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New practices: Ordinary Architecture

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

Ordinary Architecture, Bethnal Green, London

Founded January 2014

Main people Charles Holland and Elly Ward

Where have you come from?
Originally, the marshlands of Essex. More recently, we also worked together at FAT Architecture for four years.

How are you dealing with the FAT legacy?
It is a fabulous legacy to have – it has opened up ways of designing that would not have been possible before. At the same time we are looking forward to being able to approach projects in a new way.

What work do you have?
We are working on a new private house in London, an existing house in Southend and recently completed an installation in Hollywood. We are completing A House For Essex with Grayson Perry for Alain de Botton’s Living Architecture.

What are your ambitions?
Our ambitions are to spend by far the biggest percentage of our time designing and ensure what we design is good. Right now we are happy working out of a small, friendly studio in east London, which we are looking to expand.

What are the biggest challenges facing yourself as a start-up?
Avoiding getting caught up in bureaucracy, staying solvent and remembering that it’s actually about the architecture. FAT was a small practice that managed to achieve some pretty big things – the British Pavilion [which Charles is still involved with] and A House For Essex are not bad projects to go out on – and so we feel very positive about what it might be possible for us to achieve.


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