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Buro Happold has a long history of supporting and collaborating with new talent, across both the architectural and engineering disciplines. In our view this alliance brings benefits to both sides of the fence: helping industry newcomers to establish their place amongst the more recognisable names in the business, while bringing new, fresh and sometimes eccentric solutions to the market, and for Buro Happold it gives us the opportunity to work on some of the smaller, intriguing projects that we otherwise would not get a chance to be involved with.
I have long been interested in supporting young architects, and work with four units at the Bartlett School of Architecture as a technical tutor. So I have been thrilled to play my part in one of our most successful initiatives to support new practices - the Three Nations, Emerging Architects conference. In late 2011 we joined forces with the Dutch Embassy to co-host this event, inviting ten emerging practices from Holland, England and Scotland to our Newman Street offices. The conference was designed to foster a sense of community between the practices and share experiences drawn from the work winning process. Three Nations garnered high level support and input internationally: speakers at the event included the head of business development from Amsterdam based UN Studios; the director of the Architecture Foundation Sarah Ichioka and Neil Baxter, the secretary of the Royal Incorporation of Architect in Scotland (RIAS). Since then Nex has won a high profile competition for a new café in Duke of York Square, London. The competition was administered by Malcolm Reading Associates (MRA) who also spoke at the Three Nations event. Studio Octopi were recently invited by MRA to take part in an invited competition in Hull.
Buoyant from the success of Three Nations we have more recently created a series of spin off events: the opportunity for emerging architects to take over space in Buro Happold’s London offices for a month and exhibit work – building design, furniture or installation pieces – the choice is firmly in the hands of the practice.
And so far we have opened up our space to an eclectic list of hungry young exhibitors eager to show their talents and unique views of the built environment with amazing results.
Throughout 2013 we will ring the changes as our offices become an exhibition space for at least six more up and coming architects:
We’re looking forward to seeing how this new batch of exhibitions changes our surroundings both in Newman Street and globally in the built environment…