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New practices #90: Antonio Garcia Architecture

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

Antonio Garcia Architecture

Founded: Early 2010  

Main people: Antonio Garcia, managing director; Julia Lukasiewicz, associate architect and Sigita Burbulyte

Where have you come from? Antonio previously worked at Steve Uniwn’s practice UAD, for two years and at Falconer Chester Hall for seven years before that.

What work do you have and what kind of projects are you looking for? We’ve recently handed over a multimillion pound overhaul of the Grade II-listed Blythe Hall in Lathom, Lancashire. The project included large contemporary extensions, sports pavilion and seperate complex including a refurbished cottage, stables and granny flat.

We’ve just won planning approval for a large student development in Myrtle Street, Liverpool city centre which includes commercial and leisure uses. Work started on site and will be complete in August 2012.

Construction has also started on site on our Ingersley Vale ‘zero carbon’ scheme in Bollington, East Cheshire which features eight townhouses and 44 apartments, some within a Grade II-listed mill.

We will soon be submitting a large planning application for affordable and sustainable housing in one of Liverpools deprived areas, Dingle.  The New Brunswick Village design is inspired by contemporary Dutch housing.

While we generally specialise in residential architecture, from high-end one off houses to affordable and sustainable housing, we are also involved in industrial biomass facilities and retail projects.  Competition entries will soon be an important part of our agenda. We will be giving many well-established practices a run for their money.

What are your ambitions? Our immediate aim is to evolve the practice over the next 18 months into a manageable size of around 12 staff. Our long term goal is to be recognised as one of the UK’s leading architectural teams, known for innovative, viable and progressive architecture. Antonio is also keen to establish a presence in Barcelona, given his Spanish heritage.

How optimistic are you as a start-up practice? We have a track record of 100 per cent approvals for all planning applications we have maintained a strong client base who have all been active throughout the recession.  Our only fear would be growing into an unmanageable size without the necessary resource in leadership and ensuring growth does not detrimentally affect our current extremely high standard of output. We certainly do not see a near end to the recession and given our birth in a recession, the only way is up.

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