The latest in a series of practice profiles looking at architects who have recently decided to go it alone either through choice or redundancy
SOUP Architects, London and Channel Islands
Founded: January 2012
Main people: Max Babbé, Jamie Le Gallez, John Norman and Patrick Walls
Where have you come from?
Originally from London, Guernsey and Jersey we forged our relationship working together at Mooarc London. The chance to set up on our own at the end of 2011 was too good an opportunity to turn down.
What work do you have and what kind of projects are you looking for?
Our work comes predominately from recommendations and as a group we’ve always worked with the optimistic belief of focussing on the task in hand, doing our best and believing the rest will follow. This was a work ethic that was successful in our previous practice and is the foundations to how we wish to develop Soup.
The majority of our work consists of private residential houses for discerning clients. We have recently completed a major refurbishment of a Grade II building within Ham House, Richmond and a new build contemporary house in Thames Ditton, Surrey. We currently have projects on site in London and Guernsey and are about to start on site with a new build house in Suffolk and a large building renovation in France. Building on this, we would like to expand the practice into other sectors.
What are your ambitions? We pride ourselves on retaining close contact to past clients and building a portfolio of work that evolves on the successes of the past. Be adaptable, ingenious with the problem/opportunity to hand and if possible take a few moments to enjoy what we do and what we produce.
How optimistic are you as a start-up practice?
We were fortunate to start 2012 with a busy workload that shielded us from the worst of the recession. If our financial institutions cannot predict the end or a defined way out of the current recession, we aren’t going to offer one.
Setting up Soup has been a challenging task for the four of us, but taking control of our future has so far been very cathartic and uplifting. I guess that suggests we fall into the optimistic camp.
How are you marketing yourselves?
Starting a new practice gave us the chance to analysis our key qualities and strengths and we made the ambitious decision to produce a book, which we called OPUS#01. We’re going to attempt to make it an annual and use it as a review of our achievements and as a constant reference of who we are / what we do. It will be our manifesto to send to clients, contacts and to people who we would love to work with.
We have also focussed on expanding our media coverage and recently got involved with the Grand Designs Live Show in London, which allowed us the unprecedented opportunity to meet like-minded people and potential clients.
Contact details: SOUP London: 198, Blackstock Road, London. N5 1EN
T: +44(0)20 7354 1729
SOUP Guernsey: The Loft, Upper Mansell Street, St. Peter Port, Guernsey. GY1 1LY
T: +44(0)7781 147 667