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New Practices #56: Pie

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

Pie, London, N1

Founded: March 2010

Main people: Fran Balaam and Michael Corr

Where have you come from? We both worked with East and Michael worked for Design for London most recently. For two years we’ve been teaching a studio at London Metropolitan University. Pie was a natural progression of this.

What work do you have? Mainly primary and nursery schools; we have a lot of experience. We’ve just finished St Joseph’s in Highgate (pictured; see Small Projects) and are working with Canonbury Primary, north London. We’re interested in places as well as buildings, and have been working in West Belfast, researching existing situations and developing proposals. We’ve just entered a competition for a new arts building in West Belfast in collaboration with FAT, and are advising local community groups there.

What are your ambitions? We are interested in work that has a story. We want to continue with projects we feel are interesting and important. We’d like to be known for a careful understanding of situations and making considered, beautiful propositions.

How optimistic are you? Very. To paraphrase Carlo Bertelli: ‘It’s not a good time for architects, but it’s a good time for architecture.’ Work is important to us, but without wanting to sound like young upstarts, good work is probably more important.


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