Our Background

Culture

GFA is a London-based architectural practice who value the capacity for architecture to contribute to inspiring environments. The practice is led by a Graham Ford with support from senior associate Stephen Bonnington.

Our principle experience is in leisure, housing and mixed use projects along with renovation and conservation of listed buildings.  Projects of note include sports facilities at the London 2012 Olympics, the Boat House Hyde Park, the Heals redevelopment, The Roundhouse Theatre and The Masdar Institute of Science and Technology involving the design of over 300 apartments. Graham has acted as a construction consultant on large scale residential developments including The Princess Louise Development in Notting Hill and Chatham Place residential towers in Reading. Stephen Bonnington has acted as design co-ordinator on the RAF Triangle Development in Uxbridge for Galliford Try and has extensive experience on large scale commercial and residential projects while working at Allies and Morrison Architects and Dixon Jones Architects.

Although we draw from a rich history and experience of designing and building projects around the world, the practice has the culture of a young start-up. We cultivate innovation and creativity combined with deep knowledge of sustainability and construction following many years of experience building large and complex projects. As a practice we are committed to the technical resolution of building projects to very high level.

We produce intelligent, exciting and groundbreaking designs through a deep understanding of our client’s requirements; our commitment to efficient footprints and our knowledge of the site and the climate and our understanding of how buildings fit into a larger urban system and the impact of the development on natural systems. We believe each project is a unique opportunity to research, analyse and creatively respond to the brief, site and context.

Research

Our in-house research involves presenting twice a year at a Practice Research Symposium (PRS), part of the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology’s Barcelona campus. The PRS is part of a network of European Universities including Queen’s University Belfast, the University of Westminster, the Politecnico de Milano; Bau College of Design and the Estonian Academy of Arts.

Work of the practice is presented to a panel of five architects from both Australia and Europe plus invited guests and observers. This forum involves a critical review of our work and includes understanding design process within the practice and the nature of our ‘mastery’ of design; surfacing the evidence about the origins of the ‘mastery’ that our work displays and developing methods for interrogating the work of the practice. This research supports our design development in the office and acts as independent think tank.

This commitment to education demonstrates our drive to constantly improve our design, our drawings and our service.

RIBA Chartered Practice

riba_smallGFA is a RIBA Chartered Practice. To become a Chartered Practice, architects need to comply with strict criteria in an accreditation scheme that gives you, the client, a mark of quality. By choosing a RIBA Chartered Practice you can expect a certain level of excellence in design and service. The scheme has been developed by the RIBA following client and government feedback. It ensures that all accredited members work to a set of standards (www.architecture.com) and have in place:

 

  • Appropriate professional indemnity insurance

  • Quality management systems

  • Health and safety policy

  • Employment policy

  • Continuing professional development for all staff

  • A written environmental management policy