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New Practices #12: Nick Willson Architects

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

Nick Willson Architects, Hoxton, London

Founded: January 2010

Main people: Nick Willson (founder & director), Amy Bodiam, Chiara Hall and Luke Jones

Where have you come from? Nick worked for Foster + Partners (on various projects including Albion Wharf, the Millennium Bridge and the new GLA building), Buschow Henley and then MJP Architects. He co-founded Willson & Bell in 2004 before setting up his new practice this year.

What work do you have? We’re involved with the design for a new learning, resource and community centre in Sierra Leone and the setting up of a new architecture school in the country. Other schemes include a timber-frame home in Blackheath – our first successful test using BIM – and the ‘extreme low-carbon’ refurbishment of a Victorian house in Hampstead. We are now looking for larger-scale and community projects, such as schools and galleries.

What are your ambitions? Our ambition is to grow naturally and logically according to the workload and scale of projects ‘live’ in the office. We would like to develop a reputation for architecture that has meaning; stimulates emotional response; enriches the client’s quality of life; is sustainable; has aesthetic sensibility; and is functional.

How optimistic are you? We are extremely optimistic about 2010 and believe it is necessary to always stay positive, both in and out of recession. [We] predict the recession will be drying up by the end of 2010 and [our] advice to others is ‘to stay lean and keen’.

Contact: 020 7012 1674,

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