The latest in a series of practice profiles looking at those who have recently decided to go it alone
Main people Matt Watts and Jim Reed
Founded January 2016
How did Reed Watts Architects come about?
Both Matt Watts and I worked at Haworth Tompkins before we founded the practice. I was there 14 years and Matt was there 19. When I joined, there were only eight or so staff.
I worked on predominantly cultural projects, such as the open air theatre, while Matt worked on housing with Peabody, so our skills are complementary. As the practice got a lot bigger, we both felt it was time to leave.
What are the main projects you are working on at the moment?
Our work is pretty balanced. We are working on phased improvement works to the Grade II-listed Shoreditch Town Hall, including a new bar at the front of the building and public lift and improved accessibility.
We are mixing that up with a new-build cricket pavilion in Teddington, and we have just won planning for four affordable homes and a Passivhaus in south Cambridgeshire. We also have some residential work, loft conversions and house extensions.
Reed Watts Architects
Are there any sectors that you would like to break into?
We would like to do more affordable housing.
How do you go about winning work?
So far, our work has some from word of mouth. With Shoreditch Town Hall we had a good relationship the director, Nick Giles. The hardest thing for a new practice is to establish its technical credentials but we built good reputations at Haworth Tompkins, which was a great place to learn. Other than that we plan to work as hard as possible and talk to as many people as possible.
Do you have a marketing strategy?
We don’t have an overall game plan as such. We want to work on projects that interest us rather than those that are just lucrative.
What does success look like for Reed Watts Architects over the next few years?
At the moment there are four of us, Matt and I and a Part 1 and Part 2. We have just moved into an office in Mortimer Street, but the plan would be to consolidate first rather than expand exponentially. And make sure we are doing good work.
Reed Watts Architects