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New Practices #81: Jack Woolley

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

Jack Woolley, North London

Founded: Spring 2010

Main people: Jack Woolley

Where have you come from?
I became a chartered member of the RIBA in 2009, but before that I was a director of the industrial design and engineering consultancy Isis. I was also a co-founder of Alva, a lighting company that designs and manufactures light fittings from materials indigenous to the UK.

What work do you have and what projects are you looking for?
I’ve just completed a live/work unit on the site of a former carpenter’s workshop. I’m working on a partially sunken house integrated into its garden, and also on a device to help novice musicians with basic theory.
I like to have projects at different scales going on simultaneously – it is stimulating to be working on something you can hold at the same time as a space you can occupy.

What are your ambitions?
I would like to work with people I respect and whose company I enjoy. I want to attract projects where I can identify and reveal what is unique or special about a site, and add something to enhance it.

How optimistic are you?
I don’t think the recession has reached its lowest point, but I think there are opportunities for architects who can take an entrepreneurial approach to setting up projects, perhaps helping clients to find sites and exploit latent potential.

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