On Thursday (28.04.11) Paul Testa Architecture was featured as new practice #66 in the Architects Journal. Here’s the link to the online article, althoughyou need to be a subscriber to see it. I’ve also uploaded a pdf of the print article. I was also mentioned in the AJ editorial email on the same day. Unfortunately, my text got cut down a bit, despite getting within their suggested word limit, so the unabridged version is here:
Practice name: Paul Testa Architecture, Sheffield
Founded: September 2010
Main people: Paul Testa
Where have you come from? I worked on community and regeneration projects for Allen Tod in Sheffield before their demise and then bounced between BDP and Bond Bryan, mainly in education work. After another redundancy last summer, it made sense to change my work direction.
What work do you have and what kind of projects are you looking for? Almost all my work is through existing contacts; for such a pedestrian user, social networking sites have been a useful way to develop work. I have some ongoing work for Barnsley Council and I’ve just finished something for a local community arts organisation. I also have an interesting domestic scheme on the go, and I’m getting excited about a project for an organic pig farmer in Shropshire.
What are your ambitions? I’m not really very ambitious. I made a conscious early decision that I was selling me, my personal experience and expertise. I think that makes me more approachable; I’m not hiding behind an imaginary “we”. I am keen to collaborate with other designers, though. I’m keeping an open mind, but definitely want to continue working with community organisations, social enterprises and interesting domestic clients. I want to be known for making places that people enjoy living and working in; and that are truly sustainable.
How optimistic are you as a start-up practice? I’m pretty optimistic; I teach at Sheffield University and with low costs I don’t need lots to sustain myself. I can be very flexible and turn quite unlikely projects to profit. I also have great support from my wife, family and friends, which has made the whole thing much less daunting.
Website address (or contact details) www.hemarchitects.co.uk