Piercy Conner Architects Create Bespoke Sustainable Architectural Solutions

Stuart Piercy

Born in October 1970 in Yorkshire and completed his Diploma in Architecture in 1993-95 from National University of Singapore, Stuart Piercy joined Nicholas Grimshaw and Partners in 1994 and worked on several large international transportation projects including Zurich Airport, Pusan Rail Terminal and early concept designs for the Eden project in Cornwall and the EIHMS University teaching building in Guildford.

Richard Conner

It was at Grimshaws that Piercy met Richard Conner who was born in Lancashire in 1972. Graduating with a 1st Class BA Hons degree in Architecture from Liverpool University, Richard Conner completed his Part 1 at Nicholas Grimshaw and Partners. Returned to Grimshaws after finishing his Diploma at the Bartlett School of Architecture, Conner worked at the firm for three years before fully qualifying in 1999. During his time at Grimshaws, Conner worked on several large international transportation projects including the Channel Tunnel Rail Link and Pusan Rail Terminal. He also held a lead role in the design of the Millennium Point Building, Birmingham.

In 1999, Piercy and Conner co-founded Piercy Conner Architects. Through competitions and research Piercy, along with Conner, was closely involved with the development of prefabrication and modular construction technology and its application to delivering large-scale projects efficiently.

In 2001, Piercy Conner launched the Microflat affordable housing concept for central London, this project has been published internationally and was the subject of an ITV documentary and the BBC’s Panorama.

From an early age, Piercy’s flair for technical design, coupled with his interest in steel, has driven his career forward. His winning entry for a British Steel Competition while studying for his Diploma in Architecture so impressed one of the judges, the Chairman of Nicholas Grimshaw and Partners, that he was offered a job on the spot.

And on the other hand, Conner’s long-standing passion for design technology and communication has led to the firm’s reputation for ground-breaking visuals and to the creation of Smoothe, a 50-strong design company specialising in image design and film for the built-environment. With studios in London, Manchester, Dubai and Bulgaria, Smoothe has worked on international projets for many years.

Most recently, Piercy and Conner designed India’s first residential steel building for which they were awarded the MIPIM AR Future Project Sustainability Award in 2007.


In 2000, Piercy and Conner won the Velux lifetime homes competition with a fully modular, flexible housing scheme. Through the application and adaptation of commercial construction technology Piercy Conner has developed over twenty housing and hotel concepts and was awarded finalist of the 2002 ‘Young Entrepreneur of the Year’ for the Microflat project promoted by Selfridges.

Piercy, along with Conner, was a finalist for the Corus International Young Architect of the Year Award, Winner of the Corus AJ 40 Architects Under 40 ‘Best Use of Steel’ and was shortlisted for the Architecture Foundation’s Next Generation Award. Piercy Conner was also asked by BMW to create their vision for future living based on their concept homes. The form and language of their architecture is crafted by the synthesis of external site forces and ongoing material and construction research.

Important Projects

Airside Centre at Zurich Airport, Switzerland

Airside Centre at Zurich Airport, Switzerland
Zurich’s airport was designed with the precision and quality of a Swiss watch. The potentially chaotic mix of retail, circulation and travel has been ordered and calmed with a floating retail island. This semi-transparent timber casement encloses the retail pods, co-ordinates signage and orientates passengers. Made to the highest specification with luxurious materials, the building articulates the quality that is synonymous with Swiss manufacture. The elevation of the retail island is an intelligent play on the differing scales of a building within a building, ensuring a human scale is maintained within the super-envelope. This 417m CHF (Swiss Franc) Airside Centre covering 43,000m2of space at Zurich Airport was designed for Grimshaw Architects.

Turnmills in London

Turnmills in London
Breathing new life into history railway stables in the centre of London by securing planning permission for a highly contemporary roof extension within Clerkenwell Green’s conservation area in central London was a significant challenge for this project. Piercy Conner’s triumphant concept succeeds by creating a sinuous form generated from the geometry of the footprint of the existing former stables. The translucent glass roof curves in and out of view to give glimpses of high drama to those at ground level without dominating the streetscape. Permission was already granted to this project and vital additional commercial floor space was secured. This £17m development, which recently secured planning consent, comprises 8380m2 of commercial and retail space and was developed for Derwent London.

Ar. Parul Zaveri Abhikram

I believe that ‘architectural style’ should be a response to the various climatic zones in context of India, to be designed according to clients’ personalities and project needs. Each place has a plethora of creative solutions, that have evolved using local resources and techniques, which constitute the part of our architectural knowledge. It is necessary to achieve a balance between continuity and desirable change, without fossilizing the past, and without making the change incongruent with... Read More ...

Ar. Reza Kabul ARK Reza Kabul Architects

I believe in liberating spaces, not enclosing them. Every space needs to have a good optimum, be it a small sized apartment or large commercial offices. Every good designer analyses the plans from the client perspective, regarding practicality, functionality, and accessibility, before executing it. I don’t believe in confining spaces between four walls, on the contrary, I believe in open spaces, both for the interiors and exteriors.It takes exemplary quality to reach elusive heights. The... Read More ...

Ar. Lalichan Zacharias Atelier

My approach to design is simple and open. I start my design with two guiding factors: the requirements and the site. I would like to see the building grow from the site naturally while fulfilling the requirements. I try to keep it extremely simple and responding to the climate. Integration of nature in the built form is always given importance.  Round Chapel Kalamassery Ar. Geoffrey Bawa’s works have always inspired me. Another aspect which influence my design is the sociological aspect of it.... Read More ...

Ar. Sourabh Gupta Archohm

I believe that the language and vocabulary of architecture is not a question about style. Every building is built for a specific purpose, in a particular setting, for a set of audience, and it is therefore intentional that we don’t impose any pre-defined visual form onto a project, rather let things emerge as the project evolves. There is a deliberate attempt to not make specific choices in our design directions.As a philosophy, we try to work on projects that allow an element of... Read More ...

Ar. Jay Shah Access Architects

Architectural style is characterized by the feature that makes a building structure notable and visibly identifiable. Every architect has a specific style and I would call mine “form follows function” as was the thought of Architect Louis Sullivan. However, my style of architecture is not confined to one kind since every client is different, every project is unique, every plot is diverse, and every functionality brief is exclusive. So, any one style of architecture doesn’t work as the design... Read More ...

Ar. Dinesh Verma Ace Group Architects

My style is versatile. In today’s context, where pace and universal availability of materials supported by technology is the base, it is but imperative to develop designs that are adaptable and go with the times. Around 30 years back, when I started my design practice, local and natural materials were in use, Granite was not less than 75mm thick, walls were minimum 112mm and wood was available in plenty. We did a lot of work in natural brick, stone and wood. Even today, the Mysore Haat... Read More ...

Ar. Alfaz Miller & Aahana Miller ABM Architects

The designs by our firm have not changed the skyline of cities, but our smaller architectural projects of commercial buildings and bungalows have made a significant design impact, producing architecture that is site specific, sensible and timeless.We believe in architecture that is simple and controlled and lacks stylised decoration. With large exposure to interior design, the buildings we design are practical with emphasis on function rather than just form. The designs are constructive, with... Read More ...

Ar. Ahmed Shaikh Ahmed & Associates

Architecture is an ever-evolving process and depending on the lifestyle, material availability, weather conditions, and geographical location, we can apply various types of styles. In Mumbai, for instance, we can see contemporary architecture along with classical typology.I believe that there is no single style to work on as we try to give multiple options depending on the clients’ requirements. Our style includes contemporary, classical, art deco, and minimalistic, which we can identify by... Read More ...

Ar. Shobhan Kothari & Ar. Anand Menon ADND & KdnD Studio

We constantly strive for simplicity of form and design. Our architectural style is a minimalistic interplay of lines, planes and volumes. We believe that beauty lies in the ability of a design to be explained through a few lines. We constantly explore the power of lines and their ability to shape space. We work intuitively to create spaces that are episodal and spatially engaging. The core aspects of scale and proportion in design are constantly debated upon to arrive at spaces that balance... Read More ...

Ar. Arpan Johari AW Design

We believe that an architect’s signature style should serve more than just being a set of features to identify ‘the architect’. At AW Design, climatic and site response are the essential guides to evolution of our building’s aesthetic language. In case of interiors, it is the purpose, services and available internal volume around which proportions, openings, systems are designed.Given that most of our work is in the hotter regions of the country, we have developed an unsaid affinity towards... Read More ...

Ar. Monish Siripurapu ANT Studio

The nature around us consists of divergent facets that can be aptly fabricated to alter the paradigm of Architecture and Design. Not only is it inspiring in terms of its organic forms but is also helpful in imparting us with a natural know-how of functionality. So, when Ant Studio came into being, I was convinced that we had to create designs that not only celebrated nature but blurred the lines between the built and the un-built. As a result, ‘Biomimicry’ emerged as a style that I wanted to... Read More ...

Ar. (Dr.) Harish Tripathi & ID. Jyoti D Tripathi Architect Harish Tripathi & Associates

Over the years, we have positioned our efforts around the belief that the best objects of nature are simple, not complicated. Consequently, we try to create buildings with simple forms and facades. This is often achieved, in our case, through the case of sunken windows wherein the building is double skinned and neat. This way, unwanted protrusions get negated and the double layer of the façade provides a better response to climatic extremities.We have always been fascinated by the virtues of... Read More ...

Ar. Babu Cherian Babu Cherian Architects

I believe good architecture is one wherein functionality and aesthetics form a harmonious conglomeration in a way that successfully follows the context of the land and its traditions while exuberating its rich culture. With an unceasing love for Kerala and a thirst for reviving the past, I believe my architecture is in essence a contribution to the future through a tribute to the past. While my professional portfolio consists of a mixture of architectural styles, a majority of my projects are... Read More ...

Prof. (Ar) Charanjit Shah Creative Group

For an architect, the primary function is to create usable spaces for the masses; only with a true understanding of humanity can he or she create the kind of human settlement which is required for a common man.Since the inception of my career in 1970, I have believed that a built form should not be treated as a dead mass of brick and concrete, but as a living organism, allowing it to breathe with nature. Only when one respects the site conditions and existing natural resources, one can build... Read More ...

Ar. Iqbal Chaney Chaney Architects

Architectural design is an expression of an individual’s understanding and comprehension of the client’s need and demand, translating it into design and thereby establishing an individualistic style. This style, over the years, gets imprinted so strongly into the personality of the individual and the team that it gets hard to distinguish the two. The individualistic designs evolve into a statement and are marked as a style. The style of many great architects in the modern era has become the... Read More ...

Ar. Dikshu C. Kukreja C.P. Kukreja Architects

We believe that design is a process and not the end product. It is a journey of discovery, innovation, evolution and eventually, creation. With each project, we aim to “read” and “respond” to the built and un-built contexts of the urban scape. The most important exercise in the design process is to read the silent gestures of forms and spaces, to converse with the natural environment and then translate those gestures into architectural ensembles. We refer to it as “Responsive Architecture” – a... Read More ...
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