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New Practices #87: Annabelle Tugby 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

Annabelle Tugby Architects, Cheshire

Founded: June 2011

Main people: Annabelle Tugby

Where have you come from? Following eight years at Stephenson Bell Architects, completing projects such as north house, a private house in Bowdon, Ancoats medical centre in Will Alsop’s Cardroom Estate and a resi-office scheme for the Edwin Lutyens’ building, 100 King Street - I left to have twins. While on maternity leave I was being asked to do projects and decided to set up the practice to follow my own ambitions and work/life balance.

What work do you have and what are you looking for? I’m converting a  large, listed rectory into a private dental practice and working with several families in Cheshire to remodel their homes. Many of these are Victorian townhouses. There’s also a new  project in Alderley Edge. I’m looking for a wide range of clients presenting challenges in larger commercial projects right through to one-off houses.

What are your ambitions? To build the practice’s reputation upon innovative design and professional responsibility. To have a lively and proactive studio, and to maintain a healthy mix of commercial and residential work. The combination is what keeps it exciting for me and the motivation is the people I work with.
The sense of ownership effects every aspect of my working day, from achieving that construction detail to the thrill of a client’s satisfaction, or a new commission. In a small practice, everything must go on your website, so there’s no room to produce or hide mediocre work.

How optimistic are you? Very, even at this early stage. I started with just free advertising and already after only three months am able to provide private childcare for three. The recession is notorious for being a great time for start-ups and it does feel like the work is trickling down to those with lower overheads. I’m looking forward to an exciting future and it feels great.




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