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New outfit PriestmanDye to build 'alien' in Atlanta

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NEWS

London-based practice PriestmanDye Architects has won planning permission for a £3 million mixed-use building in the US city of Atlanta.

The scheme, involving underground parking and a development which abuts the pavement, is unusual for a city where buildings are marooned among large swathes of parking lots, said the architect.

'This type of building is alien to American culture, ' said partner Robert Dye. 'Part of what we're trying to do is work out a new urban typology for the country.'

The building is to contain apartments, offices and an Italian cultural centre and should be on site by the year's end. The practice is working with Atlanta-based Peter Drey Associates to comply with current rules on operating in the US.

PriestmanDye was formed just last week from the merger of Matthew Priestman Architects (featured in the Architecture Foundation's twoyear-old New Architects book) and Robert Dye Associates. The two currently employ 10 people and are looking to expand.

'We want to be taking a few bounds forward, ' said Priestman, who wants to position the Clerkenwell-based practice as a mould-breaking firm dedicated to 'rethinking' established design types.

'We're hoping that by combining our resources we'll be greater than the sum of our parts.'

The practice has also just won a competition to design a 2,000m 2flexible-use building for a brownfield site in Kensal Green, west London.

Both the materials and configuration of the building have yet to be worked out, but Priestman and Dye are planning a 'very rational scheme', which will be 'dressed in something very beautiful'.

The practice is hosting an urban design workshop at the RIBA on 21-22 September as part of Urban Design Week.

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