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New practice Studio Lisboeta: ‘The best advice I’ve been given was to learn how to say no’

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

Practice name Studio Lisboeta, based in Hackney

Where are you based? Hackney, east London

Founded January 2017

Main people Paula Trindade

Where have you come from? Stanton Williams and Hawkins\Brown.

What work do you have and what kind of projects are you looking for?
I enjoy being fully involved in all aspects of my projects, so I prefer the small-scale schemes. Currently I mainly do residential renovations and extensions. However, I am generally keen on working on any kind of project that offers me an interesting design challenge and opportunity. Doing a pop-up, shop or pavilion would be fun. Most clients come to me through references, but I have done some competition work as well.

What are your ambitions? 
I plan to stay in Hackney as it is such a vibrant and creative place to be. Delivering high-quality projects – not necessarily at high prices – is one of my core values. It feels just great when a project exceeds the client’s expectations.

What are the biggest challenges facing yourself as a start-up and the profession generally?
Nowadays there is an incredible pressure on architectural start-ups and larger business to scale-up and be faster, sometimes at any cost. I feel it a priority to be quite strict about not letting any of it affect the quality of the design in my projects and also allow my business to grow steadily. The best advice I got was to learn how to say ‘no’ and make my boundaries very clear to everyone involved.
It may sound counterproductive, but it really brings lots of positive outcomes. As a start-up there are certainly many fears to overcome, the biggest for me being losing my sleep over those issues – it hasn’t happened yet.

Which scheme, completed in the past five years, has inspired you most?
It is difficult to choose from so many great projects … I’m going to say Made in Oakfield from Matt + Fiona as it really puts people at the centre of the design and construction process to make it possible. The result is a beautiful and fun building that everyone must very proud of.

How are you marketing yourselves? Just by letting people know what I do.

Website www.studiolisboeta.com

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