About Us

Renato Benedetti formed Benedetti Architects in 2016 following 20 years of award-winning success as McDowell+Benedetti Architects.

We are ‘client-focussed’, putting our energy into an open-minded collaborative approach, exploring disparate possibilities to tease out fresh solutions that add value. Our design expertise covers an unusually wide range of project sectors, types and scales, with one constant – it takes a good client to make a great project.

Clients appreciate our ability to listen, clear thinking and enthusiasm. This has meant we’ve built long-standing relationships with an equally diverse range of public and private sector clients over several projects.

Our approach has resulted in us winning many prestigious national/international awards and competitions and in having our work published widely in the UK and abroad, in articles, books, on radio and TV.

Renato Benedetti’s public profile includes roles on Design Review Panels in London for Southwark, Wandsworth, Lewisham, and he is one of Design Council CABE’s national Built Environment Experts. He is also an RIBA client advisor and competition judge, is on the Architecture Club committee and was a founding committee member of the London Festival of Architecture. He lectures and teaches in the UK and abroad.

Approach

We focus on people – our clients and all who use, or are affected by what we design. We create elegant and uplifting places, finding enduring solutions that add value and are rooted in a contextual understanding of place and the tactile qualities of materials, volume and light.

We enjoy taking time to understand clients’ ambitions and values, the wider context and the specific site. We work with our clients to find the best solutions. Good architecture depends on many people working together. We create a relaxed atmosphere of open, creative collaboration between client, design team, stakeholders and builders.

We seek the best value out of the complex realities that all projects face, turning constraints into practical opportunities.

Expertise & Services

Over 20 years’ experience across a wide spectrum of projects - from small to large scale, working on existing and historic buildings, designing new ones, throughout the UK and abroad - means we have the expertise and resources to deliver design quality, on time and to budget.

We offer the full range of architectural services - from working with the client to develop the brief, initial strategic ideas, early concepts and feasibility/capacity studies, to detailed design, planning and technical design stages, and contract management throughout the construction process. We help you get the most from your new building.

As an RIBA Chartered Practice we work to strict accreditation standards and procedures, including a quality management system.

Helping Clients

We understand how daunting a building project can seem and we become an expert professional advisor and critical friend for our clients. We take the extra time to work closely with you to discuss (without jargon) the issues and options. Repeat clients testify to the support we provide throughout the process.

Many of our projects involve complex clients - for example trustee bodies answerable to wide stakeholder groups. We know the extra complexities and timescales this brings to the decision-making process and understand the need for careful support and sensitive guiding. The best results come from creating an easy-going atmosphere with a clearly recorded decision-making process.

Teamwork & Leadership

Most construction projects require a team of specialist advisors across a wide range of disciplines and depend on the skills of many people to build them.

We are experienced in leading, coordinating and managing large design and delivery teams and acting as the single point of contact for the client.

Success depends on good communication, establishing clear responsibilities, and an open and collaborative way of working. We particularly enjoy the cross-fertilisation of ideas and unexpected solutions that people with different perspectives and complementary skills bring to a project.

Our established relationships with excellent professionals across the widest spectrum of construction expertise ensure that our designs include the most advanced, pragmatic and sustainable ideas. Also vital is the mutual respect hard earned with the many skillful builders who construct our projects.

Guiding complex projects

Our experience and commitment gives us the skills to guide complex projects through challenging processes and long timescales.

We deal regularly with the complexities of listed buildings and heritage environments, planning sensitivities and constraints, tight urban sites, complex mixed uses, elaborate funding arrangements and approval processes, unsympathetic neighbours, multi-phasing, and demanding technical challenges.

We enjoy working with these challenges, turning constraints into opportunities to increase value and enjoyment.

Sustainability

We ensure our projects are sustainable in the broadest sense over the long-term, helping achieve better quality of life now and for future generations.

We consider broad economic and social issues, environmental sustainability and resource use as well as the performance of a building, and its setting, over the whole life of a project.

Our buildings are adaptable, built from carefully selected long-lasting materials to minimise energy consumption and carbon emissions, reduce pollution and waste and promote efficient use of water. We consider transport implications and impacts on biodiversity, and ensure our designs create a pleasant and healthy environment for all users. Several of our projects have won awards for sustainability.

Working with Artists

We often collaborate with artists and craftspeople. They enrich and add layers of enjoyment to our projects. And we work with them from the start of a project to make sure the art is fully integrated with our design.

We’ve worked with artists Richard Wentworth, Antony Gormley, Richard Wilson, Hannah Collins, Peter Newman, Kathryn Hodgkinson, and Nayan Kulkarni; with composers and sound artists Martyn Ware and Nye Parry; and with filmmakers and writers Terry Jones, Frederic Raphael, Lisa Jardine. We also work with exceptional craftsmen including furniture makers, stone carvers, glass workers and ceramicists.

Clients often ask us to organise the selection process and briefing of the artist. Renato Benedetti served for many years on the Royal Society of Arts (RSA) Art for Architecture Award Panel, which granted funding to architect/artist collaborations.