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New Practices # 51: Wren Architecture & Design

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

Wren Architecture & Design, London SE1

Founded: May 2009

Main people: Philip Wren

Where have you come from? I was head of office at Douglas Wallace, London, between 2006 and 2009. Before that I spent six years as head of retail at HOInternational, London, and was design director at Fitch, London, and at Aukett+Heese in Berlin between 1994 and 1996.

What work do you have? Current workload is concentrated in the retail and leisure sectors, primarily because the majority of my career has been spent there. We are hoping to expand into hotels and hospitality, mixed use and urban masterplanning. We happily enter competitions we consider relevant to our experience and talents or important to broaden our experience and knowledge.

What are your ambitions? We prefer challenges that require us to engage with people and develop solutions that interact with them. We understand commercial constraints and mediate between these and our ambitions as designers and those of our users. We like problems that involve the public and private sectors. We see opportunity and danger in the blurring of public and private and want to be part of that debate and instigators of solutions. We also want to have a little fun along the way.

How optimistic are you? Reasonably – we have a core of good, faithful and diverse clients, with whom we have a relationship of mutual support and respect.


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