Award-winning emerging practice with a focus on cross-sector growth
studio octopi are an award-winning practice established by Chris Romer-Lee and James Lowe in 2004. The practice has been producing sensitive, analytical and crafted architecture for the last six years. In 2010 studio octopi won a series of awards for the private residential extension, Park Avenue South (completed 2009) culminating in an RIBA London Award.
Emerging from the directors' experience in residential and exhibition design, the practice is confidently establishing itself across the professional field. The directors regard cross-sector growth as a key objective for a growing and creative practice, from both an intellectual and business perspective. This year the directors continue their tutorship at the University of Kent.
The practice's work is rooted in an architecture of context and craft. The materiality and detailing of each project is balanced alongside each project's environmental and historical condition. They place great emphasis on the referencing of a project, drawing from both the arts but also a close observation of their surroundings; the incidental and the everyday.
The use of traditional construction expertise coupled with an inventive application of materials and exceptional detailing can be seen to characterise their work. This is a critical time for the practice as they are currently completing their first new-build house. The project is on course for a Code 4 rating with the Code for Sustainable Homes.
In 2010 the practice won the Stratford Kiosks Competition with a dynamic building from cross-laminated timber panels and zinc. The judges described the scheme as ‘a building that punches well above its weight.' The project completes summer 2011 and will be the practice's first public new build structure.
Finally, the Bradfield College Greek Theatre is a 1000-seat amphitheatre which has recently fallen into disrepair. The school approached studio octopi to resolve access to the arena but also provide a multi-purpose amphitheatre for various summer events. The school is now fundraising with expected completion in summer 2012.