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New practice White Red Architects: ‘Architectural education leaves out how to find work’


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

Practice name White Red Architects

Based Shoreditch, London

Founded  May 2017

Main people Dicky Lewis, Joe Haire, Jesus Jimenez

Where have you come from?
We met at the Manchester School of Architecture, often working together in the ReMap unit. We discussed the idea of setting up during our Part 3 studies while working at AHMM and Foster + Partners. Jesus joined shortly after to collaborate on a few early projects and we quickly discovered that we worked well as a team and had complementary skills.

What work do you have and what kind of projects are you looking for?
A diverse range of projects from a blood donation centre and laboratory in east London to a 2,800m² co-working space for people working in the film industry in Holborn. We have recently completed a house in Buckinghamshire entirely clad in Scottish larch, a high-contrast black and white office in Swiss Cottage and a lantern-filled Taiwanese Bao restaurant in Brixton Village.

We are open to most propositions as we believe there are opportunities in every project. We are always looking for ways to demonstrate how good design can improve people’s quality of life and we put our energy into proving this on every project.

Project by white red architects (2)

Project by white red architects (2)

Brixton Village Bao restaurant for Tiger and Pig

What are your ambitions?
We are a design practice and would like to be known for our ideas. We want to create a strong design studio in London that tackles both projects here and abroad. We aren’t afraid of growth and enjoy applying what we have learnt from our previous experience in larger practices to the way we design and manage the studio. Our aim is to scale up as a practice in order to take on the larger commissions we’re used to delivering.

What are the biggest challenges facing yourself as a start-up and the profession generally?
Learning how to run a business and find work was the biggest challenge. In our experience architectural education typically leaves out the entrepreneurial aspects required to get started and continue to make or find opportunities to do work. Now, as we take on more projects, learning to grow sustainably takes a lot of focus but it is a challenge that is very rewarding to take on.

We were recently given some good advice from Simon Allford, who reminded us of the importance of staying closely involved with the architectural community. It is both a great source of support but also keeps you on your toes.

Project by white red architects (7)

Rural workshop and office, Brecon Beacons, Wales

Rural workshop and office, Brecon Beacons, Wales

Which scheme, completed in the past five years, has inspired you most?
Haddo Yard, by Denizen Works with developer Arrant Land, is a project we keep coming back to in our discussions. It’s a great example of good design being taken seriously with attention to detail that clearly adds value.

How are you marketing yourselves?
Getting out there and meeting people at industry events is something we all really enjoy doing and has been important in building our network. We were recently shortlisted for the London Festival of Architecture London Bridge wayfinding competition, which has been great exposure for us.

Website address

Project by white red architects (10)

Project by white red architects (10)

The Zoetrope at Tooley Street - shortlisted entry in the LFA London Bridge public realm design competition


Readers' comments (4)

  • John Kellett

    Not 40 years ago it didn’t. Not fully comprehensive but it did include some aspects of development analysis etc. When did it change?

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  • I suppose I should be grateful. My business Colander Associates has been able to thrive because it fills the gap - helping architects to understand and develop successful business models that enable creativity and profitability to sit comfortably side by side... and it's fun!

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  • Industry Professional

    [Re_Map], please.

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  • le corbusier is dead !?

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