“We want an outside view on what makes us a unique practice”

16 November, 2016

We’ve been running the Architect Pitch since September 2014. It’s the only regular forum for architects to pitch their practice to a panel of judges, including clients, and be given honest and insightful feedback in a supportive environment.

For clients, the Architect Pitch is a chance to hear from architects first-hand and put them through their paces in a relaxed and informal environment.

On December 2nd, seven architects will be pitching to a panel that includes Charlie Green, Roger Black, Del Hossain, Carolyn Larkin and David Hamilton.

Here we ask the architects to tell us a bit about their practice and why they want to pitch. The architects are Blee Halligan, dMFK, Tonkin Liu, Bardakhanova Champkins, S333 Architecture + Urbanism, S333 Architecture + Urbanism and Stitch.

Blee Halligan Architects


Tell us about your practice

We are based in London and the British West Indies. Greg Blee is also Creative Director of Chromex Group, a London based property developer. This has given the practice unique and first hand insight into the world of development that has helped us fine tune our working relationship with commercial clients.

We invest our time where it can make the biggest impact and believe with the right creative investigation and exploration we can inspire something extraordinary at any budget.

We design buildings that are visceral, that are connected to place and to the people that use them. They are considered as an unfolding spatial story – intuitively laid out and perfectly positioned in their setting.

How old is your practice?  0-5 years

Why do you want to take part?

We founded the practice two years ago and have achieved fast growth with two offices 5000 miles apart. We want test ourselves in this forum and take this opportunity for constructive feedback in front of new faces.

dMFK Architects


Tell us about your practice

dMFK is a team of 20 talented young architects, established in 2000, and led by Julian de Metz, Paul Forbes and Ben Knight.

We design buildings that work in complex, historic or constrained contexts. We take a brave approach to heritage, believing strongly that change means opportunity, complexity and richness. Whether new build or renovation, we aim to create and respond to texture, warmth and grain.

We are all skilled communicators, knowing the questions to ask, how to ask them and of whom, and most importantly to listen. We relish working with others, in complex teams and client structures and know how to get the best out of those situations for our clients.

How old is your practice? 10 years +

Why do you want to take part?

It’s a great opportunity to take stock and focus on the core values and message of the practice, to show some of our favourite projects and to get feedback from experts in property and marketing but also from an audience. Most importantly, it’s for an excellent charity.

Tonkin Liu


Tell us about your practice

Tonkin Liu uses a very specific methodology that searches for solutions
 unique to each new place. This method yields results that are particular to time, place, and person and uses nature as an inspiration and a guide to an understanding of the values that make us human.

The practice’s output has a series of common traits that relate to lessons learnt from the world of nature. Projects vary in typologies and sizes, in private, commercial and public sectors.  Tonkin Liu has developed a diverse portfolio of individually tailored, instantly recognisable, and award-winning work.

How old is your practice?  10 years +

Why do you want to take part?

Tonkin Liu has produced award-winning work and many of the projects were the result of successful entries in open design competitions. Recent projects have increased in size, and we would like to continue to grow in scale and to be considered for prestigious projects through invitation-only competitions and also through meeting private developers.

The experts’ feedback at the Architect Pitch would not only help us shape our future pitch to be more effective, but would also give us an outside view into what makes us a unique practice.

Bardakhanova Champkins




Tell us about your practice

We are a progressive Anglo-Russian practice based in Moscow working on public and education projects. Our working process can be uncomfortable and often difficult, requiring constant questioning of the accepted UK normatives in design approach and professional methodology.  This is a positive challenge that brings genuine benefit to both us and our clients.
We are five architects led by two partners trained in the UK and with aspirations to make a genuine and satisfying difference. We are architects in residence for the avant garde Zil Cultural Centre (1938) and are currently working on a large education project for VDNKh (the subject of the Russian Pavilion in Venice) and new university spaces close to Red Square.

How old is your practice? 0-5 years

Why do you want to take part?

We would like to participate in the Architect Pitch because it would be a good chance to tell people what we are working on – which we do not do very much – and demonstrate our attitude and approach. Our primary reason is that we think it might be fun.

S333 Architecture + Urbanism


Tell us about your practice

S333 is an architectural, master planning and urban design practice that was  founded in Amsterdam in 1997 and has been based in London since 2008.

Our experience as an Anglo-Dutch practice has been honed in the Netherlands. The culture of ‘enlightened pragmatism’ in the Netherlands that combines experimentation with practical delivery remains a driving force in our approach.

S333’s first completed project was a mixed-use housing project in Groningen (NL) which was short-listed for the Mies van der Rohe Award. In London, Old Dairy won the inaugural NLA award for Housing and James Voller Way won a Housing of the Year RIBA Award. It was also shortlisted for the RIBA Manser Medal, the only time an affordable housing scheme had been shortlisted.

How old is your practice?  10 years +

Why do you want to take part?

To reflect on what other colleagues are saying, to make sure we keep it simple and to keep me on my toes!

 Studio Octopi

Tell us about your practice

Established in 2003, Studio Octopi has an extraordinary breadth of work for a small practice, encompassing private residential, commercial, arts and leisure projects.

Recently completed projects include the refurbishment of a 1000 seater Victorian amphitheatre, London’s largest artist residency and 50,000 sq. ft office design for an advertising agency. Since launching proposals for a floating lido on the Thames (Thames Baths C.I.C.) and funding the initial stages of the project via crowdfunding, the practice won the rebuilding of Peckham Lido. Studio Octopi focuses on unique one-off projects that require just that little bit more from an architect whether it’s in procurement or detail.

How old is your practice? 10 years +

Why do you want to take part?

To hone the elevator pitch in an increasingly challenging market place. It will also be good to meet the judges.


Tell us about your practice

Stitch’s vision is to be a leading housing design and place-making studio comprised of a multidisciplinary team known for creating successful places that will be admired and cherished for generations.

Our expertise lies in housing and urban regeneration. In 2015 we successfully achieved planning permission for 680 homes including the regeneration of the Marlowe Road Estate in Walthamstow. The project will transform the isolated estate into an integrated family-friendly neighbourhood. We now have two major projects completed and occupied – Goresbrook Village in Dagenham (149 homes) and South Acton Phase 3.1 in Ealing (124 homes).

We work with both public and private sector clients and are currently working as part of a team of architects to deliver hundreds of new homes on council-owned sites across Croydon. Stitch was shortlisted for the Housing Design Awards 2016 and received a commendation for South Acton Phase 3.1 in the NLA Awards 2016.

How old is your practice? 0-5 years

Why do you want to take part?

I joined Stitch 2 years ago after graduating from my Masters at Sheffield University and have since qualified as an Architect. Working in a small practice I have been able to take a leading role in large projects such as the regeneration of Marlowe Road.

The Architect Pitch is a great opportunity as a young architect to practice my presentation and speaking skills as well as contribute to the continued business development and marketing of the practice. I am looking forward to sharing the great work we have been doing at Stitch, and talking about our unique approach to design process and client relationships.

To watch the live pitches please book your tickets here.

All the ticket money is going to Centrepoint, that supports homeless young people.