New London Architecture

NLA at 15, from the team: Niki Kernohan, Director

Wednesday 08 July 2020

I’ve been with the company a pretty long time starting almost a year before NLA opened its doors. I joined in October 2004 when we were still based in the Pipers Models workshops in Bevenden Street and New City Architecture had just happened so there was a real buzz about the place!

It was just after my first London at MIPIM in March 2005 (when I’d been told things usually became very quiet and they spent many a summer's afternoon in the pub) that I was told about the idea of NLA and the plan to open that July at the Building Centre.  Bang went the quiet summer and instead Barry (McKeogh) and I embarked on a whirlwind journey to try and secure some supporters ahead of our launch while Nick and Peter were busy working on the vision and plans.

Sketch portraying the team's visions for NLA at the Building Centre
With NLA just a vision at this point, we were selling the dream and taking people to the Building Centre which was a very very different place back then and completely unrecognisable to what it was now become – a destination for the industry and the public and a first stop for visiting tour groups (all on hold for the moment but we look forward to welcoming everyone back as soon as we can).

The Building Centre back then
The dream of a permanent place where we would bring people together to debate and discuss key issues effecting the industry was one that many wanted to become a reality so between Barry, Nick, Peter and I, we managed to easily persuade about 15 companies to support us before we’d even opened the doors. It was great fun to be part of, watching Barry and Nick work their magic and we would celebrate each positive meeting with a large glass of white wine (so I did get to spend a little time in the pub after all and have got to know the College Arms very well over the years!).

The New London Model in 2005
Those numbers quickly increased after we’d opened the doors and we now have over 500 members that we engage with at various levels. I’m also very pleased to say that most of those early supporting companies are still members to this day: Assael, City of London, British Land, Derwent London, Landsec, LB Newham, London Communications Agency, Stanhope and Waterman Group. I’m so incredibly proud of what NLA has achieved over the last 15 years and very proud to have played a small part of that. We have such a fantastic team and I’ve worked and work with some truly amazing people!


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