25 July 2018
25 July 2018
Levitt Bernstein, London: Collaboration, Community, Advocacy.
The Culture of Practice
Levitt Bernstein was set up in 1968 by David Levitt and David Bernstein, who committed themselves to revitalising London’s inner city and creating better homes for all. 50 years on and the practice hasn’t strayed far from its roots, with a strong track record in designing and delivering housing across the country. It has also become known through the architectural community as a supportive and encouraging workplace.
“There is a reputation that has spread that Levitt Bernstein is a great place to work,” says Managing Director Matthew Goulcher. “People often come to us from other practices where they have been pigeonholed or working in a very straight jacketed environment, but here we encourage staff to have a voice and we value their opinions.”
The practice, which also has an office in Manchester, ensures that everyone’s opinion is heard as part of its bottom-up, collaborative ethos, which Goulcher believes makes their architecture better and more sensitive.
“Our staff have a healthy work-life balance and we offer flexible working arrangements, which allow our staff to progress regardless of their circumstances,” adds Goulcher. “This notion of fairness and equality is also evident in the gender balance across all levels of staff.”
The practice works in smaller studio groups – each of which is led by a director and has developed expertise in particular types of work – to foster a more collaborative and creative design process. By designing and reviewing work in this way, everyone contributes, shares and learns from one another. All staff are encouraged to get involved in the varied events programme and the whole office also goes on an annual study tour to a European city.
Goulcher concludes: “We want to keep attracting young talent to bring new ideas into the practice, which is vital in the design of successful buildings and for the long-term management and succession of the practice itself."
Author: Molly McCloy, Marketing Coordinator, Bespoke Careers