MCM Minds: Andrew Tetlow


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Andrew has been with MCM since September 2018 and is jointly responsible for managing the architecture team.

Day to day he leads projects in the higher education, student residential, commercial office and mixed-use sectors.

With several RIBA awards to his name, Andrew champions high quality sustainable design and is always looking to push the boundaries of what is possible.

What do you love most about your job?
I love it when I can find an elegant solution that resolves a client’s problem.  As an architect, I have the opportunity to enhance the lives of people who come into contact with my designs, whether that be the recently approved extension to Aldgate House which uses living green walls on the façade to provide a more animated street scape and also absorb some of the pollution from vehicles in this congested part of the city or the public green square we designed for Peabody’s masterplan in Thamesmead, where we used solar studies to inform the surrounding building heights so that the square was not overshadowed during the day.


Anything else?
Mark Twain famously said “Choose a job you love doing and you will never have to work a day in your life.”


How are you finding working from home at the moment?
MCM was fully agile prior to lock down – as long as there is wifi, we can work from anywhere. When the office closed it wasn’t that big a shake up for us.  A few years back I was lucky enough to have been able to redesign my house and put in a home office as part of the works. What I didn’t plan for was both my wife and I working from home for an extended period. Usually if we are both working from home, I use the kitchen table but with the kids home schooling they have the table and I’m relegated to the desk in my eldest son’s bedroom. It isn’t all bad though, as I have a myriad of Lego models and super heroes in the background of my many virtual meetings! I try to get out once a day either running or cycling to stay fit and I find it helps to clear my head before starting work. Despite all this I have to confess I’m looking forward to the day when we can return to the office and have ad hoc face to face conversations, along with taking advantage of the time saving convenience of Teams and Zoom meetings.





What should clients expect?
I’m passionate about designing buildings which not only push the boundaries of our client expectations but also have a minimal impact on the environment. Expect to see bold ideas that may appear radical but come from rigorous analysis and reasoning.


What brings out the best in you?
I like a challenge, but I also like how teams are far better at resolving challenges than individuals. I get a real buzz when we start bouncing ideas around the team about how to resolve problems. We all feed off each other with a common goal.


What’s your proudest moment at MCM?
I led the pitch that won the proposal for Cambridge University’s Institute for Manufacturing. We won the competition not by answering the brief but by proposing a new brief. It was a high-risk strategy but sometimes you have to be brave and tell clients that there might be a better way of doing things.


What first got you into design?
My grandfather was a carpenter, he was always making things in his garage and I used to love helping him when I was a small boy. I guess that brought about the idea of before you make something, you have to design it and if you are designing something then what are the drivers for the design.


If you weren’t a designer, what would you be?
When I was younger, I always wanted to be a professional football player. These days I’m more into my running and cycling, so if I could have any other job it would likely be a GC rider on one of the grand tours. The sacrifice those guys go through to get to the end of the race is super human.


Contact Andy

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