Martha Read Architects Ltd. is an architectural practice based in east London, established in 2012.
Martha Read (ARB), Director
I have a wide experience of cultural, residential and commercial buildings and interiors. Along with independent projects in London and southern California, I have worked on complex signature buildings at firms including Gehry Partners, Eric Owen Moss Architects and Zaha Hadid Architects.
In my own practice, I have found that it is often simple forms and natural materials, along with sensitive treatment of daylight, which achieve the best results. I am interested in creating atmosphere through design, and exploring the ways in which architecture can be inspired by and enhance, rather than compete with, its surroundings and the lives of its users. This can be seen as a form of editing, or managing the levels of distraction offered by the building based on the conditions. At times architecture should step back, and act as a backdrop to life, a frame for nature, or channel/surface for natural daylight. In other situations it is appropriate for it to take centre stage. The architect’s role is seen as allowing the design to emerge almost naturally, intuitively, based on a responsiveness to the clients wishes, site/orientation, budget, sustainability, and statutory requirements.
I occasionally write about architecture and design (click here to see a list of published articles) and was for four years on the faculty of the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) in Los Angeles. Before training in Architecture at Kingston School of Art and the University of Westminster, I studied French and German Literature at Oxford University.
Gordon Swapp, ARB RIBA, Senior Architect
Gordon has thirty years post qualification experience as an Architect including work on cultural, residential, commercial, science and railway transport projects. He trained at Scott Sutherland School of Architecture in Aberdeen which has a practical emphasis on construction.
Notable projects Gordon has worked on from early stages through to site include the late Ralph Erskine’s London Ark offices, Bermondsey Station for Ian Ritchie Architects in London, and the competition winning Museum of World Culture project in Gothenburg, Sweden for Brisac Gonzalez Architects.
Gordon is particularly interested in applying ‘fabric first’ principles to meet energy requirements and to this end is a member of the Green Register which enables him to keep up date with best practice. In addition, Gordon has worked as a volunteer Architect in developing countries including Haiti.
Gordon joined Martha Read Architects in 2014.