We are design-led and research-orientated. We are critical about what we do. But we have lots of fun as we love the challenge of the craft of building.
A Small Studio Ltd. was founded in 2011 by Helena Rivera. Helena trained in architecture at University College London and the Royal College of Art. She is a fully qualified Architect registered on the Architects Registration Board (ARB) and chartered with the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). Helena is specialised in the British planning system and has a Doctorate (PhD) in Regional Planning from the Bartlett School of Planning (UCL).
Before setting up A Small Studio Ltd., Helena worked at Alsop Architects on the Rotterdam masterplan and later on The PuBLIC, a Lottery-funded arts centre in West Bromwich. Working with Will Alsop and his team inspired her to promote a multidisciplinary, flexible and non-conventional approach to work. Helena is deeply committed to research, experimentation and materiality.
Helena grew up in the Netherlands and has always ridden a bike in the city. She is actually Colombian and takes her black coffee seriously. She has lived in London 20 years and loves the city.
Kalliopi ‘Bouz’ joined A Small Studio in 2017. She grew up on a Greek island, drawing classical columns since an early child. At the age of 18 she moved to London where she completed her RIBA Part 1 in 2013 at Kingston University. During her year out, Kalliopi worked at Mappamundi Design on projects in both London and Nigeria. Kalliopi returned to finish her RIBA Part 2 at The University of Edinburgh where she graduated with a Distinction for her thesis project and dissertation. Her dissertation was written on the conflict between hand drawings and computation systems techniques used in the act of drawing today.
And although Kalliopi loves hand-drawings, she is a wizard at 3D computer modelling because she acknowledges that we should adapt to our changing reality. The perfect bridge between hand drawing and computer modelling is, in her eyes, physical model-making.
Kalliopi is passionate about her reading and writing. She likes walking around the city of London with a sketchpad in her bag and is always on the lookout for new columns to sketch.
Iria’s biggest dream is to play the harp. Born in Galicia (Spain), Iria moved to London after completing her BA in Fashion Design. Her passion for research led her to study an MA in the History of Design at the Royal College of Art and the Victoria & Albert Museum. After seven years working for galleries, museums and design studios she has returned to A Small Studio as a designer and material specialist.
Iria is interested in the design of material culture for children and childhood and for her dissertation at the RCA/ V&A she investigated the history of children’s hospitals in London. She believes that the design of wellbeing in modern spaces was influenced by female reformers, a topic that she is planning to research further in a PhD.
Iria loves reading about design and historical buildings as much as experimenting with plants.
We like working and collaborating with people.
We take pleasure in interpreting the client’s design brief.
We don’t see problems, we see challenges.
We enjoy working with materials: how they are made, where they come from, how they can be used and re-used.
Our projects are in the detail. But we never lose sight of the bigger picture.
We ring-fence an element of each project and don’t interfere with its budget.
Our work ages gracefully. Whether it is a 2-week installation or a building for life.
We love our planet and we want to respect it.
Our projects are biased towards the socially inclusive, accessible and age friendly.
We see beauty in diversity. We like working with different scales, different people and in different contexts.