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Both partners in the Sanei Hopkins studio are scions of distinguished architectural families.

Abigail Hopkins' parents are Michael and Patty Hopkins, while Amir Sanei comes from a long line of architects in Iran (Sanei translates literally as 'builder of beautiful buildings'). The couple met while working at Michael Hopkins and Partners.

Sanei worked there in his year out and joined the practice full time when he graduated from the Architectural Association. Hopkins joined the practice after a spell in the US, where she worked for Richard Meier following a master's degree from Columbia University. After 12 and six years respectively at Michael Hopkins, the pair left to set up their own practice. Their first completed project was their own house in Dalston, east London, which also serves as their studio. Armed with little more than a computer, a fax machine and a good accountant, they have followed a long line of young modern practices in living and working in the same space.

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