Practice

Directors

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 at home and abroad 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. Housing is a passion and we not only deliver projects but also speak publicly on the subject and have been featured in major national exhibitions.

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. Our work has received critical acclaim, as well as a number of awards for both the practice and our projects. We are immersed in the design community, creating installations and teaching at some of the most prestigious schools in the country.

Process

Often the simplest designs are the product of the most thought and effort. Our clean, graphic architecture is the result of rigorous and exhaustive design process.

Our working methods are based around the careful alignment of two distinct sets of constraints: context and systems. Starting with historic and physical precedents, we explore the ways in which building uses and materials have changed and adapted over time. With this in mind we then apply our own series of rules to create simple solutions to complex problems.

By merging these two different ways of working, we are able to reach a harmonious conclusion.

Working three-dimensionally from the outset, we move back and forth between the plan and section of each project. The plan helps us to mediate the relationships between inside and outside spaces, creating opportunities to develop a gentle gradient of the public and private. The section allows us to form sculptural spaces that change as light moves into and through rooms.

Every member of the team is deeply concerned with the production of classic architecture that transcends trends and fashions, without becoming mundane. Our buildings are designed to be long-lasting and responsive to the changes that might occur across a single day or in the years to come. Each project is created using a blend of delicate line drawings and precise computer modelling, producing architecture that challenges the status quo.

Biographies

TATIANA VON PREUSSEN MA(Cantab), MArch, RIBA, Director

Tatiana von Preussen graduated in architecture at Cambridge University and Columbia University, where she was awarded the New York Society of Architects Award. She worked previously for Field Operations, in New York, on the construction of The High Line park and, in London, at Stanton Williams Architects and Stephen Taylor Architects. She taught third year studio at Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture with Jeffrey Inaba and an Intermediate studio at the Architectural Association with Maria Fedorchenko.

CATHERINE PEASE MA(Cantab), AA Dip, RIBA, Director

Catherine Pease graduated in architecture at Cambridge University and the Architectural Association in London. She practiced at Dive Architects in London where she worked on wide range of residential, commercial and community projects. She was then employed at Skidmore, Owings and Merrill in New York where she was on the design team for the new Mumbai International Airport. She also worked on several competitions for Lindy Roy in New York. She has acted as critic at Cambridge and Columbia Universities and the Architectural Association and has taught a design studio at Cardiff University.

JESSICA REYNOLDS MA(Cantab), MPhil, MArch, RIBA, Director

Jessica Reynolds graduated in architecture at Cambridge University, where she was awarded the Purcell Miller Tritton Prize, and at Princeton University. She worked at van Heyningen and Haward Architects in London and at facade design practice Front in New York. In addition to practicing architecture, she gained an M.Phil. in History and Philosophy of architecture at Cambridge University, and a Media and Modernity certificate at Princeton University. She was editor of Pidgin, the Princeton University School of Architecture Journal, and has taught at Princeton University, Pratt Institute and Cardiff University. She currently teaches Diploma 13 at The Architectural Association, and writes for architecture journals in London.

ALEX BARNETT, Project Architect

Alex studied at the University of Portsmouth, the University of Cambridge and gained his diploma in professional practice at the University of Westminster. He has previously worked at Nicholas Hare Architects, where he became particularly experienced in the education sector, delivering schools from planning through to completion. He has also helped to develop large-scale urban regeneration projects, as well as several community projects and private residential projects. His strengths are in construction detailing and image making, having been the founding director of a visualisation company whilst still studying.

CHARLIE CHATFIELD, Studio Manager

YIRONG LIU, Part II Architectural Assistant

Yirong studied at the Welsh School of Architecture in Cardiff for both parts of her architectural education to date. She has previously worked at MAD studio in Beijing, and at the Beijing office of German Intenational firm gmp Architekten. Having joined vPPR in 2013 she is particularly experienced in concept design and place making, and is currently working towards her part III qualification at the Bartlett, UCL.

CHARLOTTE MOORE, Part I Architectural Assistant

Charlotte studied at the Welsh School of Architecture in Cardiff, where she won the T Alywn Memorial Travelling Scholarship. She has previously worked with Tord Boontje, a furniture and industrial product designer, helping to build an “enchanted” exhibition space for the LDW 2014, as well as Richard Weston, with whom she developed designs for a series of ceramic tiles which documented the lost native wildflower species of the UK. She will be starting her part II at the Royal College of Art in September 2017.

JOE MORIZZO, Part II Architectural Assistant

Joe studied at Leeds school of Architecture and has previously practiced with a number of UK based practices including Surface Architects, NORD Architects and Open Practice Architecture. He has also worked as an architectural agent for the Leeds-based Project Office, working on the award-winning project New Wortley Community Centre. A Kingston Upon Hull enthusiast, Joe has volunteered for the architecture charity ‘ARC’ Centre for the Built Environment in Kingston Upon Hull, and is a self-initiated ambassador for the City of Culture 2017. He is currently working towards his Part III qualification at The University of Westminster.

ROSIE NICOLSON, Part I Architectural Assistant

Rosie studied at the Architectural Association, where she was awarded the Julia Woods prize for foundation, and the University of Cambridge. She has previously worked on public realm projects in London, including helping to build a temporary community space on Tottenham Green and designing street furniture in Harrow and Wealdstone. She has particular experience in set building and exhibition design, and has taken part in various building workshops abroad, including working with wood in Japan, and concrete in Mexico.

MILENA SOBANSKI, Dipl.-Ing for Architecture

Milena completed her architectural training at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich and the University of Karlsruhe in Germany, where her diploma thesis explored the theme of vertical living in dense cities. She has previously worked for Durrer Linggi Architects in Zurich, where her focus was on affordable housing for the elderly. She has also practiced at Florian Krieger – Architektur und Stadtebau in Darmstadt where she worked on a competition for the Museum of Bavarian History, and the conversion of the Turley Barracks into new housing.

ALICE MAN-LING TSOI, Project Architect

Alice studied at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and the Mackintosh School of Architecture, and gained her diploma in professional practice at the University of Westminster. She practiced at JM Architects in Glasgow and Malcolm Fraser Architects in Edinburgh, as well as Long & Kentish Architects in London, where she worked on the Royal Academy Keeper’s House and the Durlston Castle World Heritage Gateway in Dorset. She then went on to practice at Panter Hudspith Architects in London where she worked on both Residential and Commercial projects. She has particular experience in listed building refurbishment projects and in seeing public building projects through from design conception to completion.

MICHELLE WONG, Part II Architectural Assistant

Michelle studied at the Manchester School of Architecture and the Liverpool School of Architecture. During her part II she spent one semester in the Dessau Institute of Architecture, the home of the Bauhaus. She has previously worked abroad in Penang, Malaysia and at SCDA in Singapore. She has also practiced at Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands in London, where she gained experience working on large residential schemes. Having joined vPPR in 2016, she is now working on smaller scale residential projects and is currently working towards her Part III qualification at the Bartlett, UCL.

Awards

  • Royal Institute of British Architecture (RIBA) London Emerging Practice 2015
  • RIBA London Award 2015 (Vaulted House)
  • RIBA Manser Medal 2015 (Vaulted House), Longlisted – Outcome Pending
  • Architects Journal’s (AJ) Emerging Woman Architect of the Year Award 2015
  • RIBA Stephen Lawrence Prize 2014, Shortlisted (Ott’s Yard)
  • RIBA London Award 2014 (Ott’s Yard)
  • Ideal Home of the Year (Housebuilder/ Developer) 2014 (Ott’s Yard)
  • Housing Architect of the Year, Blue Ribbon Award 2014
  • Young Architect of the Year Award (YAYA) 2013, Shortlisted
  • AJ Small Projects of the Year Award 2012, Shortlisted