who we are
WR-AP was founded by Sean Weston and Max Rengifo in 2018.
As founding partners, Max and Sean have a shared vision of what WR-AP aims to achieve and its mission. Having worked in unison for 15 years at two design focused practices in London they took the ambitious step to set up WR-AP.
Their longstanding working relationship means they have established that their personal and professional skills are complementary. This allows for a natural harmony between them as founders that leads to direct effects and influences within the studio.
Max and Sean both have strong architectural and managerial skills and are respected members of the London architectural community demonstrated over many years of delivering numerous successful projects across a large spectrum of sectors and architectural typologies and they look to enhance this reputation by assisting WR-AP's clients achieve their aims and architectural ambitions.
"I decided I wanted to be an architect when I was at secondary school. It might sound odd but I didn’t fully understand what an architect did when I was 13 but I knew that I wanted to have a career where I could help people and society in a small way. Some 30 years later I now fully understand what it means to be an architect and the impact we can have on peoples lives and the communities that we live and work in. It is because of this passion I will continue to strive to make a difference wherever I can with the work and commissions that WR-AP undertake.
I have an analytical-minded approach to our creative operations. I believe that architecture is the product of a participatory process governed by research, design, client and stakeholder engagement and, ultimately, the selection of the correct procurement model.
I have a keen attention to detail that drives our delivery expertise and ensures a culture of finesse is nurtured within the studio, defining the quality and individuality of our projects and making sure that our designs deliver delight".
'My passion for architecture started 28 years ago when I started my formation in my native city Caracas. Discovering the power of well-designed buildings and public spaces changed from a mere career to a way of life. It is undoubtedly exhilarating seeing a “drawing” getting built; but nothing compares with hearing the anecdotes and memories once that early sketch comes to life.
I believe in a practice based on solid narratives, coherent technical solutions and above all being able to positively influence the lives of the people living, working or studying in the spaces we design. My involvement in WR-AP’s projects starts with early narratives, sketching, engagement and continues with technical detailing and construction phases.
My participation with academia allows me to explore and discuss relevant architectural issues as well as ultimately influence how we believe architectural education should respond to our professions challenges. Through a journey of ideas-practice-economics-technology and social issues we formulate relevant briefs / discussions aiming to provide a solid platform for students'.
WR-AP is a design-led practice focusing on strategic, collaborative and inspirational yet deliverable architectural solutions. We are interested in our role as city makers; with special emphasis on how architecture can help to provide human friendly urban spaces. We study physical and cultural context to enable successful long-term sustainable communities and buildings where all are welcome to contribute, we love collaboration and dialogue.
Our solutions are robust and simple to understand, we aim to create buildings that stand the test of time. We praise tradition as a constant learning tool that holds clues to challenge our future. Our process is open, fun and engaging; our tools are easy to understand and participative, ranging from sketches, physical models to Virtual Reality.
Our design process starts with an analytical approach to understand the issues of a commission and its variables such as: aspirations, programme, time, budget, contextual opportunities (physical and cultural). With this data (or while we are collecting it) we embark on a creative journey, where ideas are discussed, challenged in an open forum; a sort of distillation process where the essence of the project is identified. Invariably at this point there is no definitive forms or images defined but instead a clear path or narrative to follow.
Following this stage we look to outline a clear strategy for the commission. Strategic thinking allows all (clients, stakeholder, users, consultants) to think about the findings from the analytical fact finding stage, assess, take a view and create the plan for action. This avoids responding to the question posed by the original brief without thinking first, to let ideas flowing without preconceptions. Critically, we believe that this strategic thinking allows us to balance our creativity with a sense of realism which ultimately makes ideas possible, deliverable.
We also praise collaboration and dialogue as bastions for a successful project; were contributions from all parties are discussed and then distilled to provide, not a diluted response, but a strong and clear message that everyone could identify as theirs.
To support the design focused ethos of the practice, the studio is a place where experimentation and testing of ideas is at the forefront of all that we do and is actively encouraged. Our new purpose built studio was opened in October 2019 and is based 2 minutes walk from Teddington Station and its direct links to central London. The new open plan facility incorporates model making areas, design review spaces, meeting area, dining space, shower facilities (for our active members) and ample desk space for our members to express themselves.
The top six things that matter most to us:
to always create beautifully designed spaces.
to inspire our people with a meaningful and enjoyable studio culture.
to make our cities and towns more human.
to respect our past and challenge our future.
to build environmentally positive ideas.
to sustain a profitable performance for the benefit of all our people.