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New practices: Emmett Russell 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

Emmett Russell Architects, Bristol

Founded: March 2014

Main people:Tom Russell and Victoria Emmett

Where have you come from?
We were previously Tom Russell Architects. Before that, Russell worked for Tony Fretton and Emmett for Hawkins\Brown.

What work do you have and what kind of projects are you looking for?
We have a lot on our plate, including several large-scale housing projects, some smaller one-off residential schemes and a few quirky developments, such as a brewery and a scout hut.

What are your ambitions?
Our key interests are family housing, liveable neighbourhoods and new approaches to retirement housing. We’re trying to resist the temptation to grow too quickly and would rather do fewer projects really well.

What are the biggest challenges facing you as a start-up and the profession generally?
We had some sage advice from Stephen Witherford which sums up the challenge for a growing practice: ‘Choose opportunities carefully and build well.’ It’s harder than it sounds

Which scheme, completed in the past five years, has inspired you most?
Accordia, although slightly more than five years old, is always an important reference in terms of improving the quality of housing in this country.

How are you marketing yourselves?
We have found the most important marketing tool is happy customers.

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