James Berk


I enjoy tackling a problem by looking at it from both a macro and micro scales, and details such as materiality, composition and form.”

The notion that architecture has a responsibility to respond to social issues has played a large part in both my academic and professional career.

During my diploma at London Metropolitan University, I was fascinated by the social-economic issues facing London. This was explored directly through my own extensive research into the erosion of industrial work space in the city, where I discovered the extent to which this is detrimentally affecting people and places.

As a designer I enjoy tackling a problem by looking at it from both a macro and micro scales, appreciating the overarching ingredients of placemaking, whilst also understanding the importance in the finer details such as materiality, composition and form.

Over the last two years at Studio Egret West I have had prominent design lead role in the studio. I have had the opportunity to work on projects ranging in scales that set out ambitions to socially enrich an area through a holistic approach to placemaking, landscape and innovative architecture.

I am currently working on a detailed planning submission for Faraday Works in Charlton; an exciting, truly mixed use scheme which aims reverse to trend of depleting industrial land in the city. Here I have had the responsibility of designing and coordinating a pioneering stacked industrial building.

Previous to this, I contributed to the interior design of the Central Research Laboratory, an incubator flexible work space in Brighton, working on detailed design and tender stages. Last year, SEW also submitted a planning application for Northlake, a proposal of a new residential town in Essex. The scheme aims to provide over 2500 new homes, a school, a community centre and lido all centred on a rich integrated ecological landscape. Here I played a key role in coordinating the overall approach of the architectural language, working at both a masterplan and individual building level.

This diversity in program and scale continues to fulfil my architectural aspirations.

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