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New practices: Carl Trenfield 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

Carl Trenfield Architects, Canterbury, Kent

Main people: Carl Trenfield

Founded: May 2012

Where have you come from?
I worked on mainly public arts buildings at Keith Williams Architects since its inception. We relocated to Canterbury, where my wife works, last year, which prompted starting a practice.

What work do you have?
When I started there were no contacts that could be turned into fee paying work. We used our apartment as a springboard, which I had been crafting in my spare time, and worked with The Modern House to market it. We have accepted our second project from them. We’re also working with floating homes builder Mike O’Shea to develop low-impact, affordable houses to partly address the dire housing situation. Competitions will begin shortly.

What are your ambitions?
The practice has just moved out of the home office which it outgrew. I’d like to remain a small team of between five and 10. With social media I’ve found the London-centric architecture community has expanded and the need to be central is less important. I’ve a strong desire to work on and contribute to a new rural vernacular with a reputation for thoughtful, crafted and narrative-led architecture.

How optimistic are you?
Very. You have to be. It is more straightforward to get work as a small firm than a medium-sized one with larger overheads. My current clients prefer our size because of the access to the director, clarity in the design process and our flexibility.


Floating accommodation and commercial within St Katharine Docks, designed by Carl Trenfield Architects

Floating accommodation and commercial within St Katharine Docks, designed by Carl Trenfield Architects








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