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New practices: Mailen Design

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

Mailen Design, London W1

Founded: April 2011

Main people: Ben Mailen, as well as on-going collaborations with other specialists – graphics, photography, brand and interior designers, project managers and building companies 

Where have you come from? I graduated from the Architectural Association, Bartlett and Northumbria University. I began my career with Ryder Architecture in Newcastle then joined global commercial practice HKS and worked at UNIT Architects before setting up MailenDesign.

What work do you have and what kind of projects are you looking for?
We’ve recently completed three commercial fit-outs, the latest being Domus Tiles at their new base in Clerkenwell with i-am associates, which also included bespoke furniture design. As well as some high-spec residential extension projects nearing completion in London and a children’s nursery about to start on site in Northumberland, we.are also looking at sites in Portugal and Monaco for developers to design high-spec holiday villas.
We’re interested in projects at all scales and across all sectors, where the client wants to be closely involved in the design process and demands a high level of design and build quality.

What are your ambitions?
To be a practice of around 15 people known and respected for rethinking design on every project, close client liaison, attention to detail at whatever scale, high quality of design and delivery and respectful of the environment and context of each project.

How optimistic are you as a start-up practice?
Very – there’s small to medium-scale work in the UK, plus refurbs, and larger scale projects internationally. If you are nimble and adaptive there are many ways architects can contribute to projects and clients are looking for expertise at many levels. We’re excited about further developing relationships internationally – in France, Monaco, Portugal, India.

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