Nicholas Campbell, Rex Wilkinson, Roger Zogolovitch and Piers Gough studied together at the Architectural Association in London between 1965 and 1971.
Nicholas founded Campbell Associates in 1972 often working with his future partners on residential refurbishment, extensions and shopfitting the new wave of London fashion boutiques. But his future partners remained freelancers until, in 1975, they formed a ‘super group’ to take on their first sizeable commission—a major conversion for a top London auction house on the fringe of Notting Hill. CZWG took their first office in a sixth floor Edwardian dome on the edge of Covent Garden, but soon found a derelict four storey workshop in a Smithfield courtyard which they leased and half renovated with a bank loan, moving in with six staff in 1978, much of the space being let to a photographer.
Workload gradually grew from a diet of small domestic conversions and was fed in part by the appearance on the market of repossessed commercial buildings in Central London.
These were architecturally very appealing to a growing group of the avant garde—
artists, designers, musicians and actors who had seen, heard of, or otherwise desired a New York Loft in order to experience a different kind of city living and working; in vast, raw, sub-industrial spaces.