Mobile Studio Architects is passionate about the process of working collaboratively with people to create engaging, inventive and innovative spaces and structures.

Profile

More than architecture

Mobile Studio Architects is a London-based architectural practice working across sectors and building types to create extraordinary spaces and places.

Our experience is broad and encompasses cultural, community, commercial, housing and private residential projects.

We work with private individuals, developers, local authorities and large public bodies on projects across a variety of scales. Our work includes award-winning housing design, concept hotels, community-based projects, office fit-outs, innovative family homes, as well as widely acclaimed exhibition and gallery design.

Our design-led approach is inclusive and collaborative, and our diverse experience enables us to take a multifaceted approach that leads to projects that captivate and excite.

We work closely with our clients, listening to their needs and desires, testing the parameters of briefs to reveal the unexpected, whilst managing programme and budget to create value.

Working with Mobile Studio has been an absolute treat. I went to them with a wholly unrealistic proposal and with very little time to make it happen. Astonishingly, their enormous drive, attention to detail and natural style made the brief a reality.

Simon Gould, UCL Museums

Our clients span both the public and private sectors and include Tate Modern, Camden Arts & Tourism, Royal Academy of Arts, King’s College London, New London Architecture, Florence Nightingale Museum and University College London. We also work with private individuals to create unique homes that suit their way of life. Our residential projects range from new-build houses on Anglesey to the refurbishment and restoration of contemporary and listed homes across London.

We are currently designing cultural, hotel, housing and private residential projects across the UK and the Far East. Our work has been recognised for the quality of its design and selected for many awards and competitions.

Approach

‘Art, architecture and everything in between’. This is an advantage in a world where architects will have to offer a wider array of services.

Caroline Cole, Colander

At Mobile Studio Architects we are committed to creating architecture that is valuable, transformational and of the highest quality.

We combine expertise across a wide range of design services including:

  • Architecture
  • Landscape
  • Interiors
  • Exhibitions
  • Consultation
  • Furniture
  • Branding
  • Graphics
  • Modular

We believe this interrelated network of services and expertise informs, consolidates and helps to guide our multifaceted approach.

We are excited by collaboration and the possibilities working together can bring. We know that when people come together in a truly collaborative way amazing things can happen. By listening, exploring and developing ideas we have created places, spaces and structures that enthral and delight whilst always meeting the fundamental requirements of our clients.

Our team is energetic and versatile, always looking for new and more efficient ways of working, more elegant methods of communicating, and better means of presentation.

Services

At Mobile Studio Architects we provide a full range of architectural services and work closely with our clients through the design, procurement and construction of projects.

To help you get an understanding of how we work we’ve summarised the process below:

  • Initial Enquiry
    From the moment you contact us to discuss a new project we’ll begin to use our skills and experience to help realise your aspirations.
  • Preparation and Brief
    Once our appointment has been confirmed we’ll work together to explore ideas and develop the brief while always managing programme and budget to ensure value.
  • Concept Design
    When the brief has been established we’ll prepare concept design drawings. By working closely with you throughout this exploratory phase we’ll make sure the design meets the requirements of your brief.
  • Developed Design and Planning
    Once the concept design has been approved we’ll begin to develop drawings for Planning Approval.
  • Technical Design
    When Planning is granted we’ll produce the detailed technical drawings. At this stage other consultants may join the project and we’ll coordinate their input.
  • Construction
    We’ll produce clear construction drawings that allow the contractor to build the project. We will also provide detailed interior drawings and plans.
  • Tender and Contracts
    When the time comes to choose a contractor we will recommend a selection that are the right fit for your project and invite them to tender. Once tenders have been received we’ll help you to choose the best value contractor.
  • Construction
    Once construction gets underway we’ll regularly visit the site and carry out inspections to ensure work is in accordance with the contract and there are no issues. If issues do arise we’ll work with the contractor to resolve them efficiently and effectively.
  • Completion
    When your project finishes we’ll carry out a detailed inspection and resolve any outstanding issues before we certify Practical Completion. Once Practical Completion has been achieved, and you have moved in, we’ll be on hand to carry out further inspections and work with the contractor to fix any defects.

If you have a project in mind, we’d love to hear about it.

The Mobile Studio for Lightbulb. Architecture and Interior Photography by Jim Stephenson

Mobile Studio Architects for Lightbulb. Architecture and Interior Photography by Jim Stephenson

Team

Mobile Studio’s mix of intellectual rigour, pragmatism and strong design sensibility has consistently resulted in projects that not only engage but also delight.

Debbie Whitfield, New London Architecture

Chee-Kit Lai, Director

Chee-Kit Lai has led a variety of projects from small-scale residential to substantial public, commercial and cultural sector work. He is keenly attuned to clients’ needs and desires and works alongside them to realise their aspirations while meeting the demands of programme and budget.

He develops and fosters working relationships with the wider team, including contractors, design team members and consultants, both on- and off-site. His ability to lead projects and teams through all stages of the design and delivery process has led to many repeat commissions for the practice.

A graduate of the Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London, Chee-Kit is a visiting critic at a number of the UK’s leading universities including UCL, Central St Martins, University of Nottingham and University of Westminster. He is also an RIBA Awards Assessor.

Chee-Kit set up the practice in 2008 after working with a variety of award-winning architecture practices. He is involved in all of the studio’s projects and works closely with clients helping them to achieve their aspirations in a personal and insightful way.

Chee-Kit is a keen runner and is fascinated by airports and air travel.

William Atkins, Architectural Designer

Will joined Mobile Studio after graduating in 2015 with a first class honours Bachelors Degree in Architecture from the University of Nottingham.

Will believes in simple and honest design, and its ability to effectively solve creative problems on both small and large scales. During his time at university Will completed several freelance design projects for local clients, helping establish brand identities and online portfolios.

Will enjoys rowing, cycling and being in the great outdoors.

Alexander Barretta, Architectural Designer

Alex joined Mobile Studio in 2013 after graduating from the University of Nottingham with a Bachelors Degree in Architecture.

Alex is a naturally curious and talented architectural designer who has led a number of successful projects including the RIBA Regent Street Windows project and exhibitions for University College London English and Art Museum. He is currently working on a number of competitions.

Alex is inspired by technically simple yet innovative solutions to practical problems. He believes in a playful approach to architecture that teases out an enjoyment of the everyday.

His pastimes include playing rugby and exploring new cities.

Julie Ann Cormie, Architectural Designer

Julie joined Mobile Studio in 2015 and holds a Bachelors of Environmental Design from the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg and a Masters in Architecture from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Architecture in Copenhagen.

Julie’s design interests deal with an architecture which offers mediation of differing views which emerge from sites of conflict through an intricate process-based approach. She was involved in the founding of RAW Gallery of Architecture and Design in Winnipeg and has a continued interest in the intersection between art and architecture and the roles of creative institutions in the city. Julie is currently running a number of private residential projects in London.

Julie loves to cycle and build bicycles.

Special thanks to our previous team members:

  1. Krina Christopoulou, Architectural Designer
  2. Nicolas Farkas, Architectural Designer
  3. Thomas Leggatt, Architectural Designer
  4. Pruek Lertsrimongkol, Architectural Designer
  5. Ian Ng, Architectural Designer
  6. Henry Svendsen, Architectural Designer
  7. Nihal Tamang, Architectural Designer
  8. Nicole Teh, Architectural Designer
Some of the collaborators and team members from the last year enjoying a meal

Just some of the people we’ve worked with over the last year

Clients

We’ve really enjoyed the collaboration. It’s been a joy!

Clerkenwell Design Week

Mobile Studio created a home that’s perfect for us and our growing family.

Private client

We work with a diverse range of clients including public bodies, local authorities, developers and private individuals.

We are committed to building long-lasting and mutually beneficial relationships with everyone we work with and are proud to say that many of our projects are repeat commissions.

Selected clients:

  1. 176 Project Space
  2. Barbican Centre
  3. Beam Camp + Beam Center NYC
  4. Camden Arts + Tourism
  5. Camden Council
  6. Centre Pompidou, Paris
  7. Clerkenwell Design Week, London
  8. EiC – Excellence in Cities
  9. Florence Nightingale Museum
  10. Giftique, Xintiandi, Shanghai China
  11. Icon Magazine, London
  12. Jack Spade
  13. Jerwood Space
  14. King’s College London
  15. London Festival of Architecture
  16. New London Architecture
  17. Open House London
  18. Platform 1 Gallery
  19. Private clients
  20. Private developers
  21. RIBA London
  22. Royal Academy of Arts
  23. Serpentine Gallery
  24. Southwark Council
  25. Tate Modern
  26. The Building Exploratory
  27. University College London
  28. Wandsworth Council
  29. Wellcome Trust

Awards

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

  • Mud House Design (USD6k Challenge) competition, shortlisted. Ideas competition for an open source, repeatable, modular house. See: K.House for Ghana
  • Loughborough Junction competition, shortlisted. Regeneration competition by Meanwhile Space to overhaul two railway arches in South London

2013

2012

  • NLA New London Awards 2012, shortlisted. See: Portable Gallery
  • UCL Research Images as Art/Art Images as Research Competition 2012, runner-up. See: Portable Gallery

2011

2010

  • Wandsworth Council, Cultural Wealth Fund
  • Story of London 2010, Greater London Authority, shortlisted
  • Design for London, Funding for International Architecture Student Festival

2009

  • Victoria and Albert Museum Residency 2010, runner-up
  • Bartlett Architecture Research Fund

2008

  • BD Young Architect of the Year Award (YAYA), longlisted
  • Arts Council England, ACE funding award for Visual Arts
  • Camden Council, Grant for Visual Arts

2007

  • Arts Council England, ACE funding award for Visual Arts
  • Camden Council, Grant for Visual Arts

2006

  • Arts Council England, ACE funding award for Visual Arts

Exhibitions

Modular Display Frames, available for hire

2016

2015

  • New Ideas for Housing London. NLA’s major Autumn 2015 exhibition, uncovers 100 new innovative ideas to solve the housing crisis (includes PAYD Housing by Mobile Studio Architects). The result of a major NLA International Ideas Competition organised in collaboration with the Mayor of London (15 Oct – 17 Dec)

2014

2013

2012

2011

  • 100% Design, Mobile Studio has been invited by Blueprint Magazine to ‘Look Again’ at redesigning old-fashioned British road signs. The results are published in the October issue and exhibited at 100% Design (22 – 25 Sept)
  • London Design Festival 2011, Mobile Studio exhibits new range of colour chess sets at ‘A Few Friends’ an exhibition curated by Will Alsop. Other exhibitors include Will Alsop, Vivienne Westwood, Richard Wentworth, Bruce McLean, Nigel Coates, Squint Opera, etc
  • UCL Cities Methodologies 2011, Group exhibition to showcase innovative + diverse methods in urban research (4 – 7 May)
  • AJ Small Projects, Exhibition to showcase AJ’s recognition of the ‘best architecture built for a contract value of less than £250,000’ at NLA Building Centre (10 Feb – 9 Mar)

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

  • Brief City 2051, Hoxton Gallery with Dr.V.Watson
  • Incomplete House, Dilston Grove

2005

  • The New Jerwood Museum, Jerwood Café Space, London
  • Centrifuge, curated by Paul Richards and Marcus Verhagen, The Drawing Rooms, London
  • Inspire, Dreams, Plan, Visions of Oxford 2015, Modern Art Oxford with Paul Richards
  • New Architecture, Fragner Gallery, Prague (supported by British Council)

2004

  • Let’s Play It By Ear, curated by Dr.Peg Rawes, Slade Galleries

2003

  • e-Art Gallery, Hong Kong

2002

  • UIA Berlin, Germany

Publications

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

  • Building Design, ‘Concrete Boots’, review of ‘The Skyline of London’
  • Icon Magazine, ‘Icon Eye’, review of ‘The Skyline of London’

2005

2004

  • Armstrong Publications, ‘Armstrong Linoleum Competition Catalogue’, Germany

2003

  • South China Morning Post, exhibition review at ‘e-Art Hong Kong’
  • Hong Kong Daily News, exhibition review at ‘e-Art Hong Kong’
  • The Metro HK, exhibition review at ‘e-Art Hong Kong’
  • Arts Channel HK, exhibition review at ‘e-Art Hong Kong’

1999

  • Dialogue Art + Architecture Magazine Taiwan
  • PAM Magazine Malaysian Institute of Architects, Malaysia

Lectures

Mobile Studio made us question the relevance of style in architecture; explaining that good architecture arises not from modernist or traditionalist schools of thought but rather out of discussion, collaboration and game-playing.

Manijeh Verghese, Icon Magazine

The talk was perfectly pitched covering the background to the project and the ideas which spurred it; what all the ‘pieces’ were; how you made it; and what you wanted it to incite. It was a great way of bringing an important issue into the gallery, while at the same time creating a lovely object.

Kate Goodwin, Royal Academy of Arts

Teaching

We understand the intrinsic value in the relationship between academia and professional practice and our director, Chee-Kit Lai, has extensive design and architectural teaching experience in a variety of schools and organisations. We believe that this dialogue is an essential part of the creative process and enables us to design and deliver the highest quality of architecture.

Chee-Kit is a part-time tutor and runs the award-winning BSc undergraduate design Unit 9 at the Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London. He is also a visiting critic at a number of the UK’s leading universities.

  • Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL: BSc Unit 9, design master (on-going, since 2007)
  • Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL: BSc Architectural and Interdisciplinary Studies (BSc AIS) Project Co-ordinator (on-going, since 2010)
  • Central Saint Martins: Architecture Summer School with J.Quintero and D.Pierce (2013)
  • University College London: Widening Participation (2010)
  • Central Saint Martins: MA Creative Practice for Narrative Environments (2010)
  • Chelsea College of Art and Design: Foundation Degree (FdA) Interior Design / Live Projects (2010)
  • International Architecture Student Festival 2010: students’ mentor for IASF/LFA (2010)
  • London Metropolitan University: Media and IT studies BA (Hons) Jewellery and Silversmithing (2001 – 03)
  • Middlesex University: Media and IT studies for BA (Hons) Applied Arts (2001 – 03)

Teaching Awards

2017

  • 1st Class: Krina Christopoulou (BSc Y3)
  • 1st Class: Janis Ho (BSc Y3)
  • 1st Class: Jaejun Kim (BSc Y3)
  • Victor Kite Prize for Design Technology by AHMM: James Robinson (BSc Y2)

2016

  • 1st Class: Alessandro Conning-Rowland (BSc Y3)
  • iGuzzini Light First Prize: Issui Shioura (BSc Y3)
  • Victor Kite Prize for Design Technology by AHMM: Claudia Walton (BSc Y2)

2015

  • Narinder Sagoo Drawing Prize: Isaac Simpson (BSc Y2)

2014

  • 1st Class & Fitzroy Robinson Drwg Prize: Ivo Tedbury (BSc Y3)
  • 1st Class & Advanced Technology Award: Harry Clover (BSc Y3)
  • 1st Class: Robin Fu (BSc Y3)
  • Professional Studies Prize: Marcus Cole (BSc Y3)

2013

  • 1st Class, Donaldson Medal & RIBA Bronze Medal (shortlisted): John Chengqi Wan (BSc Y3)
  • 1st Class: Max Friedlander (BSc Y3)

2012

  • 1st Class: Sarah Edwards (BSc Y3)
  • Making Building Technical Award: Gary Edwards (BSc Y3)

2011

  • 1st Class: Emma Swarbrick (BSc Y3)
  • 1st Class: Nada Tayeb (BSc Y3)

2009

  • 1st Class: Tim Yue (BSc Y3)
  • Professional Studies Prize: Paul Leader-Williams (BSc Y3)

2008

  • 1st Class & RIBA Bronze Medal (shortlisted): James Purkiss (BSc Y3)
  • 1st Class, Faculty Medal, History+Theory Prize (nominated) & Donaldson Medal: Luke Jones (BSc Y3)
  • 1st Class: Daniel Swift-Gibbs (BSc Y3)
  • KPF Bursary Winner: Thomas Kendell (BSc Y2)
  • KPF Bursary Winner: Tamsin Hanke (BSc Y2)
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