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Carmody Groarke: ‘Small projects have different tactics’

Andy Groarke of 2015 AJ Small Projects-winning practice Carmody Groarke gives his advice to those entering the 2016 competition

Speaking at an event to launch the 2016 AJ Small Projects Awards held at wallacespace last night (12 November), Groarke said small projects had been key to the progression of his practice.

‘Small projects are important to the development of practice. Through these projects the craft of what we do is examined,’ he said.

He added: ‘Small projects have different tactics. Tactics for spaces are the building blocks for our architecture.’

Describing the methods used on the practice’s temporary Maggie’s Centre in Clatterbridge which won last year’s award, Groarke said that they had to improvise.

The scheme, which reused the 2013 Small Projects-shortlisted London Dresser, was built from six second-hand Portakabins which the practice bought on eBay.

Also speaking at the event David Kohn, whose Sanderson House scheme was a finalist in last year’s awards, said that small projects were a great place to test ideas.

‘The themes of small projects are consistent with larger architecture. Small projects are great for testing ideas,’ he said.

The AJ Small Projects Awards, run with long-term partner Marley Eternit, celebrate completed projects with a contract value of £250,000 and under.

How to enter

You will need to submit 150 words describing your project along with at least eight photographs, five drawings and one working detail.

Entry costs £60 + VAT and must be paid via this link. All entries should be made digitally via the AJ Buildings Library.

Email Laura Mark at ajsmallprojects@emap.com for your unique upload login.

The deadline for entries is 4 December 2015.

Conditions

  • Projects must have been completed between 1 January 2014 and 4 December 2015
  • All entries must have a total contract value of £250,000 or under
  • Entries should have a connection to the UK - either the project must be completed by a UK practice abroad or located in the UK
  • Projects must not have had significant coverage in the architectural press
  • If your project has been covered elsewhere, for example blogs, national newspapers etc, please declare

Readers' comments (1)

  • Interestingly, the procurement routes used on small projects tend to be much more architect friendly - allowing architects to act as professionals, sitting alongside the client, offering advice and expertise. Larger projects are increasingly being procured in such a way that the architect is simply another 'member of the supply chain' doing what they are told, rather than acting in a professional and advisory capacity. Shame really!

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