MEET THE MD Guy Hollaway
The eponymous owner of Guy Hollaway Architects on a London-Kent balance, one-off
projects and the importance of family time
TELL US ABOUT YOU
I live with my partner Sarah and our two children, Milly 14 and Freya 12, near Canterbury, in a beautiful 18th-century cottage. We have lived here for nearly 10 years and have recently transformed and extended it into a contemporary 21stcentury family home.
AND YOUR BUSINESS?
I graduated from the University of Brighton in 1997 in the depth of a recession when Nigel Thorpe offered me my first job at what was then Cheney Thorpe Architects. At that time he couldn’t afford to pay me, but that didn’t matter as it was the start I needed. Years later I would go on to be Nigel’s business partner and when he retired in 2008, having handed over the reigns, I became the sole owner of the practice and renamed it Guy Hollaway Architects.
HOW HAS IT CHANGED? Our head office is based in Hythe and about eight years ago we opened a studio in London which has grown from two to 17 people. Due to its expansion, particularly in the last year, we will need to move to new offices next year. We opened in London because we thought it would change our geography and open up opportunities in the capital and beyond, which it has, but to our surprise it also increased opportunities in Kent. London clients want to invest in Kent but meet us in London in the knowledge that we have a strong presence in Kent. We have been really thrilled to see several of our most exciting projects for Kent completed or develop on site over the last year: a new cinema complex in the centre of Ashford at Elwick Place, The Curious Brewery for the UK’s leading English wine maker, Chapel Down, also in Ashford, the world’s first multistorey skatepark in Folkestone, and both Slatters Hotel and student accommodation Palamon Court in Canterbury.
BUSINESS PHILOSOPHY? We strive for the highest quality of design within any given budget and we have a real passion for Kent and designing contemporary architecture which can be both enjoyed and contribute positively to the area, such as our award-winning Rocksalt restaurant, which sits in the heart of Folkestone’s Harbour. While as a practice we work on large-scale projects, we also really enjoy designing one-off bespoke houses where our clients are as passionate as us. These projects do not necessarily have large budgets, such as Pobble House on Dungeness Beach, which has been published globally, used for fashion shoots and also acts as a holiday let and a second home for the owners.
ANY CAREER ADVICE?
If you are passionate and creative then architecture can be an incredibly rewarding career. It takes longer to become an architect than it does a
doctor, so make sure this is the right career for you.
THE NEXT FIVE YEARS?
I see myself continuing to create the highest-quality public buildings for Kent, the county I grew up in and love, while at the same time increasing our presence in in London, and developing our national and international reputation. I am feeling very ambitious as the practice grows in strength, so I really don’t see myself slowing down any time soon!
HOW DO YOU RELAX?
With great difficulty! I’m always on the go but I’m very lucky to have chosen a career that I love – it’s highly creative which, for me, acts as a tonic to life’s daily stresses. My kids also help me to relax – I’m a very active dad and I love watching them play sport and drama. We often go on long cycle rides and my two girls proved to be great motivators in training for my recent charity cycle ride, which took me from London to Cannes in six days. It was a killer journey, not relaxing at all! We love to ski as a family and each year we aim to hit the slopes at least once, providing some undivided time together.
A yoghurt alongside thoughts of how to make the day meaningful.
GET IN TOUCH
Guy Hollaway Architects, The Tramway Stables, Rampart Road, Hythe CT21 5BG
01303 260 515 www.guyhollaway.co.uk