Natasha Higgins talks to Aqib Ahmed, founder of aa studio, about his background, his business and his hopes for the future
In 2013 Aqib Ahmed founded aa studio – a service which brings together property developers, sustainability, creative design and a strategy for maximising profit. In short, a developer will approach aa studio with a proposed development site and aa’s role is to advise the developer on what they think can be achieved in regards to design, planning permission and overall development.
Aqib’s unique insight into the industry comes from his background working in the planning department at Newham Council after having graduated from Kingston University with a Degree in Architecture and a Masters in Urban Design & Town Planning. He started work on small projects such as applications for rear extensions to private houses and gradually moved on to larger ones including a mixed-use development in London’s Docklands with 300 units for which planning consent took two-and-half years.
“aa specialise in residential projects from small to large buildings and we carry out projects all over England,” explains Aqib. “We recently secured a site in Bow Road – an old clothing factory – for 73 flats. At the same time we’re designing a scheme of townhouses. The challenge is how to achieve sustainability, greenery, maximum light and a nice view from your bedroom or reception room window. It’s about people feeling excited to be living in their own home”.