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New Practices #26: a449

The latest in a series of practice profiles looking at architects who have recently decided to go it alone either through choice or redundancy

a449, Edinburgh

Founded: February 2010

Main person: Matthew Johnson

Where have you come from? I graduated from Edinburgh University in 2004 and spent five years at RMJM, working on large commercial and education projects throughout the UK.

What work do you have? Current jobs include domestic refurbishment and extension projects in Edinburgh and East Lothian, as well as a new build in Hertfordshire. Ultimately, I hope to be involved with small to medium-scale public buildings such as galleries, theatres and performing arts spaces, while continuing to maintain a residential output.

What are your ambitions? I love working at the scale of domestic projects, but I am keen to widen my portfolio to exploit my experience of public and commercial projects. Then I plan to develop a wide-ranging workload that can sustain five to 10 employees and I intend to build up a practice that offers clarity of process throughout and delivers considered and honest architecture.

How optimistic are you as a start-up practice? I am not concerned about the recession and am very optimistic about starting up right now, particularly as I have managed to land six decent-sized projects without any real marketing or publicity. I am confident that there will be more opportunities out there once I start actively pursuing them.

Example of work by a449 founder Matthew Johnson

Example of work by a449 founder Matthew Johnson

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