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New Practices #37: William Smalley

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

William Smalley, London WC1

Founded: March 2010

Main people: William Smalley

Where have you come from? Five excellent years’ learning at James Gorst Architects. The last major project I worked on there was Leaf House (AJ 29.04.10).

What work do you have? I am working with James Gorst on a residential farm complex in Oxfordshire for a private client. It’s the ideal job, with plenty of space for creativity. I have been collaborating with another practice on a development of 250 houses in Chichester, which is unexpected – both to work on it and to work on that scale. I’m also working on a 150-unit ski resort in Bulgaria, and doing smaller private work.

What are your ambitions? My sole ambition is to produce good buildings and places. Growth is not a driver, except insofar as it allows me to work on different scales of project. I’d rather collaborate with another practice than take on staff for the sake of it. I want to see my architectural voice develop, so I’m looking for work that allows that to happen.

How optimistic are you? I am taking a day-to-day attitude. Clients seem to like a flexible and personal approach. I think you have to work to your strengths, and be prepared for a slog. If I had to make a call I’d predict a double-dip recession, but there are always jobs and clients out there.


Telephone: +44 (0)7753686711

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