Ash Sakula's work extends beyond the construction of buildings and landscape. We use an assortment of tools to promote imaginative placemaking and new attitudes to development.

People of the Malings

A project where we introduced ourselves to new households living in our Newcastle Ouseburn valley homes. The danger is that architects are too shy or exhausted to find out how people experience the homes they’ve designed. Here we faced the music.


A self-initiated pilot project to explore the potential of spaces awaiting construction to become creative living rooms in the city.

Read more about Canning Town.

Read more about the Caravanserai concept.

Leicester Waterside

Adaptable Neighbourhoods was our response to a competition looking for new approaches to the fringes of industrial cities. We remain shocked by the waste caused by crude comprehensive development to often economically active areas with rich histories; a needless blight. With a incremental approach, no buildings or businesses will be lost, new life finds old buildings, and cheaper space creates opportunities.

Nottingham Waterside

Industrial buildings have been engineered for tough lives and make a great starting point for new uses. These waterway board buildings in Nottingham were ideally suited to mixed use with heavy concrete and floors. Our work here was triggered by the idea that a government agency saw them as a risk to a development site rather than a peacemaking asset. The film shows how the two buildings work to frame new life on the river and dock at many levels becoming microcosm of the city.

Collective CustomBuild

Research and constructive propaganda showing ways in which people can co-invest and co-design their homes and shared community places. Film and website here

Ash Sakula drawings photos
Ash Sakula drawings photos
Ash Sakula drawings photos
Ash Sakula drawings photos

in-use websites become a resource for the communities of interest who inhabit or who want to research these three cultural projects, collecting the first photographs, client aspirations, early sketches, working drawings, construction progress, opening events and occupation.




Read more about the thinking behind this project:

Leather Lane Stars

Making traders more visible to customers and the Council in one of London’s oldest street markets at a time of crisis. The website aims to reverse rapid shrinkage through stimulating design and discussion.

The corrugated cladding set against silver foil creates lavender and turquoise reflections. In the corrugation's interstices are suspended twisted strands of black and white electrical cabling, adding to the kinetic parallax illusion created as one passes the buildings - an effect developed by Ash Sakula in collaboration with the artist Vinita Khanna.

A few weeks after the residents moved in we received this painting from the Brewer family. It said, "Thank you for our incredible home." In an accompanying letter the Brewers wrote, "... we have never seen anything better designed for us as a family. Thank you for all your thoughtful hard work."

Animators Wrench & Franks made a short video of the project. Here is a still from the closing sequence.

Client: Peabody Trust

Artist collaborator: Vinita Khanna

Structural Engineer: Whitby Bird

MEP: Atelier 10

PM and QS: Walker Management

Area: 4 x 67m²

Site area: 472m²

Value: £618,000

Completed: 2004