Why Choose a Small Practice?
Architecture practices come in all shapes and sizes. There are a whole range from one-hundred person companies, thirty-person design practices, five-person teams and architects working alone. The one person practice is the only place where the person you speak to at the start will be the same as at the end.
Large Practices employ ‘Project Architects’, the individual employee tasked with following the project from start to finish-except that in a large practice that’s not always possible. When architecture projects take several years to complete, projects are often passed back and forth amongst a team. Projects can be neglected and details can slip through the gaps failing to reach their full potential. That key element that made a design special can be easily forgotten when the design is passing through multiple pairs of hands.
Often practices grow out of the sole practitioner model. But staying small has advantages too. Small is nimble, flexible and innovative, ensuring a focus on quality and innovation rather than quantity and cash flow. Smaller means less overheads- Sole practitioners often operate under the VAT threshold – saving you 20%.
This means you’re getting much more ‘bang for your buck’ when you hire a sole practitioner. Your money goes further and you’re getting more design time for every pound you spend- and this is a good thing. All design gets better when more time is spent refining the details, ensuring every last junction is considered and ‘just right’.
I enjoy seeing projects through from start to finish, from making the key architectural moves to translating them into the tiniest detail and the nitty gritty of helping clients choose their kitchen work top material or bathroom tile. I have less demands on my time being a manager which frees up time to be creative and to create fantastic projects- which is what I enjoy. I enjoy considering how the play of light on a material can create a seductive atmosphere, or how the window reveal can be made ultra slim to reduce visual clutter framing a key view.
“Creative persons differ from one another in a variety of ways, but in one respect they are unanimous. They all love what they do. It is not hope of achieving fame or making money that drives them: rather, it is the opportunity to do the work that they enjoy doing.”
Csikszentmihalyi, Mihaly. Creativity
Whatever the size of the practice you go to, when you work with an architecture practice, you are starting a conversation about the way you want to live and the specifics of the place you are in. Let that conversation be with a sole practitioner, one person working for you – your friend and guide, helping you through the process and creating a space unique to you.