1

Approach

Our design approach is rooted in research, the creative testing of ideas, and a singular focus in execution. We believe that creating memorable and usable spaces is a process of discovery, iteration and constant curiosity. The context of a project in its widest sense is important to us. Our curiosity leads us to explore the broad circumstances around each project in the search for insight and inspiration. This process is enriched by connecting a project to wider references of material culture, science, technology, art and landscape.

By actively resisting preconceptions, we are able to tap into a spectrum of information that continually informs and inspires the design process. This is complemented by our communicative attitude and a disciplined project management to ensure projects are realised within planned budgets and timelines.

2

Research

At Nex, we design by research. It informs, influences and defines everything - the nature of a problem, context, creativity, even the inner workings of an organisation. But most importantly, it puts user experience at the forefront of our minds. Insight allows us to push boundaries, learn and set our sights on real impact, not just a formal or formulaic solution.

Our practice-based research has been shaped by longstanding connections to academia. Alan Dempsey has led design and research programmes at the Architectural Association and has been an invited critic and lecturer at universities and institutions worldwide.

Our research based approach is evident at all stages of a project. At the RAF Museum, our role as Client Advisor in the initial stages of the project produced insights into visitor experience. This shaped the museum’s business model and our subsequent design brief. Our technical research is evident in the innovative curtain wall glazing system at the Duke of York Restaurant. Involving three years of intensive development and testing, the completed project will have the world's first curved glass retractable facade.

3

Environment

Architecture can change people, places, environments and communities for the better. Our buildings and places aim to create new relationships to nature to enhance well-being and ecology. For us, environmental performance is about more than mindful use of energy and materials while minimising carbon and waste.

Architecture, designed well, should to bring us closer to nature and be adaptable for future resilience: it’s about looking to natural processes and structures for insight and inspiration, looking for opportunities to creatively reuse, and bringing clients alongside us to create virtuous cycles of sustainability.

The Duke of York Restaurant exemplifies our approach to nature. When complete it will be the greenest restaurant building in London, achieving BREEAM Excellent. Our Times Pavilion was the result of collaborative research with world-class environmental scientists at Kew.

4

Modelling

Design Modelling affords us freedom and our clients’ clarity. It enables our process to be iterative and responsive, adapting to opportunity continually. Design modelling enables us to fully form ideas and explore possibilities with a keener eye.

So change doesn't compromise our design, it enriches it. It allows creativity to become a constant in our process. Every model we produce is a digital or handcrafted prototype of our problem solving approach. Modelling is communicative tool as much as a design one, allowing us to collaborate more meaningfully with our clients and consultants.

5

Collaboration

Our name derives from Nexus, which is a connection or focal point. Partnership is integral to what we do and how we do it. We place ourselves at the nexus of a network of multi-disciplinary experts to enhance the value we bring to clients and projects. Whether we are working as architects or client advisors, we are the connection between strategic concept and project delivery.

Our communicative approach makes us strong design team leaders and persuasive advocates, ensuring we complete projects on time and on budget.

Our Thames Pier and RAF Museum projects show how design collaboration with engineers expands our creative capabilities, while our collaborations with specialist manufacturers on our pavilion projects demonstrate how we work in partnership to create exceptional buildings.

6

Technology

Technology enables us to do exceptional things. It sparks possibility and facilitates realisation. Serving both creativity and efficiency, our use and adoption of design technologies has allowed us to better understand, and therefore better design. More than evolving practice, it is transforming the role of an architect on a fundamental level. And we’re able to occupy these new positions.

As a tool to extract and inform strategic advice during early stages or for its prototyping possibilities during design development, technology allows us to find new ways in, fresh angles and thinking. Technology is also changing how we materialise buildings and elements. We revel in the opportunities that modern methods of construction offer and continually search out better, more effective ways of design and making.