The latest in a series of practice profiles looking at architects who have recently decided to go it alone either through choice or redundancy
Rud Sawers Architects, Devon
Founded: Full time from September 2009
Main people: Director Rud Sawers, Christian Froggatt & Matt Green
Where have you come from?
Rud worked at Hodder Associates, Manchester, Michael Hopkins Architects, Cartwright Pickard Architects and Feilden Clegg Bradley.
What work do you have?
Our largest project is a £2 million enterprise building, the ‘Rooute Centre’ in Torquay. Plus a number of community projects including Shaldon Turner Centre. There are also an architect’s office and residential refurbishment, a new build private house and part refurbishment/extension projects. Framework commissions include work at Dartmouth Naval College.
What are your ambitions?
To establish a network of high calibre consultants for a highly efficient ‘design process’. And to help raise architectural quality in the South West. We’d like a ‘mothership’ head office in Devon of 10 people with satellite offices nationwide of 2 to 3 people in each. We’d like to be known for having a go. If you don’t do it, you’ll never know….
How optimistic are you?
The biggest battle is to not worry about lack of work tomorrow. It helps with a key project as a mainstay of fee income which allows a strategic development of the practice. Client recommendations and repeat commissions are invaluable. We are finding a positive reaction to our lack of ‘reception bling’ and are not deterred by the ‘low overhead’ office, which serves as a showcase for our work.
We draw on a range of experience from working with established, respected practices. Key lessons include:
Hodder Associates – Draw, draw, draw. A pen in one’s hand can lead others.
Michael Hopkins and Partners – Rigour, discipline, efficiency. Keep things simple.
Cartwright Pickard Architects – Balancing good design with acute commercial acumen.
Feilden Clegg Bradley – Enjoy it, have fun, have responsibility and treat people with respect.