Architects Journal: New Practice
The directors at AI have featured in the latest series of practice profiles by Architects Journal, looking at architects who have recently decided to go it alone.
Architecture Initiative, London, W1
Founded: June 2012
Main people: Matt Goodwin, Lee Mainwaring and Rowan Parnell
Where have you come from?
We met at GHM Rock Townsend, where Matt was managing director.
What work do you have?
A raft of major new-build education projects, private housing and listed building work. We were recently shortlisted in the Fort Albert design competition.
What are your ambitions?
We make no apologies for being a design-led commercial practice and trade on our reputation for efficient design and delivery, which seems to hit the note with clients. We expanded the team from three to 10 in the first six months and plan to build to 15 in year. We’re keen to explore new areas and are in early discussions with MENA region partners.
What are the biggest challenges?
Coming from a big project background, the main challenge has been to maintain client confidence that we can continue to deliver at this level. Clients ride the pendulum, swinging between the security of working with large firms and the greater accessibility and personal touch of smaller practices. We think there is still a place in the market for the medium-sized studio supported by technology and a collaborative ethos that allows it to be flexible in applying specialist resources to service particular projects.
Which recent scheme has inspired you most?
Accordia, in Cambridge, by Alison Brooks Architects, FCBS and Maccreanor Lavington.
How are you marketing yourselves?
We are working with RAVENCOM on our marketing strategy, however doing your job well is still the best form of marketing.