Unsupported browser

For a better experience please update your browser to its latest version.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

New Practices #6: Shape

  • Comment

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

Shape, Manchester (operating as part of planning practice DPP)

Founded: May 2009

Main people: Shelagh McNerney and Mick Timpson

Where have you come from? EDAW, now known as Design + Planning at AECOM. Mick was a principal, Shelagh was director of regeneration.

What work do you have?
We are continuing to build what we developed at EDAW. We don’t operate as a conventional architects practice but more a front-end practice, shaping the process of change, from strategic and policy level through to RIBA Stage D – detailed planning application and towns and neighbourhoods. Our target market is where the public and private sector work together in areas where problem solving is essential to make progress.

What are your ambitions?
We spent a long time developing a water tight, very realistic three-year business plan, which is revised and tested regularly. Our focus is UK-wide through our partnership with DPP and already, we are working in the Severn Estuary, the Lake District, the Home Counties, North Wales and the north west. We aim to have a team of 20 plus by year three and we’re on target to get there.

How optimistic are you? We are very optimistic about what we have to offer given our talents in this sector and our commitment to quality and clients’ needs. The world has changed significantly demanding a different sort of practice. We have set out to be light on our feet, quick thinking and creative. We aim to keep overheads low and spend the majority of our time on projects and clients rather than all the other stuff that bigger practices have to do deal with. We are going through a period which calls for adaptability, creativity and accelerated evolution, conditions in which a smaller practice with good creative leadership can thrive.

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions.

Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.