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New practices: Cousins & Cousins

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

Cousins & Cousins, Highgate, London

Main people Ben Cousins and Jelena Cousins

Founded October 2012

Where have you come from?
We are a husband and wife team who met at the Bartlett. Jelena ran her own practice after working at Hawkins\Brown and Wilkinson Eyre. Before co-owning CWA, Ben worked at Hopkins and as an associate at ESA.

What work do you have?
Current projects include a number of Grade II-listed townhouses in Westminster, Kensington and Chelsea; an extensive new-build family home in Highgate; a retained facade rebuild with basement; and a large new-build multi-unit residential unit scheme in West Hampstead. We have recently been shortlisted for the Connecting the Seven Lochs competition outside Glasgow.

What are your ambitions?
Quality and contemporary craftsmanship are our key values. A rigorous attention to detail is maintained through every scale. We hope people find our architecture engaging and thoughtful. The team grew from five to 15 people this year and we would now like to maintain a steady, sustained growth.

How optimistic are you?
Joining forces allowed us to consolidate our experience and contacts. It has given us confidence also as co-directors. We wish that public authorities and universities would entrust young practices as they did in the past. It is disheartening that we can’t enter many competitions as we don’t score highly enough on the PQQ system.


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