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New practice: MRG Studio

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The latest in a series of practice profiles looking at those who have recently decided to go it alone

Main People Jose Rosa (architect), Jennifer Mui (landscape architect) and Phil Griffiths (horticulturist)
Based East London
Founded April 2014

Where have you come from?
Jose and Jenn met at Gustafson Porter and Phil joined them from the Royal Botanic Garden Kew’s Innovation Unit.  We’ve also worked at Sauerbruch Hutton, Mosbach Paysagistes and Olin Partnership.

What work do you have and what kind of projects are you looking for?
Our first built project was the Kingston Quaker Centre, an urban landscape that’s meant to grow a little wild.

MRG Studio - Kingston

We’re now working on the masterplan for the Melksham Canal Link, a 200ha development along the first section of the 85km Wiltshire and Berkshire Canal to be restored.

We’ve spent years designing public spaces to improve the quality of people’s lives – but an experience of the natural environment shouldn’t just stop at the door; by bringing architecture, landscape and horticulture into one practice, we can bring something of the outdoors right into the building.

What are your ambitions?
We’re building a small, creative practice that combines the breadth of skills found in a larger firm with the personal attention and service of a boutique studio.

We understand how plants grow and respond to environmental manipulation.  We match this with our technical ability to create the right conditions for growth in any climate. We want to be known for making the most of our living systems, from concept design to maintenance.

What are the biggest challenges facing yourself as a start-up and the profession generally?
Lanscape architecture is still for many a misunderstood profession. We work with other disciplines whilst bringing our own insights. As a small practice we need to focus our input to make the most impact.

Which scheme, completed in the past five years, has inspired you most?
Louvre Lens, France, by SANAA and Mosbach Paysagistes.

How are you marketing yourselves?
We love getting to know our clients and consultants over time, so we’ll continue to work through existing contacts and use competitions to explore new collaborations. We’ve also been working with a specialist marketing and PR agency.

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