8 BUILD Q2 2022 Feb22288 Aesthetic Beauty & Commerciality T2S Architecture Ltd is an RIBA registered architectural practice based in London, founded by ARB and RIBA registered architect, Tom Slater. T2S is a commercial practice which prides itself on delivering buildings of architectural merit which optimise clients’ requirements. The firm has deservingly earned the title of Leaders in Innovative and Creative Architecture, 2022 – London, so we got in touch with Tom to learn more. 2S Architecture strongly believes that good design can bridge between aesthetics and commerciality, and that good design creates buildings of aesthetic beauty which can be delivered in an efficient manner to merge both dynamics. Managing Director, Tom stated, “Our success, albeit in a short period of time, is reflected in our ability to apply good design principles to different building types.” He went on to say, “As a practice, we are passionate about sustainability, and we want to be at the cutting-edge of how the construction industry becomes more conscious of its impact on the planet. This impacts how we run this company, through to the construction methods we promote in our designs and our studio culture and ethos. We believe our measured and dignified persona evokes a sense of conviction and certainty which our clients relate with delivery, continuity and success.” So, who are T2S’ clients and how does it approach them? Tom said, “Our clients are mainly in the commercial sector in the wider London area. Often, we are approached to review the commercial potential of underdeveloped sites. At this stage, we assess the natural and built environment, along with the legal framework, to understand the general constraints of the site. This is particularly relevant in dense, urban environments where the buildings should be designed and sculpted to sit comfortably within their surroundings.” He continued, “It is probably rare for architects to state this, but the client is the most important person in the development process. The relationship we have with our clients is fundamental to our business model and is built on mutual respect. However, as architects, we are providing a service – and as part of this service, it is imperative that we conduct ourselves with dignity and, when required, offer articulate, measured and concise advice.” It is essential for architects to create buildings of aesthetic merit as this acts as a catalyst for future work, and this is the firm’s marketing strategy. But this must be considered against the commerciality and client deliverables. Tom told us, “I suspect a lot of architects believe a project is an opportunity for them to solely showcase their talents in a self-indulgent manner. T2S think differently. Achieving architectural beauty and client T deliverables/commerciality in the construction industry should not be seen as mutually exclusive. “Good design is not arbitrated solely by the aesthetics. Good design and beauty can be represented through efficiency and simplicity. As with all things in life, architecture should not be viewed in a purely superficial manner. The client objectives, constraints, and the delivery of the intended use should be balanced with the aesthetics if a building is to be judged accurately.” Vital to T2S’ operations is its team. Tom revealed that qualities T2S looks for in its staff are personality, drive, ambition and intelligence. He said, “With these qualities, anything is possible because the individual will inevitably have the correct attitude to constantly learn and improve. This is imperative for anyone who wants to succeed in the architectural profession.” Architecture is a very competitive field, which has been made evident through the number of TV programmes that now focus on architecture and development (albeit mostly domestic), whereby the process of creating buildings is covered within mainstream culture. This has given an extra kudos to good quality architecture whilst making it more accessible to a wider audience. This has inevitably led to an increased number of people experiencing and being inspired by architecture from a young age.