While the practice has never been so busy with new enquiries, converting those into projects that go ahead in such uncertain times has been the challenge, according to Partner Henry Squire. Nonetheless, Squire & Partners stabilised last year after a fall in revenue in 2017. UK architect numbers fell slightly from 113 to 108. ‘2018 was not as bad as we’d predicted – not a good year by our terms, but we did become stable,’ he says. The practice continued its shift towards workplace design, which now accounts for around 45 per cent of its work, as its traditional mainstay of high-value residential fell away. It has been helped in this by the example of its own Department Store headquarters in Brixton, a splendid conversion of a former Edwardian furniture store. Recent completions include The Ministry, a co-working space and members club for the Ministry of Sound, which completed last year, and The Frames, a development for creative businesses in Shoreditch. Another key strategy has been to grow a less London-centric workload, with the practice now working in Birmingham, Manchester, Brighton and Harrogate. Significantly, around 20 per cent of its workload is now overseas, with the practice proactively seeking out new international markets, including Karachi in Pakistan, where it is working on an office and residential project. It is on site with a residential scheme in St Petersburg and is active in the Middle East where projects include Msheireb Doha, where it will complete six buildings this year, and opportunities in Abu Dhabi. Nevertheless, Squires still has plenty of major London residential projects under way, including phase one of Chelsea Barracks, 20 Grosvenor Square and Island Point at Westferry, where it is building 173 units of affordable housing. Back in Brixton, the practice is gearing up for phase two of its headquarters project, the development of a four-storey building for small-to-medium creative businesses adjacent to its Department Store.