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Emerging Woman Architect of the Year shortlist: Katy Marks

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Katy Marks, founder of Citizens Design Bureau, has been shortlisted for the 2015 Emerging Architect of the Year Award

Katy Marks established Citizens Design Bureau in 2012 to ‘develop a more nimble form of practice’. Prior to this she was one of three project architects on Haworth Tompkins’ Stirling Prize-winning Everyman Theatre in Liverpool, taking the scheme through to its start on site. When she left to set up on her own, after having her second child, Haworth Tompkins invited Marks to design the furniture, fittings, finishes and signage for the scheme. In 2014 she completed a refurbishment of the undercroft at London’s Royal Court Theatre with Lyndon Goode Architects. She is currently working on 2,500m² of creative workspace at Hackney Downs Studios in east London; the interior of the Ambassadors Theatre (soon to be renamed the Sondheim Theatre) in the West End, and a collective custom-build housing research project.

Q&A

Katy Marks

Studied Glasgow School of Art; ETSA Madrid and Cambridge University
First practice
Haworth Tompkins
First project
National Theatre Studios, Waterloo
Current projects
Workspaces at Hackney Downs Studios; interior remodelling of the Ambassadors Theatre; live music venue and gallery for Boiler Room
Current clients
Cameron Mackintosh; Eat Work Art; Clitterhouse Farm; Stephen Daldry; Royal Court Theatre
Favourite architects
Assemble, Balkrishna Doshi, Anna Heringer, Ash Sakula and SteveTompkins
Favourite building
School of Architecture, Ahmedabad, India, by Balkrishna Doshi
Why architecture
I’ve always been fascinated by the way people live, just daily life, materials and how things are put together. On a good day it feels like a lovely mixture of crazy wild ideas and exhilarating rigour.
Biggest challenge facing women in architecture
Childcare cost. It is crippling – coupled with a lack of imagination within the industry about what women can contribute to the business of architecture after having children.
Advice to aspiring female architects
Only do it if you love it. Appreciate the support of family, friends and colleagues.

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