A Coffee With Adam Morgan from Studio RBA
A Coffee with Adam Morgan
Founder of Studio RBA, Adam Morgan is widely considered to be a rising star in the world of architecture. Trailblazer sat down for a coffee with Adam and this is what he had to say…
Tell us a bit about how you started.
Born and bred in Liverpool, I always loved art in school but couldn’t draw faces so went with buildings, which led me to wonder how they were built and I guess it started from there. When choosing subjects for my GCSE’s I realised my decisions had to have some direction towards the type of career I wanted to embark upon. From there I ended up studying architecture at LJMU, where I was actually asked to consider another course after the first year, which turned out to be a wakeup call and I graduated with first class honors. Post University I worked for national outfit BDP, followed by K2, the experience at both firms really gave me the confidence to follow my dream to create my own thing.
When Studio RBA got its first job we were still based in a spare bedroom, it was both scary and exciting at the same time. We had the freedom to create something special for the client, but if something happened and we didn’t get paid then that was it, a non-starter and back to the drawing board. Thankfully the client was really happy with what we delivered, shortly after that we started to win more business, which gave me the confidence boost I needed. It turned out that there was no better motivation than running your own business and I had what it took to steer my own ship, thus the journey begun.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learnt?
I started Studio RBA because I wanted to have more of a free reign within the parameters of architecture and during my own day-to-day working life so that’s something we give the team. For example everyone in the studio has a gaming enabled computer so there’s no limit to the technological advancements we can adopt, it’s important we develop together. Work aside, we offer the team an infinite holiday allowance and encourage breaks, we’ve even got a PlayStation in the studio! All of this gives us platform to develop but also enjoy ourselves, and that’s why the team has doubled in size every year to date. So overall I’ve learned to put people first as they’re the most important thing to a practice and because we encourage regular breaks and a relaxed atmosphere it promotes the best working environment and our results speak for themselves.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
A man I admire very much is Norman Foster, a real Trailblazer in the world of architecture who famously designed Wembley Stadium, amongst many other buildings. He said architecture is a job for life and would only ever retire if he felt no longer ‘with it’. I can see myself following the same mantra, so in 5 years time I’d just love to see Studio RBA grow as much as possible, whilst retaining our DNA of course.
How do you switch off?
Usually, never! Recently however I’ve promised myself to switch off the work phone on a Sunday, it’s important to recharge your batteries for the week ahead and that way you don’t burn out. Part of switching off takes me to the golf course; I started as a teenager and always enjoyed it. As the business has grown I’ve literally got back into the swing of things so if you can’t get hold of me on a Sunday you know where I am… (Adam negated to tell us which golf club he frequents.)