a studio in Manchester to explore opportunities in the north-west. The London office is moving into a new studio near Spitalfields in spring.

Contact: Piercy Conner, Cairo Studios, 4-6 Nile Street, London N1 7RF, tel 020 7490 9494, fax 020 7490 9480, web www. piercyconner. co. uk

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