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New Practices #94: Studio DRA

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

Practice Name: Studio DRA - London, Prague and Delhi.

Founded:  October 2010

Main people: David Roden, Nick Sutton, Chris Bell and Chris Lane

Where have you come from? David Roden previously worked at Carey Jones, HKR and Michael Aukett Architects. Nick Sutton and Chris Bell were also at HKR, with Chris Lane having worked at PRC Architecture and Michael Aukett Architects.

What work do you have and what kind of projects are you looking for? We have masterplans in India, Africa, Central Europe and the UK, ranging from a 50-hectare urban regeneration scheme here, to new communities of more than 250-hectare in India. Other projects include a 50,000m2 office complex in Moscow, the renovation of an 18th century country estate in Central Europe, and a 350,000m2 residential-led development at Chandigarh, India. 

What are your ambitions?  The philosophy of the practice is a collaborative design driven approach that counts on the minds of many making better and more informed decisions than minds working alone. The firm is already employing 15 to 20 people across the three locations and the aim is a studio of no more than 50 to 60 people in total.  This allows the four partners to keep the standard of design and quality of client care at a maximum.

How optimistic are you as a start-up practice? Being a start-up practice may just be an advantage in this market as it allows for more responsive personal service.  The client does not want to pay for the infrastructure and legacy costs of a large firm. They would rather receive a lot of senior level attention to their project. Clients have been very receptive to our hands-on approach, which keeps the company nimble and responsive and allows a consistent quality of service whatever the location.

Website Address: (020 7193 1628)

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