The Studio

Established in 2002, Archer Humphryes Architects are world reknown experts for intelligent thinking in the work of architecture and interior design, urban planning and landscape spaces, furniture and identity and, sea and air projects. From their studio in Clerkenwell, London they have completed more than £200 million of niche projects notably including the Chiltern Firehouse, or London’s highly anticipated Peninsula Hotel in 2021 where their reputation is second to none.

Having at the foundation of the practice’s portfolio is a focus upon niche projects that concentrate on designing ‘lifestyle’ spaces for eating, drinking, sleeping and being seen, in both new environments and historic settings. Core concerns are balancing past and present; classic and contemporary; economy and luxury; and reliability and iconoclasm. Archer Humphryes explores architecture as a way of influencing how people respond and behave within spaces. In the heart of all thinking is the commitment to innovation, technology and sustainability. With an artistic approach always at the forefront of development of an idea, it is how the modern world interacts with craftsmanship, texture, colour and how that intertwines with the potential of future experimentation that is core.

In generating identity to projects a natural narrative emerges to give shape and form to the generation of the design. This allows every project to emerge differently, and allows the studio to develop projects of all scales and budgets, all equally compelling. No project is too small or too large to give new found expression.

Meaningfiul ideas are presented with a reawakened imagination to help people see their project in a different way. And with twenty years experience to there names they are able to bring experience from faraway places and diverse industries into current practice.

With a back story that includes working with Anda Andrei at Ian Schrager Hotels, with Philippe Starck and Jean - Michel Wilmotte in Paris, with blue sky dreams for new airliners with a consortiums including Airbus Industrie and Virgin Atlantic, with Andre Balaczs in New York, the pair have between them have lived in New York, Hong Kong, Japan, Paris and Germany, before marking the start of a lifelong business together. Preoccupations for the studio are not grandiose or monumental, or striving for signature statements and accolades. Instead the principles belong to geometry, proportion, suitability and a collection of thoughts and observations being constantly updated through study, drawing and efforts. This can be as simple as the context of walking through the city streets, evaluating the geographic topography, remembering a place once visited or a millenium old craftsmanship still being made today. Having this memory bank allows the project to aggregrate more depth and attention to detail over time and the intelligence to be applied to hotel, marine, avian, residential, resort, commercial projects and private homes.

This provenance is retained retained in the energy of the studio as a collaborative place, where youth and experience are represented by a handpicked group of twenty individuals from many parts of the world, including the UK, Argentina, Canada, Singapore, Greece, Italy and Australia. Similarly, our growing portfolio of projects is now reperesented accross Europe, the Middle and Far East.

In the coming year we anticipate opening design studios in New York, Los Angeles, Hong Kong and Sydney . Our creative architects will be a network of individuals that have started careers in the London studio and have well established relationships with clients that have been nurtured through Archer Humphryes Architects exacting approach.

Small or big, contemporary or classic, evolution or revolution. If your space needs to work harder, we should be talking


Leadership

Julie Ann Humphryes MA ( CANTAB) DIP ARCH ARB RIBA FRSA

Julie was born in the UK in 1970. She read architecture at Cambridge University, matriculating in 1989. Colin St. John Wilson was Head od School and Eric Parry, now a Royal Academician , was her personal tutor as an undergraduate.

Before returning to Cambridge to complete her studies in 2003, she spent time in Berlin at Studio Daniel Libeskind and in practice in Hong Kong, travelling extensively in the Far East. Julie submitted two theoretical dissertations whilst at Cambridge. The first was a study of the Mesoamerican site of Tikal in Guatemala with the esteemed archaeologist Prof. Norman Hammond. This work focused upon historical complexes whose monumentality is hidden in the landscape. Julie’s second piece of writing explored documenting works by Terragni, a pioneer of the Italian rationalist architecture in Italy. And the metaphysical art movement of De Chirico and Morandi. It had been inspired by a thesis that she found in the architecture library by Peter Eisenman whose interests explored the history of the Casa del Fascio. Attempting to reconcile tradition and modernityhas remained a fundamental principle in the practice as an approach to understanding ideas.

Julie’s first project to construct was the Georgian Society Headquarters on Fitzroy Square. On completion of the project she worked with Australian architects , DFenton Corker Marshall, as project architect on the Sanderson Hotel with Philippe Stark, before joining Virgin Atlantic. Here with Richard Bransons’s furturistic array of ventures she collaborated on early designs of luxury travel projects with Airbus, Boeing, along with award-winning airport lounge interiors with Softroom and Eight inc Research which took her to all parts of the world exploring luxury resorts and travel,, being resident in Tokyo.

She was co-head of design at Yoo , the residential and hotel design company set up by John Hitchcox and Philippe Stark and until recently , directed the creative direction of the Yoo design studio.

Julie is a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and has taught at numerous academic institutions including the Royal College of Art in London. David and Jule frequently speak at events and forums internationally and , most recently with the World Monument Fund discussing Food and Architecture.

David Archer BA Hons, Dip Arch, ARB

David Archer was born in Haddington , Scotland in 1967 and grew up in Manchester. After graduating from Canterbury School of Architecture in 1989 he went on to complete his studies at the Bartlett School of Architecture in London under Peter Cook. In his written dissertation he concentrated upon two works. One explored the 6 churches of Nicholas Hawksmoor, and how liturgy denotes the plan of the building, the second the Leicester University Engineering Building by Stirling + Gowan looking at the emergence of the independent group and British Brutalism. David’s real talent as a student was his ability to draw ideas and convey thinking to others, which he continues to do in architectural practice.

Before establishing Archer Humphryes in 2002 he worked with hotelier André Balazs in New York as head of design for AB Hotels, collaborating mainly with Antonio Citterio and Jean Nouvel. Projects included 40 Mercer in Manhattan and the Chateau Marmont in Hollywood. This was the start of a collaboration between David and André that has progressed into symbolic hotel commissions in practice.

He previously worked for Hopkins Architects and for Philippe Starck in Paris, working on the design of Felix in the Peninsula Hotel in Hong Kong and the Delano Hotel in Miami. David Archer met Julie Humphryes in 1997 whilst working upon the design of Ian Schrager’s hotel the Sanderson, with Anda Andreu. This project sparked the start of David and Julie’s collaboration and anticipated the formation of the practice with shared interests in Architecture. Gradually, they have built up a business concentrating on four core areas: hotels, restaurants , resorts and residences, that harmoniously integrate interiors and architecture in listed builldings and new architecture ,winning over twenty awards and citations of excellence internationally.

David has forged long term relationships with several key clients including restaurateur Alan Yau , creator of Wagamama. Together they have developed a unique concept of “dynamic dining” that has successfully translated into a collection of much imitated eateries including Busaba Eathai and Hakkasan.


Our Team


Education & Research

Education, Research and Development is a crucial aspect of the evolution of the studio. This is done by critical evaluation of the work being produced before it is released and by individual research carried out in the workplace. Whether it’s future proofing a digital green screen interactive display for a restaurant in four years with Sony or an LED bio emitting fibre fabric, a carbon fibre composite for a yacht hull or drone proofing a resort to prevent paparazzi – the studio search for answers.

In - house pin - up critique and charette’s are integral with how the design is produced, as is spending time and evaluating the context of a project before beginning. Collectively in our open plan studio, discussions on materials, details, products, regulations and forming ideas at work are shared. Reflective thoughts are also captured in writing and notes as a memory of how the building process was arrived at.

Communicating to the outside world conveys the culture of the thinking in the studio. This is achieved at a number of levels, from teaching at The Royal College of Art, to speaking at forums like the World Monument Fund to writing the Monograph Cool, Contemporary Classic which will start a National and International lecture series with contributors on the subject of ‘ Food and Architecture - Past and Present.’