Rigorous, Evocative and Performance led Architecture is what we do.
Rigour: along the journey of creating architecture
‘Rigour in all that we do, for us is as equally important as the finished building’
A pursuit of excellence encompasses all the activities we perform in the practice. We are rigorous in our approach to understanding site context, history and our clients aspirations. We pride ourselves on being meticulous with our own internal procedures such as design documentation, design reviews, design research, constant learning or efficient resource allocation to ensure that our clients commissions get the attention to detail that they deserve.
It is with this passion to be rigorous in all that we do, that we learn, evolve and grow as a practice. We do this with every project, every challenge and every client in order to enjoy the steps along the journey of creating great architecture.
Evocative: in creating valuable memories
‘Our architecture is an inhabitable framework to create lasting memories for our clients’
Client briefs are initially a translation of their needs alluding to quantitative figures (budgets) and spatial requirements.
Our real skill and contribution is to transform these pragmatic parameters into something inspirational, something beyond their imagination, something evocative that brings joy to their life. We unveil the less obvious qualities of a brief to form a unique narrative that will inspire every decision of the project.
We love practicing architecture, we openly test our ideas using drawings and models; we explore materials, we work with proportions, experiment with light and challenge conventions. It’s the journey of creating architecture that we find most evocative and rewarding to share with our clients.
Our buildings embody the intellectual delight of the process to create great architecture and become the spaces where life takes place to build memories.
Performance: in relation to creating our sustainable future
‘For us, good performance is indivisible from great architecture’
Knowing that the climate emergency demands urgent action and leadership by architects, we must act now! We believe that all new and retrofit buildings should be delivering net zero whole life carbon in advance of any future regulation. We know this is challenging but we cannot wait any longer. With this aim at the forefront of our minds we have made the performance of our buildings a guiding principle in the practice.
Our architectural proposals are thoroughly tested to make sure they contribute positively to the environment by providing a reduction in energy consumption, a reduction in embodied carbon and by providing greater conservation of water usage.
We don’t just design to current regulations – we move beyond the legislative framework to do more. We know we have to, so we will do it!
who we are
BA (Hons), Dip Arch,
‘As a founder of WR-AP Sean leads the strategic direction of the practice with a combination of his proactive nature, creativity and proven technical skill’.
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 people’s lives and the communities that we live and work in. It’s 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 that is project focused, interested in exploration through making, keen to tackle tangible sustainable issues rather than theoretical or paper architecture and I have a belief that architecture can be a mechanism for social good.
In addition to my directorial roles and responsibilities I also enjoy being a mentor to the next generation of architects. I have been privileged to advise several young up and coming architecture undergraduates from Reading and Kingston University in recent years.
Away from the practice I’m continually building up the courage with my daily early morning runs to finally run a marathon, I love coaching my sons football team and I’m actively trying to find time to read more books and to scroll less.
Ham Close Community Centre
2-4 HS - HW
Fulham Pre-prep School
Be Well Pavilion
Arquitecto CIV - CAV - M.Sc.
‘Max’s architectural-minded approach is essential to formulate the creative direction of the practice. His ability for synthesis, creation of narratives and ideas formulation shapes the studio message for consistency and clear identity’.
I grew up making and drawing things in my native city: Caracas, surrounded by the analytical curiosity of my father and the sensibility for nature and crafts of my mother. Later on discovering the power of well-designed buildings and public spaces changed architecture from a mere career to a way of life. For me it is exhilarating seeing a “drawing” getting built; but nothing compares to hearing the experiences of those who use our spaces once that early sketch comes to life.
I believe in a practice based on evocative narratives, coherent technical solutions and above all being able to positively influence the lives of the people using the spaces we design. My involvement in WR-AP is to lead our team to deliver evocative narratives, explorative sketching, meaningful engagement with clients and users alike- and to develop rigorous technical detailing during the 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 I seek to formulate relevant briefs / discussions aiming to provide relevant platforms for fruitful discussions with students.
I am privileged to share my life with someone equally passionate about design, art and architecture. I seek for the intellectual delight of understanding things. I also annoyingly tap my fingers everywhere as a reminder of my days as drummer, long gone but hopefully soon to resume.
LEO de VAL
Arquitecto CIV - CAV
‘Leonor is a Venezuelan architect and WR-AP has been her first experience as an architect in the UK. She has an eagerness to learn and the practice has enabled her to develop her passion to see things built with a love for Interior Design and Construction’
I grew up in my father's office, he was a civil engineer who led projects that involved the hiring of various specialists, structural engineers, surveyors, electrical engineers and architects among others. This led to me living my formative years between drawing boards, sketches, rulers and pencils when everything was still done by hand.
My mother is an artist and sculptor, so I also grew up in a pottery studio surrounded by ceramic lathes, ovens, clay, oxides, brushes and colors. I think growing up between these two different worlds has been a huge influence on my architectural thinking.
I recently read an article on the different types of intelligence, I discovered that mine is called spatial intelligence, which is one of the defining elements that distinguishes architects. I bring to the practice the desire to learn and to do things in an innovative manner. Architecture and its spatial value is universal, the difference is the standards of each country, the construction materials used and the way of building. I enjoy the technical aspects of practicing architecture and working dynamically with BIM for the practice is something that I like to be participating in.
I love art, especially contemporary art. I enjoy going to museums and I like that art communicates with the spirit and expresses feelings. I love ceramics too, I miss my mother's ceramic studio back home.
Outside of the practice I have recently discovered my passion for hiking and doing so has been a great opportunity to get to know this beautiful country and its landscapes, even if it includes getting lost multiple times or soaking in the rain. The routes through the seven sisters cliffs in the south of the country has been a highlight so far.
fulham pre-prep school
BA (Hons) MArch
‘Jo is a striving young architect, who thoroughly enjoys thinking through making, more precisely through cast-making, and has a strong understanding of the architectural profession as a synthesis of ongoing processes of testing, absorbing and understanding.’
I joined WR-AP in the summer of 2020, after completing my first year of Architecture Masters at The Kingston School of Art. Whilst studying I’ve explored questions of liminality and the idea of resettling, through the exploration of façade design and development. My studies have given me the ability to address complex problems, assess significant possibilities within given limitations and requirements, and develop design solutions that evolve towards refinement through repeated cycles of testing, assessing and no shortage of impressive risk-taking.
During my undergraduate studies I began to strive and develop an understanding of both design, concept and architecture not only as a profession itself but also a prime initiator towards social change and development as a whole and its this focus that I enjoy dedicating my efforts towards within the practice environment.
I’m passionate about good architecture and my key interests lie within the ongoing investigation and exploration of materiality, spatial condition, and subtext within a projects' context, alongside furthering my understanding of architecture as a transformational process of experimentation and carefully thought out design that impacts the wider society and not just the confines of a buildings footprint. I’ve been involved in a number of the practices’ residential projects and I enjoy testing out my interests out of this scale of architecture.
Outside university and practice I’ve entered several architectural competitions around the world in order to develop my architectural thinking and stance, most recently having been a shortlisted winner for an educational centre in Mexico.
Ham Close Community Centre
BA (Hons) MArch
‘Dan is a motivated and experienced designer, joining WR-AP in June 2021. With a passion for the environment and our collective social responsibility, Dan possesses a keenness to create stimulating architecture that harmonises with its setting.’
My engagement with buildings, spaces and design stems from my childhood, without question. When not clambering across rocks on the beach or climbing trees in the South Downs countryside, you’d have doubtless found me exploring the best hiding places at friend’s houses; trying to understand how these spaces came to be. This inquisitiveness led me on an educational journey of art and design, which really unlocked my creative problem-solving attitude. Such was the appeal in uncovering what makes for a great space, I pursued a career in Architecture and studied both Bachelors and Masters Degrees at Kingston University. It was this formal education that opened my eyes to the interactions between people and place. I believe that carefully-constructed architecture can complement the identity of any environment at social, material and sensory levels. During my professional development, I have continued to enjoy the roles that photography, sketching and model-making play in my understanding of the urban realm.
I take pride in having played a hands-on role in the design and construction of ‘live build’ projects in partnership with a Surrey-based Community Interest Company during my Masters course. These included the RIBA Silver Medal-nominated ‘Surbiton Yatai’ project for the ‘Seething Festival’; and ‘ShedX’ which won a Silver Medal at the 2018 RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show and toured at the V&A Museum and Lambeth Palace. These opportunities helped form an appreciation of the craft of construction, in turn inspiring the way I view collaboration, client ambitions and user experience. Architecture is an iterative process, so I seek to adopt a ‘thinking through making’ approach wherever possible. Physically making a model is just as informative to us as it is to the client.
I have a strong interest in capturing exciting design through the lens. Inspiration can spring at any moment and I find myself as much in awe of small details as I do great spaces. Participating in supportive and impartial discourse as a critic serves to better equip us all in practice and helps the industry prosper.
I have always found sanctuary in the peace and quiet of nature. In my own time, you’ll most likely find me out with my camera gear on a long countryside walk with my partner, probably stopping to coo over a stranger’s dog. In urban environments, I’m the guy who’ll stop to peep through the gap in the hoarding at a construction site to see what’s going on. I love sport and for much of my childhood played football and represented my local Harriers Athletics Club. Nowadays I’m an animated fan, watching my football team squander another chance in our annual battle to avoid the drop.
BArch MArch PGDip ARB RIBA
‘Alice is an ambitious architect who brings her artistic eye to WR-AP as well as her enthusiasm for always putting people at the forefront of the design process’
My main line of architectural curiosity lies with the development of social spaces and resilient homes, and how we can define better and more inclusive places for communities and individuals. This interest has been particularly inspired by the works of 20th Century architects including Neave Brown and Lina Bo Bardi, whose social schemes and joyful interventions inspired many of my projects during my architectural studies.
I undertook both my Bachelors and Masters degrees at the University of Nottingham where I was awarded a first class degree for both qualifications. My final year thesis project, Phenomenology and Dementia (a project exploring social inclusivity within an experiential urban environment) was nominated for the RIBA Silver President’s Medal and Architects’ Journal Student Prize. I qualified as an Architect in October 2021 after completing my Part 3 studies at the University of Westminster.
Following 2 years at Mæ Architects, I joined WR-AP in October 2021, and I am excited to continue nurturing my architectural curiosities as I venture into the next step of my career as an Architect, designing resilient and evocative spaces, places and homes.
I have a very creative eye and particularly enjoy producing compelling visuals – be that digital collaging or intricate hand drawing – to really communicate design decisions and atmospheres. I am also very much a people person, so look forward to building relationships with new people and bringing along my positive and smiley persona along to every project.
I enjoy advocating and learning about pioneering women in architecture and interior design, through books, talks and exhibitions. Most recently I enjoyed a visit to the Design Museum to see Charlotte Perriand: This Modern Life, where I learnt more about her notion that ‘good design is for everyone’.
When I’m not at my desk, I can be found tending to my ever growing house plant collection, or planning my next Theatre trip to the West End.
Tooting Bec Lido
12 - 14 DR
Design and Communications Lead
BA (Hons) communication design
‘Amber is a creative young designer whose process led approach and eagerness to learn results in exciting and innovative design solutions. Graduating in 2020 from the Glasgow School of Art WR-AP has been her first taste of a role in industry and she’s been enjoying absorbing all the architectural knowledge she can.’
Despite having no formal education in architecture, I have such a respect for it, as a designer and artist myself it’s so incredible to see such tangible results of a project as well as the process that leads there. I am particularly interested in the use of materials and the consideration that goes into them both ecologically and aesthetically. The history and changing norms within architecture are also fascinating, having studied classical civilisations in college I have a bit of insight into ancient architecture and how buildings have evolved with us to suit our changing needs and visual preferences.
As the first person in this role, I think I’ll bring a new perspective and flair to the materials at WR-AP and hopefully something a bit different. I have a very hands on, process led approach to design which results in constant learning and new techniques. This should result in a cohesive but exciting variety of styles to suit any project.
Outside of the studio I spend my time working with clay to create sculptural pieces that are both beautiful and practical. My work mainly focuses on the stunning lines and curves of the human form but I’m branching into more abstracted, textural pieces. I’m completely self-taught so I think this is why a big interest of mine in the architectural sphere are the materials used as it has parallels with the choice of clay, chemistry of glaze and the consideration of process with usability as well as aesthetic.
When I’m not designing and creating, I spend my time trying to teach my rescue dog Turnip to be the best boy he can be, we’ve not had too much luck so far, so we’ll just say he’s full of character. He loves a cuddle and is always eager for a post work snuggle in front of the telly.
We take plants seriously at wr-ap and every so often we'll feature one of the practice plant family here on our website.
Coffea Arabica, or more recognizably the Coffee plant, is an evergreen from the rubiaceae family with dark shiny leaves originating from Ethiopia in about 1,000 BC. Its name was coined around the 7th century when the plant was brought across the Red Sea into Yemen and lower Arabia – hence the ‘Arabica’. This variety of coffee bean is the most commonly used dominating about 70% of global production.
In their natural habitat Coffea Arabica grow into medium sized trees, although when farmed they are regularly pruned to keep them at a more manageable size. They have fairly compact growing habits making them ideal for growing in your home; there are even dwarf varieties available that only grow to 12 inches tall, the Coffea arabica 'Nana'.
Given its tropical origins, warm temperatures and plenty of moisture are key. The younger the plant the more watering is required to keep it healthy but whatever it’s age the soil should never really be allowed to dry out completely. Watering little and often tends to work best for these shrubs as well as a daily misting of the leaves, but make sure there is good drainage to avoid root rot. Despite enjoying higher temperatures, ideally 20 – 25 degrees, you should try and avoid direct sunlight and keep your plant in a filtered but well-lit area.
what we do
We create Rigorous, Evocative, Performance led architecture across a broad range of sectors.
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, informative and engaging; our tools are easy to understand and participative, ranging from sketches, physical models to Virtual Reality.
This is the focus of what we do. Our comprehensive architectural services cover both the private and public sectors and include brief development, conceptual design, design development and construction documentation, assisting with contractor bidding and/or negotiating and construction contract administration. We provide the full suite of architectural services governed by the RIBA plan of works 2020.
It can sometimes be a little overwhelming deciding on how you’d like to complete the interior design of your architectural project - This is where our interior design service comes in. We offer a comprehensive support service to you that includes sourcing and selecting specific products, so that they create the exact look and feel you want.
Planning & Development Advice
We assist property and land owners with assessing existing or new assets to determine opportunities to add value or development potential. We undertake feasibility studies and due diligence compliance checks for asset managers, property owners and investors. We do this by collaborating with industry leaders to offer our clients a best in class service in this area.
Design Technical Advisors
Our Design Technical Advisor service offers primarily Public Sector Clients a professional competence review of any architectural design services they are procuring and covers all of the RIBA Workstage's 0–7.
We are currently acting as Design Technical Advisors for The Department of Education and their procurement of new schools under Wave 12 and 13 of the Free School programme and the new SRP programme.
We begin each commission using listening as our most powerful tool. Once we have established your goals, objectives and space requirements, we develop innovative and simple to understand programmes to clearly demonstrated the key elements and timeframes for your project.
Working in 3D is at the heart of everything we do and BIM is the tool for that. We design, render, plan, coordinate and construct in BIM.
BIM is a shared resource of information and now we are providing our client and contractors with reliable information to maintain and manage their buildings. BIM is as essential as computers were 20 years ago - that is why we invested in BIM from the outset of the practice.
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 team members to express themselves.
When Sean and Max set-up the Practice in early 2018 they wanted it to be based outside of central London but within easy reach of the opportunities that it provides. They wanted to create a practice that would become embedded within its community, offer work opportunities to students from the local Architecture School and reduce their impact on the environment by eliminating the daily commute into central London.
We're glad to say that we've delivered on the practices initial aims of working on commissions closer to home and further afield and we now look forward to developing a truly sustainable architecture practice with our team members with the support of our clients.
With the leaders of the practice coming from immigrant and working class backgrounds it is no surprise that their joint careers to date have been focused on many publicly funded projects, be these housing, schools, libraries or other local authority facilities. Its this civic work that most interests us as a practice, its what gets us out of bed in the morning
– we want to make a difference to the communities that we work in.
We are currently enrolled as foundation members of ‘The Heart of The City’ two year responsible business programme where they are guiding us to look at how our business can support our local community, reduce our environmental impact, build a more diverse
workforce and look after our employees’ wellbeing.
You can find out more about our social agenda here.
Our process always begins with sketching out ideas and concepts. This is often undertaken in a forum where our clients actively participate. With the aid of technological innovations such as 3D printing, Virtual Reality and Building Information Modelling, our team is skilfully able to transform initial thoughts into a range of mediums, including, drawings, CGI's, physical models, cast models and immersive environments to give you a clearer understanding of the architectural concepts that we design.