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New Practices #98: Upstairs Architects

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

Upstairs Architects, Highbury, London

Founded: mid-2010

Main people: Jessica Kinast and Alan Holloway

Where have you come from? We first met studying at Kent Institute of Art and Design. Jessica spent 10 years at 3DReid, while Alan is also a partner at Penoyre & Prasad.

What work do you have and what projects are you looking for? We recently completed the conversion of a Victorian warehouse to create our office and a loft apartment. Our largest project to date is for 26 apartments in Gants Hill.
We are working on two linked family houses in Highbury on a hidden backland site, a total reworking of a Victorian house near Highbury Fields, as well as smaller residential projects.

What are your ambitions? To undertake larger residential projects and grow the practice. The market for new-build apartments would benefit from more targeted design to reflect the lifestyles of young professionals in London. We wish to build relationships with developers with this in mind and undertake small-scale property development of our own.

How are you marketing yourselves? Our first completed project for a roof extension on a prominent corner (see below) drew a lot of attention and resulted in new projects. Most of our work has come from word of mouth but we intend to actively market ourselves to grow.


Roof extension, north London by Upstairs Architects

Roof extension, north London by Upstairs Architects

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