The latest in a series of practice profiles looking at those who have recently decided to go it alone
Practice name Francis Terry and Associates
Where Colchester, Essex
Founded June 2016
Main people Francis Terry, Les Canham and Martyn Winney
Where have you come from?
We all worked at Quinlan Terry’s practice.
What work do you have and what kind of projects are you looking for?
We are currently working on urban schemes for the centre of Twickenham and Northampton, both the result of competitions, which we are really enjoying and something I would like to do more of.
We are also designing some private houses in Norfolk, Wiltshire and the south of France, two of which are now on site.
What are your ambitions?
I am quite ambitious, I would like to design a major part of London. I would be very happy if my Knightsbridge scheme or my work at Mount Pleasant went forward.
What are the biggest challenges you face as a start-up?
Keeping enough work coming in to keep a small team going without being swamped by too much work.
What advice have you had?
My clients have all been very encouraging and excited about this new chapter in my career. The advice has been ‘If you want to start a practice do it before it is too late!’
What are your fears?
I fear not having enough work to keep my exceptional team employed.
Do clients prefer working with smaller firms?
They should. Small firms are generally more efficient because they need less management. Small firms have the advantage that the person who sees the client, designs the building, rather than the work being passed down the hierarchy.
Which scheme, completed in the past five years, has inspired you most?
I think the Grayson Perry house by FAT is an interesting departure from the very predictable all-pervasive contemporary style. I like buildings that have a narrative; use colour, sculpture and ornament with humour and a sense of fun.
How are you marketing yourselves?
I do all the usual things; I have a website, I go to drinks parties, I do some social media, mainly Instagram which I like because it is image- rather than word-based, which suits architecture.
Phone number: 01206 580528