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New practices: Studiowest Architects

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The latest in a series of practice profiles looking at architects who have recently decided to go it alone either through choice or redundancy

Studiowest Architects, St Just, Penzance

Founded: March 2011

Main people: Charles Griffiths and Neil Wall

Where have you come from? Charles was a director of Arco Studios, which he set up with Barrie Briscoe. Neil worked at Niall Phillips Architects, Bristol, then Arco Studios for a year, before setting up with Charles.  

What work do you have? A number of one-off private houses and extensions in special locations deep in far west Cornwall (Dor Lewern, Sennen, pictured). We’re fascinated by new materials and methods of construction that can help reduce the carbon footprint of a building. We’d also like to expand our client base into other sectors, as we both have experience from previous practice.

What are your ambitions? We would like to continue working in far west Cornwall because it is such an inspiring and wonderful place to live and work. The landscape and Modernist artist tradition of West Penwith is a real creative driver for us. But we would also welcome the opportunity to design in other areas of the UK and abroad. We would like to be known for, exciting, energy-efficient constructions that are in the context of the contemporary ‘now’ but also of ‘place’. We hope we are already doing that.

How optimistic are you? We’re optimistic because, very luckily, we’ve had a steady flow of new projects and repeat clients. It’s hard to foresee a change in the economy, but I hope it improves soon, as Cornwall is very financially depressed.

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