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New Practices #95: Fife 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

Fife Architects, East Neuk of Fife

Founded:   September 2011

Main people:   Lucy and Fermin Beltran

Where have you come from? Lucy has worked at Gareth Hoskins Architects in Glasgow and Behnisch Architekten, Germany. Fermin at Anderson Bell Christie Architects, Glasgow and Holzman Moss Bottino, New York. Both also worked at Hardy Holzman Pfeiffer Associates, New York

What work do you have and what kind of projects are you looking for? 
Several domestic projects that we are very pleased to have considering our practice is only four months old. Our aim is to attract work from new clients by providing an approachable service that people new to working with architects would find appealing. As Fermin is from Peru, we would love to get involved in projects there. Last year, we established a research and development studio in Lima called EcoArki to find low-cost, low-impact solutions for the developing world

What are your ambitions?  We’re happy with the size of our practice as being small gives control over design, quality and client relations. We are a married couple with children and our office is at home, which suits our lifestyle. One day it would be nice to have an office separate from the family home, but it’s a great way of keeping our overheads down.

How optimistic are you as a start-up practice?
Since starting, we have had enquiries from locals every week and we are now starting to get them from further afield. This, of course, does not mean instant projects and cash flow. Running your own business is a steep learning curve and you just have to work as hard as you can.
The architectural process is not a fast one so this is a challenge. Running your own business for the first time is a steep learning curve and you just have to work as hard as you can to keep on top of everything.  One of the best resources for anyone thinking of starting their own practice is the book by David Littlefield ‘Architects Guide to Running a Practice’ which contains very practical advice.  

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