15 July 2018
15 July 2018
Weston Williamson + Partners, London: Collaborative, Innovative, Inclusive.
The Culture of Practice
Weston Williamson, which celebrated its 30th anniversary last year, has a mission to improve the environment and to create civilised cities in a collaborative working culture.
For practice Co-Founder Chris Williamson that starts with “getting the way people move around cities sorted.” It is something they are clearly good at. At present a large proportion of Weston Williamson’s work is in the transport sector, seeing them work on projects from Crossrail and London Underground stations to airports.
But these projects mean that at any one time more than half of the office can be located out on-site or in co-located offices on their sites around the world. Currently, 50 of the London studio’s 110 staff are in site offices in Paddington, Woolwich and London Victoria.
“We are often asked to work in co-located offices where the architects and engineers on a job work alongside each other,” says Williamson. “It is great for the project, but it is not always good for our own culture. We like lots of pin-up space and to stand around and talk about design. It’s a completely different culture when you are in a co-located office and you often have to keep reminding them of the way you work.”
To ensure they don’t lose their unique culture, everyone comes back to the office in Waterloo on a Friday afternoon. It is then that they hold special sessions ranging from photo competitions to charrettes and design challenges where they imagine how to improve London, its cycle infrastructure and its housing.
Despite many of the practice’s schemes being large infrastructure projects which require the kind of big vision thinking they do in these whole office get togethers, smaller projects are still important for the firm.
“Some people don’t want to work on big projects,” comments Williamson. “We try to have a mix. We still take on small projects if they are interesting and if they are for a client we might want to work for. They can be some of the most rewarding projects."
Author: Molly McCloy, Marketing Coordinator, Bespoke Careers