Studio Gil is an architecture and design practice established in 2009. We blend design sensibility and craft with social agency, working closely with ethnic minority groups and organisations. We listen to the often unheard voices of marginalised communities; translating their stories into architectural propositions. We are passionate about design from the scale of neighbourhood to a child’s toy, approaching all our projects with sensitivity, care and playfulness. We are a small but energetic team, based at our studio in Ilford, Redbridge, with buildings in the UK and Latin America. Recently, Studio Gil was selected by the Architects Journal AJ100 (2020) as one of 25 ‘Disruptor’ practices, demonstrating an alternative approach to British practice through our socially engaged work.
Director – BA(hons), Dip.Arch, Dip.PP, ARB, RIBA
Pedro is passionate about the creative process of crafting buildings and the subtleties of designing for people, places, and communities. In 2020, he was appointed as one of 15 panel members for the Mayor of London’s Diversity in the Public Realm Commission. His lived experience, as a second generation migrant of Black-Colombian dual heritage, allows him to engage with often hard to reach ethnic groups in a meaningful and collaborative way. He is a member of RIBA Architects for Change, as well as a trustee for Carnaval del Pueblo, a charity that serves to increase awareness of Latin American culture. He combines practice with teaching, as Associate Professor at the Bartlett School of Architecture, focusing on narratives around The Global South and Latin American diaspora communities in London.
Associate – BA(hons), PG Dip Arch, Dip.PP, ARB
Jess is a British-born Chinese architect and designer, with years of experience at award winning practices such as Hawkins\Brown and Amanda Levete Architects. Jess has a passion for designing through community-led participatory processes, and embedding social and environmental sustainability into all aspects of design. She has worked in both the UK and Hong Kong, and is a master of working to tight programmes with a great level of resolution. She takes an active interest in mentoring in schools, and acts as a positive role model for underrepresented young women, highlighting pathways into the construction industry. At Studio Gil, Jess is currently overseeing the detailed design for a new community hub at Wolves Lane Horticultural Centre in Haringey, as well as developing nineteen residential units for the Joyce & Snell’s Estate Regeneration in Enfield.
Architectural Assistant – M.Eng M.Arch
Cai is a Morrocan-Jewish architectural practitioner, interested in community buildings, especially those with a historical background. His thesis project ‘Walworth Living Room’ was selected by the AJ 2020 Student Prize by Kingston University, and was nominated for the RIBA London Student Award. He has conducted research into how residencies interact with community space and how this could facilitate an architecture of neighbourhoods and citizenship. Cai joined the practice in 2020, and is currently working on Studio Gil’s new mixed use social housing scheme at Old Peckham Library in Southwark.
Architectural Assistant – M.Eng M.Arch
Reni is a British-born Nigerian, who grew up in South London. She is interested in how sociocultural identities influence placemaking and design development. Her dissertation expanded on this through investigating the nuances of modern built forms within a post-colonial Nigerian context, and the decolonisation of architecture. Her thesis project, which investigated creative techniques of upcycling construction materials, was nominated for the AJ 2021 Sustainability Awards by University of Kent. She is part of the Black Female Architects network which strives to make more room for women of black and black mixed heritage within the architectural industry. She is also an Outreach Ambassador involved in creating a bridge to architectural education for secondary school children from ethnic minorities and disadvantaged backgrounds.
Architect – B.Arch, Dip.Arch, PG Cert. Professional Practice, ARB, RIBA
Christo is a South African designer, who has worked on a variety of Studio Gil projects that have been published nationally and internationally in both print and online books and publications. Alongside practice, he has taught architecture at various academic institutions in the UK which include The Bartlett School of Architecture UCL and University of Greenwich School of Architecture. He is Adjunct Professor at the University of Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand (CUINDA).
Architectural Assistant – BA (hons), M.Arch
Sara is an Egyptian-British architectural designer with a keen passion for designing for communities and preservation. She has recently completed her Part II at the Bartlett School of Architecture, exploring the anthropological roots of tribal communities of Egypt. Previously, she worked on adaptive reuse projects at conservation practice Purcell, as well as designing a school project located in the suburbs of Giza, Egypt, which was nominated for the Aga Khan Architecture Award in 2019.
Studio Manager – BA Modern Languages, PG Cert. Education
Marcela is of Colombian heritage, who grew up in Ibague, and now lives in London. She is the team’s administrative lead, in charge of maintaining the smooth running of everyday life in the studio. She has strong organisational skills coupled with keen problem-solving instincts. Marcela has a background in teaching having taught Primary and Secondary schools in both Latin America and the UK and continues to be a mentor and positive role model for younger generations.
London Borough of Southwark
London Borough of Enfield
London Borough of Redbridge
Carnaval Del Pueblo Association
University College London ( UCL)
University of Brighton
Roy Kinnear Foundation
New Testament Church of God
Woodcote High School
Greater London Authority (GLA)
Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA)
Atelier RED Ltd