William Galloway, 38, and Koen Klinkers, 35, met while studying urban planning at the University Tokyo, after Galloway studied in Canada and Klinkers at Delft Technical University under Adriaan Geuze. After a spell with JUMP Studios and Matthew Priestman in London, Galloway moved to Japan, while Klinkers interned in the studios of Monolab, Arons and Gelauff before heading for Fumiko Maki's office. Front Office was set up in 2005. Their approach combines academic rigour with an interest in the complex mechanics of the Japanese property market, inspired by the work of OMA, H & de M, as well as work by late masters Togo Murano and Kenzo Tange. 'Really, our goal with residential design is to make places that have lasting value for their inhabitants,' say the architects, although they admit that their academic background makes them more aware of 'larger abstract issues'.