The thirteenth in a series of practice profiles looking at architects who have recently decided to go it alone, either through choice or redundancy
Untitled Practice, London, SE19
Founded: July 2009
Main people: Architect Murray Smith and landscape architect Fenella Griffin
Where have you come from? Murray was a director at John McAslan + Partners for nine years, establishing it’s Culture and Education team, and led many competition and award-winning projects, working in the UK and abroad. He also edited the practice’s periodical Journal.
Fenella has practiced independently on competition-winning regeneration projects with architects Public Works (formerly Studio 3), and Ian McChesney. She worked internationally with EDAW, and has taught widely, including at Kingston, LMU and the AA.
What work do you have and what kind of projects are you looking for? We’re designing two contemporary houses within a listed Arts & Crafts estate in the South Downs National Park, and we’re developing a low carbon renewal strategy for a listed C18th farmhouse in a Cornish coastal valley. We’ve also recently been commissioned with Landolt + Brown to work on a Green Link in Tottenham connecting the High Road with the Lea Valley via a new land bridge.
We want to build upon the indivisibility of our disciplines, engaging with the land, its buildings, and people. This could mean working anywhere between wilderness and metropolis, at any scale, public or private.
What are your ambitions? Untitled Practice could take us to a number of places. We’re keeping an open mind, but will be guided by our underlying interest in cultural ecology and our desire to make joined-up, sustainable environments. We’re planning to grow our small but beautiful team during 2010, and proceed from there.
How optimistic are you as a start-up practice? Despite recent events, we see this as a time for necessary change. We sense that the future will favour new models of accountability; lighter organisations able to adapt their thinking quickly to complex situations. It feels like we’re following a natural course, exploring new opportunities. Our outlook is positive.