Benedict O’Looney Architects was founded in 2005 and has completed a range of work across London. In recent years, the practice has been shaped by a series of public projects: the extension and completion of the Peckham Mosque, a new wing for the Croydon Mosque, and restoring the Victorian Peckham Rye Station. We have embraced these opportunities as we believe strongly that good architecture can bring pleasure and uplift into our daily
The challenge of creating new architecture in historic settings is an interest that unites much of our work. We also enjoy conservation work, and have found the spirited detailing of historic buildings an inspiration for a bold approach in our modern work.
So far, perhaps the most significant strand of our practice has been to improve the neighbourhood in which we live and work: Peckham, in South East London. To date, we have completed, or obtained consent, for more than 20 projects in Peckham. Some of this work has helped a decaying town centre turn a corner towards a brighter future. Voluntary work to this end has run in parallel with our professional work. With the Peckham Society, we have helped create a central Peckham Conservation Area and have contributed to the listing of a number of significant local buildings. Some of these buildings we have then carried on to restore, raising funds from Southwark Council and Heritage bodies.
Prior to setting up this studio Benedict O’Looney was a project architect with Grimshaw Architects and Alsop Architects, where he helped deliver the £55 million restoration and extension of Paddington Station and the Bath Spa Project. Work at Alsop architects included the North Greenwich Jubilee Line Station and obtaining planning consent for a 25,000 sq.m mixed-use project at Puddle Dock in the City of London. An interest in innovative materials and technology has been strengthened by twelve years of working for these, two of London’s best known High Tech practices. These years also offered the
experience of helping lead multi-disciplinary consultant teams, tackling significant urban projects in challenging sites like busy railway stations, and in and around Grade l listed buildings.
Since graduating from the Yale School of Architecture in 1992, Benedict has also taught architecture history and building technology at the Architectural Association, The University of Kent, the Canterbury School of Architecture, and New York University. This teaching and research has enriched our practice, developing expertise in low-energy architecture, specialist conservation work and the development of London.
Benedict is the chair of Southwark’s Conservation Areas Advisory Group which advises Southwark Council on planning applications in conservation areas and involving listed buildings. An interest and enjoyment of the collaborative nature of the planning process, and the opportunities for historic research are strong themes in this practice. Benedict O’Looney is also on the Victorian Society Southern Buildings Committee, The Committee of the Peckham Society and is a past President of the London Sketch Club. Benedict has received a Southwark Civic award for his conservation work in Peckham.