Seven chosen for the Architect Pitch

27 February, 2018

The Architect Pitch is the only regular forum for architects to pitch their practice to a panel of clients and be given honest and insightful feedback in a supportive environment.

On March 7th, seven architects will be pitching to a panel that includes Stuart Robinson, strategic planning advisor to TfL, Sadie Morgan, director of dRMM and chair of the Design Panel for HS2, Alex Phillips, director of masterplanning at Grosvenor, Del Hossain, MD of the Adrem Group and Carolyn Larkin, founder of Caro Communications.

Stuart Robinson said the Architect Pitch will be a good opportunity to see “bright inspirational ideas from the practices of tomorrow.”

Here we ask the architects to tell us about their practice and why they want to pitch.

The architects are: Ackroyd Lowrie, Archio, Jo Cowen Architects, Max Dewdney Architects, vPPR Architects, TDO Architecture and Tigg Coll Architects.

Ackroyd Lowrie

Tell us about your practice

We are a team of 12 passionate young architects and designers based in East London.

We are focused on combining bespoke design proposals with high quality materials and a radically streamlined procurement process to give our clients better quality buildings faster and for better value.

We have implemented an award-winning design/sign-off process that uses Virtual Reality to test and iterate our design proposals. Clients are free to walk around our BIM model in a fully immersive VR experience that means they engage in a way that is not possible with 2D information. As well as giving our clients a huge degree of certainty that they are getting a building that works for them, our novel design process puts people at the heart of the design process.

How old is your practice?    3 Years

Lincoln Road, Dorking

Why do you want to take part?

We believe the design and construction industry must embrace changes in technology and at Ackroyd Lowrie our clients are already seeing the benefit of these advances. We would like the opportunity to deliver this message so we can promote adoption across the industry.


Tell us about your practice

Archio is a small practice, run like a much larger one.

Our team is united by a desire to engage with the social and economic issues surrounding architecture, and we believe strongly in the power of genuine community engagement.
Our expertise is primarily in unlocking tight challenging sites through excellent design, and over the past 5 years we have built a track record of achieving successes where others have failed.

Temple Gardens, Temple Cloud, near Bristol

How old is your practice?  5 years

Why do you want to take part?

Archio is at the cutting edge of developing the type of small infill sites held by and likely to be developed by TFL. We are currently working on several highly constrained infill sites in London including the site of our Community Land Trust project on Housing Revenue Account Land in Lewisham.

Our broad approach is to see constraints as opportunities for innovative design solutions. We foresee a new London vernacular of clever, considered architecture, where excellent design is the key to unlocking apparently intractable obstacles and it is our aspiration that our projects lead this new typology.

We are currently advising think tank Centre for London on off-site construction for small to medium development sites. We also sit on the steering group of Tower Hamlets Self Build Association, established to liaise with Tower Hamlet Council to facilitate the release of public land for self-build housing.


Jo Cowen Architects

Tell us about your practice

Jo Cowen Architects work across a range of residential, commercial, hotel and mixed-use projects with a reputation for bringing both a personal touch and a wealth of experience to each and every project.  A favourite amongst developers and investors, Jo Cowen Architects have become known for their ability to maximise the value of a site whilst keeping a keen eye on risk and viability.  Founding directors Jo Cowen and Chris Wilkinson set out to bring the rigour, high standards and efficiency of large scale practices like Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, where they both worked for almost a decade, to the wider market.

How old is your practice?  5 years

Digital Enterprise Hub, south-west London

Why do you want to take part?

We have been busily getting on with projects and growing the practice for the past few years but now we feel the time is right to start talking about what we do and how we do it. We believe we have enough completed buildings and exciting projects underway to show who we are and what we stand for. We want to explain how we’ve made the transition from a large, famous practice to a smaller company that can deliver the same quality of work in a nimbler, more efficient manner.

Archiboo has created the most amazing platform for a full and frank discussion of how practices operate in today’s market and we hope that we can offer a unique perspective of a business doing things differently.


Max Dewdney Architects

 Tell us about your practice

Max Dewdney Architects specialise in infill housing, community, cultural and exhibition design projects. We create playful and interactive spatial experiences out of sites diverse in size and scope. Our design approach focuses on innovation and is forward-thinking,

 How old is your practice?  3 years

Urban Living Room, Waltham Forest. Photography:Simon Kennedy.

 Why do you want to take part?

Coming from a spatial-design background I have a unique perspective to offer in delivering architecture that is playful, eye-catching and crafted. I would love the opportunity to pitch my work and ideas around the importance of play, community and innovative infill housing to the panel. This would build upon my experiences working for Network Rail on Reading Station and public realm for 5 years at Grimshaw and my own practice’s work where I have designed and built a new public space in Waltham Forest, creating a park and playground.



Tell us about your practice

vPPR Architects was set up in 2009 by Tatiana von Preussen, Catherine Pease and Jessica Reynolds, and is an award-winning practice known for bold designs that work intelligently in complex locations.

Inspired by design from both the UK and the US, we believe that architecture can and should be brave through simple, honest clarity, while still responding to local history and context. We design buildings that find opportunities in constraints, responding with elegant yet striking forms that playfully negotiate between private and communal spaces.
We work on projects that range from urban masterplans to private houses, from the cultural to the commercial. We find that universal principles can be applied across sectors, helping to reinvent building types to suit modern life. The studio operates under the belief in the continual crossover between art and architecture, seeking creative solutions that strengthen communities, no matter how large or small.

 How old is your practice?  9 years

Halo, an interactive wayfaring device that also acts as a stage

Why do you want to take part?

TfL has demonstrated a deep appreciation and understanding of what architecture can contribute to public space, whether in the form of gateways to articulate arrival or in the creation of safe and elegant spaces for travel, for example at West Croydon Bus Station. vPPR’s latest public projects reveal a similar passion for celebrating journeys, particularly researching innovative combinations of interactive technology and architecture.


TDO Architecture

Tell us about your practice

TDO was founded by Tom Lewith, Doug Hodgson and Owen Jones in 2010 with a one-off commission for Wallpaper* Magazine. Our work varies in scale, striking a balance between large complex projects and quick collaborations for the likes of Clerkenwell Design Week, London Fashion Week and Bold Tendencies.

We took time to establish our design approach by building our first commission ourselves: the Forest Pond House. We have taken that design rigour and imagination in to larger commissions and collaborations.

Most recently we have been retained by Urban Splash and Places for People to design plots alongside larger practices in wider masterplans.

Over the last 4 years our work with these larger masterplan schemes has led us to work extensively with pre-fabricated housing, which now forms a key focus of our work.

 How old is your practice? 6 years

The FAB House, designed by TDO and George Clarke for Urban Splash and Places for People.

Why do you want to take part?

Collaboration and strong, bold concepts are at the heart of the practice. We have a portfolio of collaborations with artists and designers in parallel fields, which have honed our ability to work collaboratively while always delivering coherent and exciting outcomes.

In the last few years this experience of collaboration has evolved into working on larger masterplans as plot architects where we have been brought in to strike that balance between successful collaboration and challenging conventions.

Our work for Urban Splash was to design a new house type for their pre-fabricated range of houses. On the back of that project their joint venture partner, Places for People, has retained us to deliver 80 units over 2 plots of a 5 plot masterplan. In both cases we are working alongside larger practices with a brief to bring fresh ideas.


Tigg Coll Architecture

Tell us about your practice

We pride ourselves on our ability to understand intricate design briefs and produce outstanding, award-winning architecture in complex delivery environments.

The creation of an identifiable sense of home, fostering social connections and forming a sense of community through the careful curation of spaces is what inspires our enthusiasm and creative drive throughout our work.

Whether renovation or new build, our aim is to take a brave approach towards complicated, historic or constrained sites, and seek to challenge and be challenged by complex briefs and the physical context.
We continue to develop and grow both in our ability to deliver ever-larger and more complex developments.
Our current workload spans high-end residential, mixed-use development and masterplanning through to Co–Living, PRS and build-to-rent sectors. We have recently completed several high-profile successful projects that enjoy a central focus on communal living and shared experiences.

 How old is your practice? 10 years

Chapter, King’s Cross. Photography: Andy Matthews

 Why do you want to take part?

We relish working with other teams, consultants and within client structures to create inventive and positive ideas for the betterment of the end product.
The many underdeveloped sites around London often lend themselves to a practice that can think creatively to realise their full potential, while providing much needed housing, services and amenities to the wider area.
Our extensive capabilities in project delivery have allowed the practice to develop exciting schemes, exceeding client expectations and delivering beyond the core requirements of the brief; from maximising tight, urban sites through to interventions in historic listed settings.