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DMD defies recession to win £15m job

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DMD Architects is to design a mixed-use residential development in Johannesburg, South Africa

The young London-based practice, set up in 2007 by ex-Allies and Morrisson staff Neil Dusheiko and Eric Martin with Nikolai Delvendahl from Adjaye Associates, has already completed the The Fitness Café in St John’s Wood and a houseboat for Yo!Sushi founder Simon Woodroffe.

The Johannesburg project joins other residential, education and arts projects in Mexico, Scotland and London already on the firm’s drawing board.

The 18000m² mixed-tenure development will be submitted for planning later this year and aims to set a precedent for sustainable housing in the country.

Neil Dusheiko said, ‘We’re very lucky. Although we’ve had projects cancelled because of the credit crunch, our decision to get work abroad in South Africa and Mexico has meant we’re able to keep going – those countries are still developing and not as reliant on the banking industry as countries like Britain.’

When asked if he had any other tips for staying afloat during a recession, Neil said: ‘It’s important to be aware that anything could be a possibility and to remember that, as an architect, you have a diversity of skills at your fingertips.’

Dusheiko added that when the South Africa project goes ahead the practice will probably expand to six people.

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