How is the London architectural firm SUPRBLK dealing with the Corona crisis?
Architects: SUPRBLK, London (UK)
Interview: Leoni Spies
How has everyday life in your office changed?
Sara L'Espérance: Since we are used to working on international projects, we often have to work with local architectural firms. For this reason, fortunately not much has changed for us. Our Director Michael Putman teaches at Dalhousie University in Halifax (Canada) in addition to his office work. Now the teaching is only done via an online forum. This is a major change for students and teaching staff. Although the forum ensures a good exchange of information, the personal component is clearly missing in discussions.
How are you dealing with the Corona crisis - are your projects still running?
Unfortunately some of our planned projects have been temporarily put on hold due to COVID-19. Our customers have assured us that they will resume cooperation as soon as the situation has calmed down. We will have to adjust our schedules accordingly. On-site projects and projects still in the design phase will continue to run as normal for the time being.
The biggest change we are noticing are minor delays at various interfaces, e.g. with the specialist planners or construction companies. This can mean that materials are more difficult to obtain, which in turn can lead to delays in the rest of the work process. The work on site should continue. It is ensured that only a limited number of workers are on site to ensure a safe distance.
What tips can you give your colleagues?
We use this time to work on internal processes and communication strategies (updating the website, etc.). We also see this time as an opportunity to continue working on research and teaching, and we look at how technology can change the way we work.
What are your plans for the time after quarantine?
We will no longer take our personal meetings for granted. We also think that this could be an opportunity to discuss flexible working arrangements. I look forward to seeing where all this takes us and thinking about what we take for granted in our daily lives.