SOUP is a young and dynamic practice founded by three architects in 2012. Together they have over 50 years’ experience in the industry. They now have multiple design awards to add to their long list of achievements and have established studios in Guernsey and London. Founding Director Max Babbe moved to Guernsey in 2013 and Jamie Le Gallez followed in 2017 with several interesting projects developing in the Channel Islands. The practice focusses on delivering the highest quality design for a growing number of highly satisfied customers.
“By offering the best possible service every step of the way, we find we get recommended by most of our clients. Trust is everything. Our clients trust us to deliver their dream project.” Jamie Le Gallez, SOUP Co-founding Director, said.
SOUP doesn’t specialise in a certain size or type of project either. They are well within their comfort zone designing kitchen extensions such as Enola, inner city private housing developments such as Hillyard Street and various sizes of office and working environments such as Resolution IT’s new offices.
“The application of a rigorous design process is the same whatever size of project we take on. We are constantly reviewing designs within the practice, trying to find better ways of doing things, and making sure we offer the best possible solution for our clients” commented Max Babbe, SOUP Co-founding Director.
They start by asking lots of questions to fully understand their client’s requirements. Project briefs take time to develop and evolve throughout the lifespan of the project. As a result, SOUP develop a deep understanding of their clients and how they live or work and what their aspirations for the project are.
SOUP’s K-House was one of their first Guernsey projects. A very open minded and technically gifted client allowed it to be a test bed for many different concepts, ideas and techniques.
Jamie Le Gallez commented: “We wanted to explore what was possible in Guernsey and working local craftsmen, techniques and materials. With all the local input, the design evolved throughout the process. Coming from London where contracts rule a site, this type of procurement was a really refreshing experience for us and made us excited about the future of working in Guernsey.”
The recently completed offices for Resolution IT saw them strip out and refurbish a floor area of approx. 800sq/m in a very short period. The timeframe required an overlapping of design stages such as planning, detailed design and onsite construction to deliver the project on time and was only possible through the tight working relationship between SOUP, Resolution IT and Homefield Services.
They are not limited to Guernsey either. SOUP has been working hard in Alderney, securing some significant commissions which all started with Longis View. This project won them ‘Outstanding Design’ in the 2018 Guernsey Design Awards and has been one of their most widely published projects.
“Longis View was a project where everything came together really well. Working in Alderney was a challenge, but with a small team of highly dedicated builders and a pre-fabricated construction, we managed to achieve a lot on such a small island and this became the catalyst for various new and exciting projects in Alderney,” said Max Babbe.
Many SOUP projects seem to have unique challenges. Although Sarnia Cottage may seem like a straightforward extension project- to achieve the design, hundreds of tons of earth were removed to allow the ground floor to extend into the garden, forming a large retaining wall to the neighbouring property. The excavated material could not be taken out the front of the house due to the narrow access. It was therefore carefully taken over fields to the rear, building a new road for the neighbouring farmer in return for its disposal.
Their first swimming pool project Coppercoins had its own unique challenges. Situated in Village De Putron, it is perched on a steeply sloping garden with very limited access and cantilevered over the hillside. They started working with Structural Engineers early in the project to design a foundation which could hold the weight of water whilst being practical to build.
Max Babbe finished: “This project was a truly collaborative effort by all involved. Working with a highly experienced Design Team and builders from the start of the project enabled us to hone the design and deliver exactly what the client wanted.”
SOUP is a RIBA Chartered Practice and has offices in St. Peter Port, Guernsey and in Highbury, London.
Find out more at: www.souparchitects.com