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New Practices: David Hughes 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

David Hughes Architects, London

Founded: November 2011

Main people: David Hughes

Where have you come from? Previously project director at Assael Architecture until 2007 then managing director at Hughes Jones Farrell (HJF) until its liquidation in 2011

What work do you have and what kind of projects are you looking for? David Hughes Architects was born out of the closure of Hughes Jones Farrell in November last year. We managed to retain a few of the HJF projects which we are taking forward this year. Our main work is either London-based residential property development or theatre and performing arts work. We’re currently preparing planning applications for two residential apartment developments in London as well as the onsite works for the Park Theatre. We’ll continue to look for this kind of work and are reminding all of our existing contacts, and people we knew, that we still exist in a slightly new form and we are ready to begin to grow again.

What are your ambitions? We’re quickly becoming known for theatres. We’d like to expand in to other performing arts and cultural projects mainly in the UK but we would look for international work as we get bigger.

How optimistic are you as a start-up practice? Pretty – the experience and then closure of Hughes Jones Farrell taught us a great deal about how to – and how not to – deal with the recession and ensure we have a sustainable business model in place. We’ve found clients want the certainty of delivery but combined with dealing with an individual they trust. It’s difficult to convince our developer clients that as a small company we can consistently deliver and compete against the big boys even if they really want to work with us as individuals.

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