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New practices: Sylvester Cheung 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

Sylvester Cheung Architects, Melton Mowbray, Leicester

Founded: October 2012

Main people: Sylvester Cheung

Where have you come from?
I did Part 1 and 2 at the University of Liverpool and Part 3 at De Montfort University. I was a partner at Parkinson Dodson & Cheung.

What work do you have?
We specialise in residential and community-based projects. We are working on a few large domestic extensions on the outskirts of Leicester, as well as working on the change of use to various buildings within an old brewery site in Nottinghamshire. We are also actively working with an agent in Hong Kong on redevelopment opportunities. Through colleagues from Liverpool days, I am also delighted to be involved in a hotel development in Sri Lanka. Most of the jobs have come through clients I inherited from my previous practice.

What are your ambitions?
To be financially sustainable in the first 12 months and to have a team of four or five in the UK and another branch in Hong
Kong in the next few years.

How optimistic are you?
I have quite a bit of knowledge in running and managing a practice, and therefore technical side of the setting up was not much of a problem. However, funding was very limited and making myself and the new practice known was a challenge. We have now seen the bottom of the recession, but architects will have to hold out for at least 18 months to be able to see our trade grow sustainably.

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