Small Wonders


Richard Mitzman and Socrates Miltiadou of award-winning architectural design practice Mitzman, explain to Luke Thomas why the size of their business has little sway when it comes to creating brilliant buildings

Designed as carefully as their commissioned portfolio of luxury residential and commercial projects, Mitzman Architects might be strategically small, but it’s a powerhouse of a practice, delivering the best possible design and build outcomes, a near 100% success rate at planning, as well as high investment returns for their valued client base.

The practice aims to ensure that the process of developing and executing the design brief, and optimising investment, is professionally delivered each and every step of the way. To ensure this, the creative journey is made as collaborative as possible for clients, the chosen in-house design team, as well as appointed subcontractors and consultants.

Partners Richard Mitzman and Socrates Miltiadou share an infectious excitement for design. Based out of their Primrose Hill studio, their portfolio of work spans residential, specialist healthcare and commercial sectors to considerable acclaim.

Designs are driven by function and ergonomics, in combination with the use of daylight and integration of external and internal spaces. Sustainability and social responsibility are integral parts too of the practice’s core ideology, with the process carried through to furniture and interiors.

Richard and Socrates met while studying in 1991, yet it was a further 20 years before they became business partners when Socrates joined Richard’s established practice.

A unifying factor is that both came to architecture through non-traditional routes; establishing successful careers in ?? and ??, all the while building on their architectural education.

Explains Socrates: “We both believe that our innate curiosity and experience beyond architecture has led to a richness in our designs and an innovative approach to the way that we operate the practice.

Our desire to learn and to explore continues to inspire our approach and drives us to improve the design journey.”

The company specialises in both new build projects and the renovation and remodelling of existing buildings for residential owner-occupiers and developers, many of whom are repeat clients.

Dovetailing their collective skills-sets - Richard leads on planning and build, with Socrates on the follow-through design and detail roll-out. Architectural delivery is coordinated with their highly trained studio team. Purposefully small - the review and organisation of the design and client experience can be managed closely.

The staffing ratio of the practice ensures a balanced team, weighted more towards highly qualified professionals than in many other firms. Adds Socrates: “Comprising two partners, four qualified architects and four assistants, this slimline scale improves communication, flexibility, quality control and ensures that projects can and are chosen for their specific merits.”

He adds: “In design, all schemes have to be pragmatic, rigorous and of course buildable. Everything is drawn so that quality is ensured during construction. Drawings of details are important even at early stages as these inform the eventual design outcome. Reviews take place within the team so that staff have the autonomy to work, yet partners can monitor the work before it’s presented to clients. This approach means that the client is assured of quality and, by managing the process well, time and costs are managed too.”

He reflects: “We reject the concept of the ‘genius architect’, rather believing that architectural excellence is achieved through the harnessing of the skills within the team working together.”

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