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New practices: FKA

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

FKA, Southwark, London

Main people: Nonda Katsalidis, Karl Fender, Earle Arney, plus Graeme Rapley, Simon Jackson, Nick Acton-Adams, Martin Markcrow and Richard Foley

Founded: August 2013

Where have you come from?
The predecessor firm Fender Katsaldis was founded in 1988. Arney was the executive chair of Woods Bagot Europe and a global company director since 2005 until May. He worked closely with fellow directors Graeme Rapley and Acton Adams. Jackson was a principal at Gensler in London for 18 years and a partner for 14 years. Markcrow was design director of John McAslan + Partners before starting his own practice, which he has merged with FKA. Foley was a director with international resort development company Newfound NV and director of planning and design at Brookfield Multiplex UK.

What work do you have?
We are design architect on a $1 billion twin tower scheme in Calgary, Canada. FKA won the commission through a limited competition with Foster + Partners and SOM. FKA has also been appointed on two office projects for Deloitte in Montreal and Toronto, totalling 53,000m².

What are your ambitions?
We are young at heart and nimble of mind. We do not strive to be the largest global practice and work on every project. But we strive to deliver the world’s best projects. After a month’s operation we have 30 people and we will cap the size of our firm at about 60 people.

What are the biggest challenges facing yourself as a start-up?
We have re-tuned our offering as a result of the recession, but we are very excited about our future.


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