Getting your business plan right and collaboration are key to growing a practice, according to the winners of this year’s AJ Women in Architecture Awards
Emerging Woman Architect of the Year winners Tatiana von Preussen, Catherine Pease and Jessica Reynolds of vPPR told of how their practice had seen its workload increase since winning the accolade.
The six-year-old London-based firm has seen its turnover and practice size double in the past year.
The trio, which plans to grow its overseas work, told the 200-strong audience gathered at the Zaha Hadid-designed ROCA London Gallery: ‘The last three years has seen a turning point in our practice.
‘We believe in quality in how we manage our practice - as well as how we design our projects.’
To get a foothold in new sectors and to land more substantial commissions, the trio confessed they had ‘collaborated with bigger practices to gain bigger projects’.
Meanwhile Woman Architect of the Year Teresa Borsuk said that ‘perceptions in the industry still needed to change’.
She told the audience at the annual event, that winning the award had made her realise she was a role model to other women in the industry.
Borsuk added that practices should be aiming for a ‘gender neutral business model’.
Also at the event, Amanda Levete gave a moving tribute to the late Women in Architecture judge and campaign supporter Moira Gemmill, who was hit by a truck on her way to work at St James Palace last month.
AL_A founder Levete, who was commissioned by Gemmill to design the V&A’s new courtyard and underground extension described her as ‘one of the most engaged clients’.
She said: ‘She knew that value lay in the small detail and would travel the world to meet manufacturers. She was one of the most engaged clients I have ever worked with.’
‘Moira knew people did their best work when they hadn’t done it before. That is what she wanted and if it meant taking risks she would go for it.’
Levete added: ‘We will honour her by making our projects at the V&A as great as she believed they could be.’