The latest in a series of practice profiles looking at architects who have recently decided to go it alone either through choice or redundancy
Atomik Architecture, Dalston, London
Founded: Reformed August 2013
Main people: Mike Oades and Derek John Draper
Where have you come from?
Skegness and Shrewsbury via Foster + Partners, Ushida Findlay Architects and Aedas.
What work do you have?
Our work comes through existing relationships, but we actively explore ideas through competitions and self-initiated projects. Our experience of large-scale, complex projects gained in international practices has been very useful in securing work. We are busy with commercial, education and residential work, here and abroad. We have been involved in some arts festivals in the past which are really good fun, so we have a few more of these lined up for 2014.
What are your ambitions?
Making really good spaces attuned to the way people live. We enjoy the whole design process, from inception to completion. We find satisfaction in managing a project well. Ultimately, we would like to be a size where clients have the confidence in us to deliver larger projects, but still be able to do the smaller work that we really enjoy.
What are the biggest challenges facing yourself as a start-up?
The pressure to reduce fees and get paid on time. The profession could benefit from modernising its education routes and be more united generally.
Which project most inspires you?
The Arish Palm houses in Oman. They are built by the occupants out of natural materials and moved around seasonally.