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Allie and Charlotte discuss our materials library for Architecture Today

Allie and Charlotte from nimtim architects are featured in Architecture Today talking about the studio and materials library.

nimtim moved to an old mews stable house in London’s East Dulwich around four years ago, having decamped from a smaller workspace in the home of practice founders Nimi Attanayake and Tim O’Callaghan in Forest Hill. The practice originally rented out the ground floor to an interior designer and landscape architect but has recently taken over both levels to create a consultation space for clients.

The team of eight – plus spaniel Corbi – work from the upper floor, while the meeting space and sample storage occupy the ground level. Small samples are filed away in candy-hued HAY crates, while larger samples and reference books sit loose on the shelf. The practice has a focus on elevating everyday materials like plaster, plywood and blockwork, using more refined versions that suit their clients’ aesthetics – and budget.

The studio’s six project runners take responsibility for managing the material library, sourcing and cataloguing samples, and taking inspiration from each other’s call-ins.

Project runners Allie Mackinnon and Charlotte Qureshi talk us through the process.

'We believe that the process of making architecture itself can have a similarly transformative effect on families, organisations and communities: bringing people together and giving voice to people who might otherwise struggle to be heard. We try to make the process of creating buildings a joyful one- a journey everyone will remember with fondness for the life of the delivered and beyond.'

nimtim architects was set up following Nimi’s cancer diagnosis (and recovery). Nimi and Tim wanted to create a practice that was relatable, approachable and supportive. They are honest about who they are and celebrate the input of the team and collaborators. This spirit is reflected in the work produced.

The practice is now 8 years old with a significant portfolio of built work. The philosophy and approach emerged from making real projects for ordinary families often using simple materials and technologies. 'When we reflect on the projects we have delivered, we see the personalities and values of the people who use them and helped us create them reflected back to us. We are now bringing this same approach and spirit to larger and more complex work.'

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