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Local Adaptation

Gianni Botsford Architects is an architecture and urban design practice based in London. Since its foundation in 1996, the studio has established an international reputation for a series of buildings unique in the way they respond to local culture, context and climate.

The studio applies a core working methodology to all its projects which centres on discourse, extensive research, and prioritising modelling over drawing, combining analogue making with advanced digital technology. In each case, it seeks an essential position from which a complex set of questions come into focus. From this position begins an expansive process of iteration, thinking through context and change, often involving dozens of concept models to test the evolution of a design which conceives the building from the centre outwards: from interior programme to neighbourhood, urban fabric, wider infrastructures, and nature.

The success of this approach is evident in the distinct character of the projects the practice has generated, and the critical acclaim they have received for their ability to adapt to local context, culture and climate, their innovative use of daylight, materials and building techniques, and the extraordinary spaces they afford their users.

Gianni Botsford Architects’ work ranges from the cultural to the domestic, large-scale commercial architectures and masterplanning. Selected key projects include Light House, House in a Garden, and the Layered Gallery in London; Casa Ki-Ké in Costa Rica; Pink Sand Pavilion & Tower in The Bahamas; and Oppo Research & Development Tower, Chengdu, China. Current projects include 13A Pond Street, Harley Road in London, and The El-Madany Estate in Northern Ireland.

The practice’s commitment to evolutionary design processes and an architecture of Local Adaptation roots in pioneering research combining technology and ecology at the Architectural Association, and continues with past and current teaching at the annual Studio in the Woods, The Royal College of Art, London Metropolitan University and the Welsh School of Architecture.

Selected Awards


Oppo Technology & Research Centre Tower

Silver Award, Building Of The Year - Commercial, IDA Design Awards


House in a Garden

Commendation, AIA UK Excellence in Design Award

Shortlist, AR House Award

Winner, ArchDaily Building of The Year Award

Winner, AZ Awards Best Single Family Houses

Shortlist, Professional Lighting Design Recognition Award

Winner, RIBA Award

Longlisted, RIBA House of the Year

Shortlist, Structural Timber Awards

Winner, Wood Award


Commendation, Archdaily Best Houses

Commendation, BBC Culture Best Buildings

Commendation, Dezeen Top 10 British Architecture Projects


The Layered Gallery

Highly Commended, AJ Small Projects Award

Winner, RIBA Regional Award

Merit, Structural Steel Design Awards


White on White

Winner, RIBA Regional Award

Smoking Pavilion

Winner, Wallpaper Design Award


Casa Kiké

Runner-up, AR House Award


Winner, AIA UK Excellence in Design Award


Winner, Architectural Record Design Vanguard

Winner, Chicago Atheneum International Architecture Award

Winner, IstructE Structural Award Community and Residential Structure

Winner, RIBA International Award

Shortlist, World Architecture Festival

Winner, Lubetkin Prize

Garden Apartment

Shortlist, Manser Medal

Winner, RIBA Award


Light House

Winner, AIA UK Excellence in Design Award

Finalist, Grand Designs Best New Build House


Shortlist, Manser Medal

Winner, RIBA Regional Award


  • Amey Ventures/Treasury Holdings Properties Ltd.
  • Anish Kapoor
  • Arup
  • Betil Family
  • Dr Rebecca Emerson
  • Fox Primary School, London
  • Giovanni Valentino Inc
  • GL50 Properties Ltd
  • Guangdong OPPO Mobile Telecommunications Corp., Ltd
  • Joseph Kohlmaier
  • Keith Botsford
  • Kilburn Investments Ltd
  • Kindred Studios
  • Limitless
  • Mark Christophers
  • Naheed Malik
  • Nick Bentley
  • Pembridge Villas Properties Ltd.
  • Pirkko and Joseph Ackermann
  • Platinum Trading
  • Rare Space Ltd
  • Sandy Rattray
  • SIA Vincents
  • Simon Bishop
  • Spencer Baylin
  • Taiwan Land Development Corporation
  • The Qatar Foundation
  • Treasury Holdings Properties Ltd.
  • Victor Felix Gallery
  • Whitfield Fine Art