Ash Sakula is a thought-leading architectural studio, based in central London. We specialize in working with challenging sites and complex briefs, where our fresh thinking and inventive design can most benefit our clients and those who use the places we make. Our work has won many awards and is widely published in Britain and abroad.
Tucked into an old London mews, Ash Sakula’s studio is a former stable that opens up like a box of tricks. It is a place to conjure up architecture, a place to be pioneering, agile and energetic. Surfing the before-during-and-after cycles of architecture, we toggle nimbly between new digital platforms and older disciplines of architectural craft, between static and moving images and between different scales, from zoomed-in details to the broad sweep of a city-centre masterplan.
We are not shy about our progressive, user-focussed culture - but we have an excellent record for creating profitable sustainable assets, which generate both cultural capital and financial return, for our clients.
It is rare to hear architects acknowledge or discuss their artistic side. This is something else we aren’t shy about. We play with how our projects will look by jumping into a particular medium, whether that’s a sketch or a model or an animation, and trying things out until a visual narrative emerges. It’s a bit like allowing a character to coalesce as you are writing a play. We enjoy experimenting with colours and inventing new textures. We have created unusual effects from unpromising materials. We favour the rough and the handmade over the slick or machine-manufactured and this, in our experience, strikes a chord also with the users of our buildings.
Early on, Ash Sakula put out the “Back Soon” signs and took a long sabbatical to travel the world. Our experience equipped us with a mental scrapbook of sound, light, texture, colour, materials, and a catalogue of references to different ways of eating, meeting, doing business and earning a living. We discovered so many other ways of doing things, and we often ask, "Why not here?"
We understood how architecture can encourage behaviours and ways of inhabiting public space that help build communities and foster convivial neighbourhoods. We know how to deliver successful places where people want to be, while keeping our clients happy by adding value through careful, sensitive, people-centred design.
“Ash Sakula is a rare commodity – a charming, disarming practice of dedicated professionals who make you feel reinvigorated in their presence. Good designs coupled with challenging ideas; creative engagement and infectious enthusiasm, all add up to a pleasurable and rewarding working relationship… and they do very nice architecture too.”
Austin Williams, Director, Future Cities Project
“For creative projects you need creative architects, and they don't come more creative than Ash Sakula."
Tom Dyckhoff, The Times
“Ash Sakula is a creatively brilliant architecture practice, designing buildings and places full of incident and reasons for sociability, that delight the communities that inhabit them”
Chris Brown, Igloo Regeneration
"An attuned and confident craftsmanship matched by few British architects."
Rory Olcayto, Architect's Journal
Cany Ash, Founder Partner
Before setting up Ash Sakula in 1994, Cany Ash worked for the GLC Architect’s Department and Burrell Foley Fischer, as well as in New York and Berlin. She has taught at a number of architectural schools as a critic and studio tutor and is an external examiner at Cambridge University. She is an experienced co-designer, leading design workshops with young people and many community groups. She has served on the RIBA Awards Group, as a CABE Enabler, a Client Design Advisor and a Civic Trust Awards Assessor. She is member of the South East Design Review Panel.
Robert Sakula, Founder Partner
In his early career, Robert Sakula worked with Clough Williams-Ellis at Portmeirion, David Lea and DEGW. He is a Civic Trust Awards judge, a RIBA Competitions Advisor and an RIBA Awards jury chair. He has taught and lectured at schools in Britain, as well as in Berlin, Stockholm, Oslo, Milan, Portland, Chongqing and Melbourne. He is a member of four design review panels and a RIBA Awards Jury Chair.
Our studio collaborators are a diverse, talented and changing cast of architects and designers who come here from Britain and other countries because they are passionate and enthusiastic about Ash Sakula’s way of doing architecture, landscape and urbanism.
Their abilities in architecture and design development are supplemented by skills in consultation and co-design, 3D visualization, graphics, film making, animation, landscape and experience design.