About us

Take a look at what we do, who we are and read about our inherent culture that's embedded into everything we do at Assael.

What we do

Our tenacious, analytical and contextual approach to design is what we do best. With studios in London and Bahrain, we offer design services nationally and internationally in architecture, urban design, interior design, landscape design, and visualisation.


Assael Architecture is founded on a commitment to add value at all stages of design. Through collaboration with clients, design teams and local authorities, we realise the full potential of complicated sites, often in sensitive urban locations. We help to deliver quality, enjoyable and sustainable places that enhance the wellbeing of residents and the wider community.

Urban design

At Assael, we lead on the collaborative process of shaping the physical setting of life in cities, towns and villages. By focusing on the physical form, economic functions, social impacts and the art of making places, we establish masterplans, frameworks and processes that facilitate successful development.

Interior design

Assael Interiors aims to achieve healthier and aesthetically desirable environments for the end users. The team complements our architects, often working closely together from the outset to plan, coordinate, and manage the installation of beautifully well-crafted interiors.

Landscape design

Assael Exteriors enhances our contextual design approach, connecting built form with the external environment. Through our design of landscaped public realm and private external spaces, we aim to contribute to the vibrancy, functionality, and sustainability of our schemes, providing future residents with an engaging environment.


Assael Visuals creates computer-generated media to support all stages of design development. Collaborating with internal design teams and external clients, their work encompasses everything from massing studies and verified views through to high-impact marketing material.

Meet the team

There's a real sense of creative energy in the studio – something that translates directly into the buildings and places we create. We are Investors in People and, as an Employee Ownership Trust, live by the mission to find and retain staff of the highest calibre who shape the direction of the practice and share its success.


Alastair Ferguson

Head of Legal & Technical Compliance
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Alastair Ferguson

Head of Legal & Technical Compliance BSc BArch (Hons) MSc RIBA MCIArb

Alastair excels in the detail design and construction of complex residential projects, and he has experience ranging from high-end housing to the refurbishment of a Grade II listed church. Since joining Assael in 2005, Alastair has led the implementation of several projects, including the luxury apartments at Meritas Court in Bayswater, the award-winning Macaulay Walk in Clapham, and two of our new Build to Rent developments at 21 Young Street in Kensington and Pontoon Dock in Newham.

Alastair also has a Masters in Construction Law and is a Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators; he advises the teams throughout the practice on appointments, legal matters, and construction detailing.

Outside of work, Alastair enjoys making things and breaking things, in equal measure.

Alastair's key projects

Adam Fothergill

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Adam Fothergill

Associate BA (Hons) MArch RIBA

Adam joined Assael in 2016 after working at practices in both London and Manchester. He is accomplished in leading a wide array of projects, from small-scale residential developments and extensions, to the refurbishment of a listed arts club building.

Since joining Assael, Adam has been working on a variety of residential-led projects, including the design and planning application for Lewisham Retail Park and the detailed design for Phase 1 of Charter Square in Staines-upon-Thames. He’s now working as part of a large team on the implementation of Imperial Two in Bromley-by-Bow, which successfully achieved planning consent in 2018.

Aside from his passion for reinforced concrete, Adam is a keen photographer, illustrator and artist. He often exhibits his paintings, including contributing to Article 25’s 10×10 auction in 2017.

Adam's key projects

Allan Stringer

Associate Director
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Allan Stringer

Associate Director BA (Hons) MArch RIBA

Allan joined Assael as an architectural assistant in 2011 and qualified as an architect the following year. Since being with the practice, Allan has been instrumental in numerous projects, ranging from large scale urban residential masterplanning and Build to Rent in London and Manchester, to the conversion of a Grade I listed building set within landscaped gardens in Cheshire. Allan’s professional achievements at Assael resulted in his promotion to Associate Director in 2019.

Allan is accomplished in leading projects from the feasibility stage through to planning, tender and construction, and has played a key role in the development and delivery of the practice’s design and BIM Level 2 standards.

Out of the office, Allan is a long-distance runner, competing in marathons and setting his own personal goal of running 1,000 miles in a calendar year.

Allan's key projects

Ben Channon

Head of Wellbeing
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Ben Channon

Head of Wellbeing BSc (Hons) MArch RIBA MHFA

Ben has been involved in projects at a range of sizes and across all workstages since joining Assael in 2012, including Quebec Way which he saw through from concept to completion. Ben is passionate about designing with people in mind, and heads up the practice’s research into wellbeing.

He has written a book entitled ‘Happy by Design: A Guide to Architecture and Mental Wellbeing’, published by the RIBA in 2018. He’s also an accredited mindfulness practitioner, qualified Mental Health First Aider, WELL Accredited Professional, and a vocal ambassador for mental health, talking regularly at universities across the country. Ben also co-founded the Architects’ Mental Wellbeing Forum in 2018 – a cross-company initiative that aims to improve mental health, and the stigma, across the industry.

Ben was shortlisted for Health & Wellbeing Leader of the Year in the CN Talent Awards 2018, and was named a Rising Star by RIBAJ in 2018 and a RESI Trailblazer in 2019.

Ben's key projects

Hannah Brownlie

Research and Business Development Manager
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Hannah Brownlie

Research and Business Development Manager BA (Hons)

After graduating with a degree in French and International Relations, Hannah joined Assael in 2014 to support our teams in preparing design reports, planning submissions and, using her creative skills, artist’s impressions for their projects.

Hannah became our Research and Business Development Manager in 2018. She now compiles submissions for bids and competitions and conducts research into new business sectors and services, including Later Living and off-site construction.

Hannah is also covering chair of our Giving Something Back committee, organising fundraising events for charity. Most significantly, she is responsible for leading Assael’s partnership with Regenerate RISE, a local charity in Putney, including managing a group of our illustrators to produce the first ‘Assael Illustrated Cookbook’ which raised over £1,000. 

James Brisco

Head of Landscape
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James Brisco

Head of Landscape BA (Hons) DipLA CMLI

James is a Chartered Landscape Architect with 17 years’ experience in landscape and urban design. He joined Assael in 2020 to lead on the division’s current projects and business development strategy. James provides early design input on most projects at Assael to ensure landscape and urban design thinking underpins the practice’s wider design approach.  

In line with his main professional interest, James is currently completing his masters in Sustainable Urbanism with research on delivering green infrastructure through intensification of industrial locations in London. He employs a participatory approach in his practice and has experience engaging with stakeholder groups to develop projects at all scales, including smaller estate regeneration schemes, town centre improvements and district-wide landscape frameworks.

James stays closely involved in the profession, mentoring junior professionals on the Landscape Institute (LI) Pathway to Chartership, and outside of work James enjoys gardening (obviously), playing bass guitar, and he cycles and runs…very slowly.

James's key projects

Julie Bramsdon

HR Manager
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Julie Bramsdon

HR Manager BA MSc Assoc CIPD

Julie joined Assael in 2019 with HR experience spanning many different industries, including luxury fashion at Harvey Nichols and engineering at BMT, before moving into and focusing on the built environment. As well as working for architectural practices, Julie led a project during her MSc in International Human Resource Management that looked at Women in Architecture, and she contributed to a forum promoting more Women on Boards across the built environment.

Julie’s interests align perfectly with Assael’s culture. She is passionate about developing people, enjoys coaching individuals to help them achieve their work/life goals, and she continues to mentor students from Kingston University and London College of Fashion. Julie’s also a keen runner, yogi and spinner, and she’s often ‘giving something back’ by fundraising for Winston’s Wish charity.

Liz Johnsson

Head of Interiors
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Liz Johnsson

Head of Interiors BA (Hons) PgDip

Liz joined Assael as Head of Interiors in 2019 to lead on the division’s current and future projects and the business development strategy. 

Liz brought with her an array of professional experience, from JP Morgan to David Collins Studio to four years at Martin Brudnizki Design Studio where she worked across a range of sectors, including high-end residential, commercial and hospitality. 

Most recently whilst at Rolfe Judd, Liz led the concept design, full tender package, and later, under her own company L Works, oversaw the installation of Sailmakers. Sailmakers is Greystar’s Build to Rent development in Millharbour comprising 327 ‘multi-family’ apartments and 2,800 sq m of shared residents’ amenity space across two towers.

Liz is trilingual (English, Swedish and Bulgarian), holds three passports (UK, Sweden and US), and has a diverse range of interests, including skiing, arts, music and ballet. 

Olivia Cross

Practice Manager
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Olivia Cross

Practice Manager BA (Hons)

Olivia graduated from the University of Reading with a BA Honours degree in Film and Theatre Studies in 2009 and spent a year working as a Project Manager for Opera Holland Park before joining Assael in 2010.

Alongside her role as PA to Chairman John Assael, Olivia is our Practice Manager, looking after recruitment, the administration team, marketing and memberships. As a meticulous organiser and party planner, Olivia also manages all business entertainment and events, from our cocktail parties, sailing days and wine tasting evenings to MIPIM, property dinners and conferences. She organises all staff socials and events at Assael too, including the annual summer and Christmas parties.

Rebecca Squires

Quality and International Manager
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Rebecca Squires

Quality and International Manager BA (Hons)

After graduating from the University of Leeds with a BA Honours degree in History of Art and Sociology, Rebecca joined Assael as Team Administrator in 2011.

Rebecca was shortly promoted to PA to Director and worked on numerous feasibility projects and planning submissions before becoming the practice’s Quality Manager in 2014. As Quality Manager, she coordinates our Management Information System, ISO standards and management meetings. Rebecca also led the practice in achieving ISO14001 certification in 2016 and now organises our annual Assael Green Week – a variety of activities, CPDs and interactive sessions to showcase and build upon our commitment to sustainability, health and wellbeing.

Rebecca also coordinates our international marketing events and activities, as well as managing our overseas office in Bahrain.

Cathy Jeremiah

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Cathy Jeremiah

Associate BArch (Hons) DipArch RIBA

Since joining Assael in 2016, Cathy has been leading projects at feasibility and planning stage ranging from a commercial building on a prominent site in the City of London and a residential development in Ealing, to a large masterplan in central Moscow.

With her dedication to designing contextual, holistic and sustainable buildings, Cathy founded our Sustainability Group and successfully achieved ISO14001 certification in 2016. She is also one of the key team members developing Assael’s progression into the design of homes for ‘later living’ whilst promoting housing design quality and innovation.

Away from the office, Cathy is a keen runner and has raised over £6,000 for various charities by running four marathons, 12 half marathons, nine 10ks, and 116 5ks.

Cathy's key projects

Ed Sharland

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Ed Sharland

Associate BA (Hons) DipArch MA RIBA

Ed joined Assael in 2012 whilst studying for his Masters in International Architectural Regeneration and Development.

He has played a pivotal role in many of our high-profile projects including the implementation of Rainsborough Square, the revival of the Grade II listed Ham Mill, a new residential development in Battersea Nine Elms, and the Build to Rent Hungate project in York.

Most recently, Ed has been designing the 2,000-home Margarine Works in Ealing and a mixed-use development in Abbey Wood whilst also getting involved in our offsite and later living research groups.

Alongside his role as Associate, Ed is one of the Trustees of our Employee Ownership Trust, having been elected by staff in 2019.

Outside of the office, Ed is often found running around frantically after footballs, cricket balls and tennis balls, He’s also our golf captain and endeavours to organise events for clients and staff, although his competitiveness has made it difficult to find willing participants…

Ed's key projects

James Baron

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James Baron

Associate BA (Hons) DipArch RIBA

Since joining Assael in early 2011, James has worked on a number of projects with some of the UK’s largest developers, including Barratt London, London Square and Legal & General.

James’ expertise focuses on high-density residential developments, including Build to Rent, urban regeneration and sustainable architecture. Most significantly, James designed and delivered 11 Code 6 townhouses at our Renaissance development in Lewisham, some of the first homes to achieve this level of sustainability in the UK. He thrives on working collaboratively to achieve a shared goal, liaising with stakeholders, local authorities and other consultants.

Outside of architecture, James is an avid sportsman, most notably playing Ultimate Frisbee, captaining and coaching a top European team and representing Great Britain between 2012 and 2014.

James's key projects

John Lynch

Associate Director
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John Lynch

Associate Director BArch (Hons) MArch RIBA

Since joining the team in 2010, John has played a pivotal role in gaining planning consent for many of Assael’s key projects, including the revival of Riverside Studios in Hammersmith, Cleveland Street in Westminster, the Royal Academy of Dance in Battersea, and Boston Road in Ealing. He was also project architect for the implementation of the Tower at Great West Quarter in Brentford.

He is now leading a large team on the design of a new, contemporary commercial building in the City of London, and a residentially-led mixed-use development in Richmond.

Alongside his project work, John is part of the team developing strategies to improve the later living sector in the UK. He is also a founding member of Assael’s cycle club and of the practice band, Tender Package. The band competes annually in the industry’s Construction Rocks to raise money for Land Aid, winning Best Performance in 2016 and 2017.

John's key projects

Adam Darby

Associate Director
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Adam Darby

Associate Director BA (Hons) DipArch MA RIBA

Having worked with some of the UK’s largest developers and housebuilders, Adam’s expertise lies in the design and delivery of large-scale residential projects. Since being at Assael, these have included Westgate House for Barratt London, Staines-upon-Thames for London Square, and Bristol’s Box Makers Yard for Legal & General.

Adam thrives on working with people and, with a Masters in the specialist field of landscape-led regeneration in the UK, his focus is always about the social and experiential aspects of a scheme and the urban redevelopment of communities. 

Outside of architecture, Adam feels most at home adventuring in the mountains and woodlands of Cumbria, but, never one to decline a challenge, he cycled the 1,500km to MIPIM Cannes in 2018, raising £4,000 for children’s charity Coram.

Adam's key projects

Adam Johnston

Associate Director
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Adam Johnston

Associate Director BA (Hons) DipArch RIBA

Adam has led a wide range of projects through all work stages, from feasibility studies through to planning and implementation, since joining Assael in 2012. These projects vary significantly in size from a terrace of four townhouses in Greenwich, to a scheme of over 600 homes as part of a wider masterplan in Staines-upon-Thames.

Adam has also spent time broadening his knowledge of the Build to Rent sector, including analysing existing for-sale permissions to assess their suitability for conversion, writing design guides for several clients, and designing new Build to Rent schemes across the UK, including in Barking, Coventry and Milton Keynes.

His wealth and variety of experience led to his promotion to Associate Director in 2018.

Adam enjoys both words and pictures.

Adam's key projects

Rob Brown

Head of Visualisation
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Rob Brown

Head of Visualisation

Having joined in 2000, Rob is currently the fourth longest serving employee at Assael.

Rob heads up Assael Visuals and manages a team of three visual artists who work closely with and support the architectural teams through the design development process. This includes producing images and animations for pre-applications, public consultations and design and access statements, as well as sophisticated marketing material for clients’ upcoming developments.

Rob is also a skilled photographer and is often out on site capturing Assael’s work from early stages of construction through to completion.

Outside of Assael’s virtual world, Rob enjoys walking in the countryside with his wife, two young daughters and his dog, George. He also has a love/hate relationship with his garden.

Rob's key projects

Alex Johnson

Associate Director
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Alex Johnson

Associate Director BSc (Hons) MArch MA RIBA

Since joining Assael in 2011, Alex has led the team on many projects, including the implementation of Rainsborough Square in Fulham and the planning and detail design of Union Wharf in Greenwich.

Union Wharf, which has adopted a volumetric construction, is a renowned precedent in the Build to Rent (BtR) sector, and Alex has continued to grow his knowledge in both DfMA and BtR on Blackhorse Mills in Walthamstow and Avon Street in Bristol, both for Legal & General.

Alex has since authored Assael’s first ‘modular design guide’ and his strong technical ability sees him advise all staff on construction methods, with a growing expertise in pre-manufactured solutions.

Away from work, Alex spends time denying accusations of being a plane spotter. His hobbies include travel, golf, watersports and….plane spotting.

Alex's key projects

Emily Newton

Associate Director
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Emily Newton

Associate Director BSc (Hons) MArch RIBA

Emily is passionate about design and heads up the internal design review process at Assael.

She is dedicated to creating thoughtful and contextual schemes that are ‘of their place’, and is experienced in leading the team on the renewal of difficult and constrained sites, often involving heritage buildings, such as Carriageworks in Bristol and Ham Mill in Stroud. Emily has also been pivotal in many of Assael’s urban design and masterplanning projects, including Dreamland in Margate, Margarine Works in Ealing, and Millbrook Park in Barnet.

Emily is a keen artist and illustrator and loves incorporating hand drawings into her architectural work. Over the past few years, she has also raised over £2,000 for charity Article 25 by getting involved in their 10×10 Drawing the City art auction.

Emily's key projects

Stephen Taylor

Associate Director
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Stephen Taylor

Associate Director BA (Hons) DipArch RIBA

Stephen joined Assael with a wealth of experience across a range of sectors and tenures. He has since played a key role in some of Assael’s major developments, including North Wharf Gardens in Paddington and the revival of Riverside Studios in Hammersmith.

After leading the team on the delivery of our award-winning 21 Young Street in Kensington, Stephen’s proficiency led to his promotion to Associate Director in 2018. He is now leading a large team on the implementation of many of our projects, including Cleveland Street in Westminster and Imperial Two in Bromley-by-Bow.

As well as delivering projects to the highest standard, Stephen’s greatest satisfaction comes from guiding younger architects, ensuring they become well-rounded professionals with a creative approach to design and meticulous attention to detail.

Stephen's key projects

John Assael

Chairman & co-founder
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John Assael

Chairman & co-founder DiplArch Dip(Consv)AA MSc HonDDes FRSA FRIBA

John is an architect with over thirty years of experience running his own award-winning practice.

He is recognised as one of the industry’s top employers, being passionate about the profession and looking after the next generation of architects, and was appointed Fellow of the RIBA in 2019 for his contribution to the profession. John has also been a judge for the RIBA Regional Awards, WhatHouse? Awards, WAN Awards and British Homes Awards and continues to search for and reward examples of great design year after year.

In the educational sphere, John is a Visiting Fellow at Oxford Brookes University, who awarded him Honorary Doctor of Design in 2017, and is President of their alumni association, The Doric Club. He is also an external examiner at The Bartlett and London Metropolitan Universities and lectures at many architectural schools across the country including Cardiff, Nottingham and Westminster.

John is a Fellow of the RIBA, and formerly a nationally-elected member of the RIBA Council and their Honorary Treasurer. He is also a Trustee of the Architects’ Benevolent Society and the Master of Students at The Worshipful Company of Chartered Architects.

Russell Pedley

Director & co-founder
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Russell Pedley

Director & co-founder BA DiplArch MA urban design RIBA FRSA

With over 30 years as an Architect and 15 years in urban design, Russell co-founded the practice with John Assael. He has a strong passion for creating a sense of place, and continues to direct design on many of Assael’s projects. 

Russell spent many years spearheading Assael’s skills in the design of professionally-managed Build to Rent communities in the private rented sector, including extensive research in the US and producing design guides for the UK. Most significantly, he co-authored both editions of the Urban Land Institute’s Build to Rent: A Best Practice Guide, which was sponsored by the British Government.

Russell is Chair of the Urban Land Institute’s UK Residential Council, advises on MHCLG’s Build to Rent Joint Committee, and is a member of the Urban Design Group and the Architecture Foundation.

Russell also oversees Assael’s international work and is often travelling to Bahrain, Russia and beyond, when he’s not sailing –  with 20 years of experience on the water since gaining his RYA Yachtmaster Offshore License.

Russell's key projects

Pete Ladhams

Managing Director
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Pete Ladhams

Managing Director BA (Hons) DipArch RIBA

Pete’s particular interest lies in designing complex mixed-use schemes in urban areas, transforming listed buildings or those in conservation areas with sensitive but ambitious interventions. He has led the design and delivery of many of our award-winning projects, including the renewal of Macaulay Walk, Ham Mill and Bristol’s Carriageworks.

Pete is currently furthering our existing commercial portfolio by embracing new ways of working. His projects at Battersea Park Road, Bromley-by-Bow and Creechurch Lane all include the provision of innovative models for creative, flexible and affordable workspace.

Since joining Assael, Pete has got married, had two children, travelled to every continent around the globe and designed, converted and built three houses… however Nottingham Forest are still in the Championship! Fifteen years later, he remains enthusiastic about designing and creating inspirational places.

Pete's key projects

Félicie Krikler

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Félicie Krikler


Félicie is an experienced architect with both French and British qualifications. She specialises in residential-led urban regeneration and has been instrumental in the design of many of Assael’s key projects since joining in 2000. Alongside being one of our Build to Rent experts, Félicie is currently leading on several research initiatives including ‘later living’ design and the development of Assael Exteriors, our urban design and landscape division.

Félicie, as a recognised professional, participates in many industry-wide and governmental panels; she was personally invited to join Lord Heseltine’s National Estate Regeneration team and is a regular speaker at design and construction events throughout the UK and abroad.

Aside from work, Félicie pursues her artistic endeavours, drawing and painting regularly for charity as well as attempting to keep her personal sketch diary going.

Félicie's key projects

Loren Thanyakittikul

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Loren Thanyakittikul

Director BArch (Hons) NDipa BTech

With a particular specialism in the residential sector, Loren’s focus is on conceptualising and delivering prestigious mixed-use regeneration schemes. Her ambition for designing places that have unique, individual responses to their context has resulted in schemes that are rich in identity yet sensitive to their settings.

Over the years, Loren has led a large team on the successful design of numerous high-profile projects, including Young Street in Kensington, Imperial Two in Bromley-by-Bow and Margarine Works in Ealing.

As one of the directors leading in Build to Rent, Loren’s passion for fostering communities has naturally evolved into her overseeing Assael’s Interior Design division.

Loren’s love of travel saw her take a break to backpack around Asia and South America in 2011 and now has two small children who share her enthusiasm for travel and adventure.

Loren's key projects

Rory O’Hagan

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Rory O’Hagan

Director BA (Hons) DipArch RIBA

Rory joined Assael in 2011 and has a wealth of experience in designing residential and mixed-use architecture for housebuilders, residential developers and institutional investors.

Rory led the implementation of Assael’s Renaissance masterplan in Lewisham, and the design of both Union Wharf, our award-winning modular Build to Rent project in Greenwich for Essential Living, and Blackhorse Mills in Walthamstow for Legal & General.

Rory continues to lead on several Build to Rent projects while heading up Assael’s Sustainability Group and ‘green’ practices. He is also co-leading our research and design strategies for purpose-built developments and communities for later living, particularly those designed specifically for rent. 

Outside the office, Rory likes to relax and keep abreast of current affairs and emerging trends.

Rory's key projects

Tim Chapman-Cavanagh

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Tim Chapman-Cavanagh

Director BSc (Hons) DipArch RIBA

Since joining Assael in 2007, Tim has been responsible for the design of many high-profile projects in London, including the redevelopment of the iconic Riverside Studios in Hammersmith, Cleveland Street in Westminster and the Royal Academy of Dance in Battersea.

A decade on, Tim’s tenacity and commitment to creating high-quality, lasting and inventive buildings led to his promotion to Director. He now oversees the design quality of all projects at Assael, as well as directing on the graphic and visualisation output across all divisions. He is also currently co-leading on Assael’s development in the workplace sector and has recently designed a contemporary building in the City in line with changing trends towards co-working and flexibility.

Alongside design, Tim enjoys traveling, football, surfing and Netflix, perhaps a little too much.

Tim's key projects

Gigi Reilly

Commercial Director
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Gigi Reilly

Commercial Director

Gigi has run our accounts and personnel departments for over twenty years. She first joined Assael as Administration and Human Resources Manager, was then promoted to Company Secretary and then went on to become a member of the Board in 2001.

Gigi is responsible for maintaining statutory records and financial planning, monthly accounts, salaries and reports, ensuring all staff records and practice policies are up to date.

Gigi graduated from the Gothe Institute in 1987 and spent five years working in the design and fashion industry before joining Assael in 1994.

John Pearse

Operations Director
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John Pearse

Operations Director BEng (Hons)

John joined Assael Architecture in 2000 as IT Systems Manager and was promoted to Operations Director in 2017.

After receiving his Mechanical Engineering degree from the University of Warwick, John spent seven years working in the manufacturing industry, designing hydraulic and pneumatic systems.

John now provides strategic direction for business information systems, communications and other areas at the forefront of IT at Assael. He is also responsible for various areas of business operations including facilities management, archiving and business continuity planning.

After many years working with CAD and information systems, John now explores developments and opportunities in BIM and related areas of PropTech.

Hoda Sangoor

Middle East Director
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Hoda Sangoor

Middle East Director

Hoda has worked with Assael since 2010, building a strong network of clients and opportunities in the Gulf region.

Her experience includes the interior design and delivery of schools, health centres, palaces, villas, offices, hotel suites, the VIP lounge at Bahrain International Airport and many exhibitions within the Gulf states, as well as further afield.

Hoda was the first woman to enter the sphere of engineering at the Gulf Technical College in Bahrain, and the first woman to run for the Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry in 1985. She is Chairman of the Women’s Committee of the Arab African Unity Organisation for Human Rights and Anti-Terrorism and Chairman of Affaq for Advanced Projects Association, honoured by His Majesty the King of Bahrain in 2015.

Tom Banfield

Associate Director
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Tom Banfield

Associate Director BA (Hons) DipArch RIBA

Tom joined Assael with a range of experience, from small, private residential projects where he worked closely with the end users from conception to completion, to much larger retail and commercial projects, including the design of a flagship store in Central London and the implementation of Gatwick Airport’s South Terminal Forecourt Interchange.

Using his depth of experience, Tom works across all RIBA stages at Assael, leading a team on various implementation and numerous feasibility projects, from delivering small residential developments in Barnet, Brentford and Chelsea, to designing large-scale Built to Rent schemes and masterplans in Bahrain.

 Tom is a keen sportsman; he founded our tag rugby team, plays in the football and softball teams, and takes part in charity fundraising events including Assael’s pool tournament – which he’s won twice.

Tom's key projects

Sarah Markantonis

Front of House Manager
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Sarah Markantonis

Front of House Manager

Since joining Assael as Front of House Manager in 2011, Sarah has ensured the smooth running of the Assael studio, from welcoming guests, to looking after the maintenance of the premises. 

Sarah has an ever-expanding role at Assael. Alongside looking after clients and consultants, she manages CPDs, health and safety, work experience placements, and assists in organising events for staff. She is also a member of our Giving Something Back committee, organising Assael’s involvement with Race for Life, Jeans for Genes Day and Christmas Jumper Day, as well as being part of our in-house Sustainability Group.

Sarah Samuelson

Head of Communications
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Sarah Samuelson

Head of Communications BArch (Hons)

After completing her degree in architecture, Sarah joined Assael in 2011 to assist the project teams on feasibility documents and planning applications. With an eye for graphic design, Sarah shortly began refining the practice’s templates before branding became her full time role.

She now manages our brand identity, press and communications, website, bids, filming and photography. She works closely with PR consultants, creative agencies and clients, and designs all marketing material in-house, including brochures, exhibitions, award submissions and investor booklets.

Alongside her work in corporate communications, Sarah trains all staff in InDesign, helps the students with their portfolios, and designs bespoke books for staff retirement gifts. She also curated 70 welcome boxes for staff when we moved offices in 2015, leading to The Sunday Times Innovation in Engagement Award. 

Sarah has recently completed her studies with the Chartered Institute of Marketing to further her role. 

Our culture & studio

We collaborate, create and socialise together. Our studios were borne from this culture, with spaces that allow for independent work, teamwork, and events with our clients, corporate partners and friends too.


We’re privileged to have worked with some great people - developers, investors, institutions and local authorities.

View client list

Our clients

  • A
  • A2Dominion
  • Abbey Wood Property Ltd
  • Amwaj Property
  • Apache Capital Partners
  • Arab Investments
  • Avanton
  • Aviva Investments
  • B
  • Barberry Developments Ltd
  • Barratt London
  • be:here
  • be:living
  • Bellway Homes
  • Berkeley Homes
  • BNP Paribas
  • Bouygues UK
  • British Land Company plc
  • C
  • Calthorpe Estates
  • Camborne Land Investments
  • Capital Shopping Centres
  • Cardy Construction Ltd
  • Carillion
  • Catalyst Housing Association
  • CBRE Global Investors
  • City & Provincial Properties
  • City of Westminster
  • CKS Developments
  • Clearview Homes
  • CNM Estates
  • Connected Living London
  • Crest Nicholson
  • Cubex
  • D
  • Danescroft
  • Dextra International
  • Dorrington
  • DTZ Investors
  • Dukelease
  • E
  • Eclipse Hotels
  • Epsilon Real Estate Partners
  • Essential Living
  • Euro Hotels
  • F
  • Fifth Capital London Ltd
  • G
  • Galliard Homes
  • Genesis Housing Association
  • Grainger plc
  • H
  • Hausman Hughes
  • Henderson Global Investors
  • Henley Homes
  • Heronslea
  • I
  • ING Real Estate
  • International Ideas Competition
  • K
  • Kenya High Commission
  • L
  • Land Securities
  • Legal & General
  • Lendlease
  • Linkcity
  • London & Quadrant
  • London Borough of Brent
  • London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham
  • London Borough of Lewisham
  • London Borough of Wandsworth
  • London Hotel Group
  • London Square
  • M
  • Margate Town Centre Regeneration Company
  • Mayoralty of Baku, Executive Authority of the Baku City
  • McCarthy & Stone
  • Merchant Land
  • Meritas Real Estate
  • Metropolitan Housing Trust
  • Montreaux
  • Mount Anvil
  • N
  • Notting Hill Housing Association
  • O
  • Opus Land
  • P
  • Palmer Capital
  • Periquin
  • Persimmon Homes
  • PfP Capital
  • PGIM
  • PIK Group
  • Pizza Express
  • Places for People
  • Polaska Asset Ltd
  • Poly UK
  • Portland Capital
  • Prosperity Capital Partners
  • PSN Group
  • Q
  • Quidnet Capital Partners
  • R
  • Raven Group
  • Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea
  • S
  • S2 Estates
  • Sainsbury's Property
  • Scottish and Southern Energy
  • Seahorse International Holdings
  • SGN Commercial Services
  • Shepherds Bush Housing Association
  • St James Homes
  • Stroud Corporation
  • SU-155 & Prosperity Project Management
  • T
  • Taylor Wimpey
  • Telereal Trillium
  • The Collective
  • The Doddington Estate
  • The Drapers’ Company
  • The Guinness Partnership
  • The Pinnacle Group
  • U
  • U+I Group
  • UK Regeneration
  • United House
  • W
  • Weinberger Investments
  • Westfield Shopping Centres
  • Westgroup Investment Ltd
  • Willmott Dixon Regeneration
  • Y
  • York Place Buildings Ltd

Giving Something Back

We believe that for our practice to flourish, the surrounding community and environment must thrive too. That’s why we have our Giving Something Back initiative – we donate 1% of turnover to charitable causes locally and nationally, and encourage staff to fundraise and volunteer during work hours.


Over the years, we’ve won and been shortlisted for many awards for design, for our practice as a whole, for being a good employer and for giving something back.

81 Design
23 Employer
13 Practice
2 Giving Something
Back awards


27 British Homes Awards
15 AJ100 Awards
12 The Sunday Times Best 100 Small Companies to Work For
10 What House? Awards
8 Building Awards
10 Housing Design Awards
6 UK Property Awards
6 Building Good Employer Guide
4 AJ Retrofit Awards
5 New London Awards

Take a look at the awards we are most proud of:

View awards list

Design awards

Civic Trust Awards

  • Regional Finalist for 21 Young Street, 2020

The Sunday Times British Homes Awards

  • Architect of the Year, 2008, 2014 & 2016
  • Winner of Best Community Living for Union Wharf, 2020
  • Finalist for Development of the Year (over £10m) and Apartment Development of the Year for Union Wharf, 2020
  • Finalist for Development of the Year (over £10m) and Apartment Development of the Year for 21 Young Street, 2019
  • Finalist for Apartment Development of the Year for Queen's Wharf, 2018
  • Finalist for Apartment Development of the Year for Quebec Way, 2019
  • Winner of Housing Project for Union Wharf, Battersea Square and Ham Mill, 2015, 2016 & 2017 respectively
  • Winner of Development of the Year and Best Mixed-use Development for Macaulay Walk, 2014

Brick Awards

  • Finalist for Medium Housing Development for Quebec Way, 2019
  • Finalist for Large Housing Development for Queen’s Wharf, 2018

Housing Design Awards

  • Finalist for Completed Projects, Union Wharf, 2020
  • Finalist for Project Award, Garratt Mills, 2020
  • Finalist for Completed Projects, 21 Young Street, 2019
  • Finalist for Project Schemes, Imperial Two, Bromley-by-Bow, 2019
  • Winner of Project Award, Ham Mill Stroud, 2018
  • Winner of Private Rented Sector Project, Union Wharf, 2016
  • Winner of Private Rented Sector Project, 21 Young Street, 2014

What House? Awards

  • Gold Winner of Best Luxury Development for Rainsborough Square, 2015

London LABC Awards

  • Winner of Best Small New Housing Development for the Code 6 townhouses at Renaissance, 2015

National Urban Design Awards

  • Finalist for Practice Award for Brooke Peninsula, 2016

New London Awards

  • Finalist for Masterplans & Area Strategies, Margarine Works, 2019
  • Finalist for Mixed-use Award, Imperial Two, Bromley-by-Bow, 2018
  • Finalist for Mixed-use Award, Queen’s Wharf and Riverside Studios, 2015
  • Winner of Conservation and Retrofit Award for Wallis House, Great West Quarter, 2012

CABE Building for Life Awards

  • Gold Standard Winner for Ten Rochester Row, 2010

Employer awards

BD Architect of the Year Awards

  • Finalist for Best Architect Employer, 2020

Architects’ Journal AJ100 Employer of the Year

  • Winner, 2017
  • Finalist, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2018, 2019 & 2020

The Sunday Times 100 Best Small Companies to Work For

  • Winner of Innovation in Engagement Award, 2017
  • Winner of Ten Year Achievement Award, 2020
  • Winner of Giving Discovering Potential Award, 2017

Building Magazine’s Good Employer Guide

  • Winner, 2014, 2015, 2017 & 2018

Investors in People Awards

  • Winner of Gold Employer of the Year, 2017

Practice awards

Architects’ Journal AJ100

  • Finalist for Practice of the Year, 2012, 2013, 2014 & 2019
  • Finalist for Clients' Choice Award, 2019 & 2020
  • Winner of Business Pioneer of the Year, 2015

Building Awards Architectural Practice of the Year

  • Finalist, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 & 2020

Giving something back awards

The Lord Mayor’s Dragon Awards

  • Winner of Heart of the City Award for Best New Community Programme, 2016

The Sunday Times 100 Best Small Companies to Work For

  • Winner of Giving Something Back Award, 2018


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