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About

Established in 2005, Studio Sam Causer is a design-led architecture practice specialising in adapting complex and sensitive situations.


We relish working in multi-layered historic environments, bringing a philosophical rigour to our interventions backed up with astute understanding of the way materials and humans behave in changing circumstances.  We enjoy that each generation through time leaves an architectural legacy which speaks of available technologies, experiences and other cultural influences, and love how buildings and the environment grow and adapt accordingly.  What comes now may not look or behave like what has gone before, but everything needs to work well together.


Alongside our small but experienced team we collaborate closely with structural engineers, cost consultants, contractors and clients, as well as with artists, choreographers, film-makers and academics, together producing a rich and broad practice centred on the act of making spaces to support life.


We’re committed to understanding the environmental and social impact of our buildings, and whilst everybody has a responsibility to form good relations with our environment, the architect is well placed to balance the physical and temporal elements that together create spaces worthy of our collective capability.


We’re currently working on a range of private domestic, commercial, civic and public space projects with a focus on East Kent and the Thames valley into London. Our portfolio includes several conservation projects at a range of scales, from tiny cottages to a vast five mile-long public park in Margate, and the transformation of the social spaces of the Grade II* Listed Modernist masterpiece Kensal House for the SPID Theatre Company in London. Many of our projects are funded by public bodies including the Heritage Lottery Fund and Arts Council England.  We've recently been appointed by Thanet District Council to improve the landscape of Dalby Square, our third project funded by the Townscape Heritage Initiative in Margate.  On another tangent altogether, we’ve completed two interior projects for fashion designers - a Worlds End shop in Berlin for Vivienne Westwood and a design HQ in London for highly successful new label Self-Portrait.


The copyright of all content is owned by Studio Sam Causer, unless credited otherwise.  Publishing and distribution without written consent is prohibited.

We are delighted to have been recognised by the Architecture Foundation as one of the best practices in the UK and proud to be included in their book 'New Architects', the 'definitive survey of the best British Architects to have set up practice in the past ten years'.


The Observer architecture critic Rowan Moore says of our work:


"Sam Causer can do neat, modern details - flush veneered panels, skinny steel window frames, large glass panels - and then throw in something from the realm of art installation such as a rough wall of silver birch trunks, with bark still in place... Extreme ingenuity with non-existent budgets".


We are proud to be the recipients of a substantial SUCCESS grant of £42,000 from a consortium of local councils in 2015 to help us secure new premises in Margate.  Our project to repair and refurbish the new office is now complete and we moved in in January this year.  In addition to the design studios shown on the left, we also have a meeting room, kitchen, library, admin room, archive and workshops.


In 2015 Crane TV selected us for inclusion amongst their features on creative practitioners. You can view the short film by clicking on the icon below.

SAM CAUSER

MA Cantab Dip Arch RIBA


Director


Sam Causer founded the practice in 2005, initially based between London and Berlin, keen to explore the possibilities offered by European integration and online communication, with a multi-disciplinary practice encompassing the fields of architecture, visual art, performance and social research.  In 2010 he settled in Margate, Kent, from where the practice has become an established voice in promoting and managing intelligent change.


Sam graduated from the University of Cambridge with Distinction in 2000, and was nominated for the prestigious RIBA President's Medal for top international postgraduate student.  He qualified as an architect while working at Meadowcroft Griffin, followed by two years at ORMS in London, before he set up on his own.


For the past five years Sam's been vice-chair of the Margate Conservation Area Advisory Group, praised by Historic England as ‘exemplary’ and on the steering group of the Margate Neighbourhood Plan Forum.  He is also a member of the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings, the Hackney Society and a CABE Enabler and Design Review Panel Member for the East Midlands region.  He has been a member of the Royal Institute of British Architects since 2003, and is currently seeking accreditation as a Conservation Architect.


Alongside practice Sam also teaches regularly at various schools of Architecture across the UK, and has held long-term positions at Cambridge, Kent and De Montfort Universities.  This year he is working with Diana Cochrane at the University of Kent, leading a post-grad unit focussed on Margate Coastal Park.


Alongside the permanent staff on this page, Sam also regularly collaborates with artist Carlos Maria and architect Geraldine Dening, on a project-by-project basis.

PLAY
http://crane.tv/sam-causer-architect-in-margatehttp://crane.tv/sam-causer-architect-in-margateshapeimage_1_link_0

Supported by:

FIONA RALEY

BA(Hons) Dip Arch MSc RIBA SCA IHBC


Associate Director 


Fiona Raley joined the practice in 2016 with over 16 years’ experience in London and Canterbury with Donald Insall Associates. She was elected a Full Member of the Institute of Historic Building Conservation in 2018 and has been an RIBA-accredited Specialist Conservation Architect since 2011. Fiona was made Associate Director of Studio Sam Causer in 2017. 


Fiona successfully completed an MSc in Building Conservation at the Weald and Downland Museum (validated by the University of York) passing with a Distinction in 2017. She is also a member of the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings, the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS-UK) the Twentieth Century Society and Docomomo UK. She sits on the RIBA Conservation Group and has been Chair since January 2018. She has previously undertaken a role as an Assessor for the RIBA Conservation Register from 2016 to 2018 and is currently part of the framework for contributing to the site visits in connection with the RIBA Conservation Course. 


Fiona combines her work in practice with an ongoing teaching post at the Kent School of Architecture lecturing and undertaking studio teaching in design and technology in the undergraduate school and the MSc in Building Conservation.

 

When not in the office, Fiona is a keen reader, gardener and cook; she also enjoys practising dressage, continuing to improve her sailing and tennis skills, She is an avid walker, which has seen her combine travel and architectural "busman’s holidays" to exciting destinations such as Cuba, India and the Artic Circle and she has travelled widely across Europe. She is currently completing the refurbishment of her Georgian townhouse. 

LIAM NABB


Architectural Designer


Liam started working with the practice in 2013 as an architectural designer, primarily responsible for the design and day-to-day running of the domestic and landscape projects in Dalby Square and Arthur Road.


He is interested in understanding the language, methods and materials of historic architecture in combination with contemporary design.


Liam studied fine art at Liceo Artistico Florence and architecture at the University of Florence and London Met. He started his career as an 1980/90s DJ, music producer and events organiser based in Italy before moving to london in 1999 setting up a design and communications agency in music related projects for corporate clients. 


European, left, liberal. Liam is an independent business owner, is involved in local community groups and started boxing at retirement age. ‘I rarely win a fight, but as in everything, I do try!’


In addition to work with Sam, Liam is the owner of the renowned Margate B&B "The Reading Rooms".

DOUGLAS SIBLEY


Part II Architectural Assistant


Douglas Sibley joined the practice in 2014 as a Part II Architectural Assistant, and is due to qualify as an architect in September this year.  He was taught by Sam at De Montfort University, from where he graduated with an MA in Architecture.


Since joining the practice, Douglas has worked on multiple small and medium scale domestic projects which have often involved conservation work to Listed buildings. He has also participated in the organisation, design, research and promotion of public events and installations such as the Blushing Pavilion in 2015. 


Douglas has a keen interest in conservation, historic repair and sensitive contemporary intervention. In 2016 he helped produce a cultural and historical analysis of Margate Coastal Park for a research-based project on Digital Transformations, funded by the University of Kent School of Architecture. His responsibilities include liaison between clients, contractors and consultants; planning, listed building & building control issues; valuations and certificates of progress payment; programme monitoring, weekly site visits and dispute resolution.


In 2014, Douglas was the winner of a competition to re-design the Spire for the Church of St Mary De Castro in Leicester.

CHARLES HOPE


Part II Architectural Assistant


Charles Hope joined the practice in 2017 as a Part II Architectural Assistant, after graduating from the Master of Architecture course with Distinction from the University of Kent.


Charles' key interest is in design through making, and is currently opening up and investigating the material fabric of a Grade II Listed building as part of a design to repair some parts and radically intervene in others.


While at University, Charles designed an Agricultural Theatre, tackling issues of material tectonics and diversification of farming practice, for which he was nominated for the prestigious RIBA President's Medal.  Charles was also President of the Kent Architectural Student Association (KASA) 2015/16 and led the 2017 exhibition and catalogue. The event showcased student work to industry practitioners and added community workshops and an alumni hub to the end of year show platform. He joined the Thames Estuary Commission to discuss strategic development plans for 2050.


After university, Charles enjoyed a summer working for Kentish livestock and hop farmers before joining the practice, where he is developing his awareness of and skills in conservation and change.  He also teaches design to first years one day a week at the Kent School of Architecture.

LIENE STEINBERGA CESAR


Office Co-Ordinator


Liene joined the practice as an Administrator in 2016. She graduated with a BA(Hons) in Photography from Camberwell College of Arts, where photography is part of the fine arts cluster at University of the Arts London (UAL). Liene was once an aspiring architect but now filters modern politics and social issues in her own photographic, 3D and performative artists practice.


As the Office Co-Ordinator, Liene balances her administrative, research and accounting responsibilities with her time as a Gallery Assistant at Turner Contemporary gallery. In addition to giving tours of the gallery, Liene has worked and volunteered for many art and performance festivals, taking part as well as organising the events.

Photo: Henry Sparks