We build community through design.

Our projects, from High Road Leyton to the Kings Cross Skip Garden and Blue House Yard, are establishing a social and a physical legacy. We achieve this by embracing an open, interactive design process that responds positively to the needs and aspirations of the people we work with. By allowing the process to drive the project, we have built a portfolio of inventive projects, each of which makes the most of the unusual opportunities and particular challenges of its site context.

Our method stimulates innovative design, and always seeks to add benefits through education, economic growth, cultural activity or greater community coherence. We believe that an integrated approach is needed for any place to fulfil its potential. This conviction has led us to work across sectors, including regeneration, housing, economic development, education, public space and planning. In each field, our projects are united by their public purpose.

For us, sustainability is more than just a technological challenge. By engaging a broad community in frank and open conversation from the outset of a project, we can work to ensure that our proposals are needed, useful and proportionate. Throughout design, procurement and delivery, we look for opportunities to re-activate existing spaces, use reclaimed or surplus materials and tap into local supply networks. Looking ahead, we are researching how the spaces we design and the strategies we develop can accommodate change, through flexible design strategies to demountable construction techniques. Sustainability must be a shared pursuit, and we hope to inspire others through our work.

Our approach has been recognised by numerous national and international design awards. We are aware that design excellence is a team effort, and invest ourselves in our work and our professional relationships. We have ISO 9001 (Quality Assurance) and ISO 14001 (Environmental Management) certification which is independently verified annually. We are a London Living Wage employer. We are part of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation Community.

  • Jan Kattein

    Jan set up Jan Kattein Architects in 2004 with an ambition to embrace design as an open and collaborative process. His research has established the methodology that characterises the studio's work today. His contribution transcends disciplinary boundaries and includes writing, speaking, architecture, design, urbanism and theatre.

    He studied at the Bartlett, where he was awarded a Distinction for his PG Diploma and a Commendation for his Masters. His PhD was twice nominated for a RIBA research Award. Jan’s book, The Architecture Chronicle: Diary of an Architectural Practice was published by Ashgate in 2014. Jan teaches and lectures in the UK and internationally. He also holds a lectureship at UCL, is a member of the Institute of Place Management and the Harlow + Gilston Garden Town quality review panel.

    Before setting up his own studio, Jan worked on urban regeneration projects at Jestico and Whiles and Peter Barber Architects. He grew the business from sole practitioner to a reputable and multiple award-winning regeneration practice.

    Today, responsibility for the day to day management of the studio is shared between the four directors. Aside from his strategic role, Jan writes, draws and makes. He is also often involved in participatory design activities.

  • Chrysanthe Staikopoulou
    Director of Partnerships and Finance

    Chrysanthe Staikopoulou is an architect with Masters degrees from both the Bartlett and the Royal College of Art. She has worked on a variety of strategic public space and regeneration projects.

    She has previously worked at East on TFL’s Streetscape Guidance, aiming to streamline urban design policies across London and led the Pride in Derwent Parade Project, an ambitious town centre regeneration project in the Thames estuary. At Antarchitecture she designed for Habitat and Fitness First, and at Gregory Phillips Architects she designed the premises of a post production company in Soho.

    Chrysanthe has held teaching roles in architecture and interior architecture at the University of Wesminster, the University of Greenwich and has led short courses at the Bartlett and the Architectural Association.

    She is responsible for building and maintaining the studio’s partnerships. She also manages our finances and ensures that we comply with the obligations of our ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 accreditation.

  • Gabriel Warshafsky
    Director of Projects

    Gabriel's individual approach and thorough understanding of the dynamics of the city make him a highly capable designer. He has led innovative regeneration projects with JKA for over 8 years, from strategy and masterplanning through to the delivery of technically complex schemes on site.

    Gabriel has led high street regeneration programmes for Waltham Forest and Croydon, enabled community-led design for play and public space for Peabody and realised ground-breaking affordable workspaces for Haringey and Westminster, including the award-winning Blue House Yard.

    Gabriel completed his degree at the Bartlett with first class honours and obtained his MArch with distinction, and is a registered architect. He has previously worked for Barkow Leibinger and Bundschuh Baumhauer Architekten in Berlin and Edgley Design in London.

    Since 2017, Gabriel has taught at the Bartlett School of Architecture. He is also a founding associate of design collective STORE, running an international educational programme aimed at broadening access to creative professions for young people.

    As director of projects, Gabriel is responsible for organising how we deliver projects. He manages resource allocations and design teams ensuring that each project benefits from the right expertise.

  • Gareth Marriott
    Director of Design

    Gareth promotes ambition, sensitivity and delight in design across all of our work. He combines love of craft with a lively, inventive approach to urbanism in his delivery of complex regeneration projects.

    He completed his BArch degree at the University of Nottingham with first class honours. He was awarded the degree prize for his portfolio, and was part of the construction team for the UK’s first entry to the European Solar Decathlon. He completed his MArch at the Bartlett with distinction in both his design work and thesis.

    Gareth has previously worked for WCEC Architects in Sheffield and Vision Ltd in Tianjin, China, where he worked on ambitious strategies to reshape a fishing harbour in Sha Po Wei, to factory and mining districts in brownfield areas of Tianjin and Jixan. Together with Felicity, Gareth leads an undergraduate design studio at Oxford Brookes University.

    Gareth joined JKA in 2012 where he has since delivered award winning town centre regeneration in Leytonstone, Westminster and Morden, a temporary high street in South London and planning guidance for Hackney Council and RB Greenwich. As director of design, he is responsible for internal design quality management across all our projects.

  • Corina Tuna

    Corina is a discerning designer who combines flair and innovation with down to earth problem solving and a genuine committment to community engagement.

    She studied at the Bartlett and at the CASS where she completed her professional Masters with Distinction. She subsequently won a scholarship to  complete an MA by project working with young people on the design  of a series of public realm projects in Thamesmead which she collaboratively implemented on site.

    She has previously worked for Sharon Davies Design in New York, where she led the expansion of a community hospital. In London she has worked for Social Enterprise Wave Cafe to develop a brand identity with people with learning disabilities. Corina won the London Works design competition in 2017, the RIBA Eyeline drawing competition in 2016 and the Branding Lab High Street competition where she implemented her design in 2013.

    At JKA Corina has worked with residents on the Whitecross Estate on infill development proposals for Peabody, on the Whitecross Estate Regeneration project for Peabody, is working with traders and stakeholders in both Drummond Street and Roman Road to implement a multi-layered vision for neighbourhood improvements. She has recently completed the colourful transformation of Aberfeldy High Street in Poplar.


  • Sue Amos
    Landscape Architect

    Sue is a landscape architect with a holistic approach to ecology which includes both, people and the natural world.

    Sue has worked with plants and people for over 20 years. In a previous role as Head of Gardens at Global Generation, she helped shape a new narrative around a more sustainable and holistic horticultural approach, focusing on developing healthy ecological systems in challenging urban sites. She was a founding member of Glengall Wharf Garden, a large permaculture site and community garden in Peckham and continues to advise communities and groups, supporting them in developing rich ecological and productive sites that support people and wildlife.

  • Alastair Johnson

    Alastair is a multi-disciplinary designer who finds joyful and innovative design solutions put people at the centre.

    Alastair completed his BArch degree with first class honours at Oxford Brookes, where he was also nominated for a RIBA Bronze Medal. He went on to receive his MArch at the Bartlett, where he was also awarded the Design Realisation Innovation prize, and his works was featured in the Blueprint for the Future awards and exhibition. During his final year he solidified an approach to architecture which focuses on the intangible social and political qualities in the built environment that are an intrinsic component within the design process.

    Before joining JKA, Alastair ,worked at Metropolitan Workshop and We Made That on public-facing and residential projects, as well as large scale masterplans including for the Carpenters Estate in Stratford. During his time on this project Alastair implemented his passion for storytelling through drawing by hosting sketching workshops and consultation events with local residents.

  • Mary Konstantopoulou
    Project Assistant

    Mary has a keen interest in the ecological and cultural remit of architecture, conveying this enthusiasm to communities and those often excluded from the design process.

    She graduated from Oxford Brookes University with a first class degree and received her MArch with Distinction at the Bartlett, where her final thesis used social narratives as design parameters.

    Mary teaches design at the University of Westminster and has initiated  innovative design courses with STORE Projects, empowering young people to shape their public spaces through mixed reality.

    At JKA she has been working on proposals for affordable workspaces and a new urban room in Enfield and planning policy guidance for RB Greenwich.

  • Chandni Patel
    Project Assistant

    Chandni is an architectural designer with an interest in engagement and community participation.

    She studied architecture at the Royal College of Art and the Bartlett School of Architecture and has worked in a number of design and research practices in London, as well as teaching at Cardiff University. Chandni’s work has centred around speculative design, approaching new technologies and legislative approaches through a concentration towards the implications of alternative futures. Her masters work was nominated for a RIBA London prize in 2021.
    Chandni is currently working on a children story centre and proposals for workspaces, urban realm and business incubation outside of London.
  • Sue Yen Chong
    Project Assistant

    Sue Yen is an interdisciplinary designer who is committed to using design to achieve more with less.

    After completing her BSc in Architecture at Bath, she graduated with a first class degree at the University of Edinburgh, where her final thesis was awarded the Schinkel Prize for Architecture and the Hans-Joachim Pysall Foundation travel grant to Italy. Her work is deeply rooted in the threads that connect our urban environment to circularity and intersectional sustainability, with an attentive focus on the tiny details that make a big difference.

    At JKA, Sue Yen is working on a place plan for Ramsgate and proposals for affordable workspaces, libraries, and community spaces in London.

  • Jasmin Yeo
    Project Assistant

    Jasmin is an architectural designer who is dedicated to delivering architecture that is responsive to communities.

    Jasmin completed her BArch degree with first class honours at Sheffield University, where her thesis project was nominated for the RIBA Bronze Medal. She went on to work in both private and public sector design teams in London, playing a leading role on award-winning social value projects. Having worked in both sectors, Jasmin’s experience spans multiple scales – from civic and cultural projects, to masterplanning and strategic policy, with extensive experience of collaborative engagement and co-design processes. She is currently undertaking her MArch at the LSA.

    Jasmin has also held roles with the Architecture Foundation, as Co-Chair to the Young Trustees and Built By Us, as a member of their Learning & Development Steering Group.

    At JKA, Jasmin is working on proposals for a cycle hub in Hackney and strategies for high-street regeneration in Barnet.

  • Hailey Savage
    Project Assistant

    Hailey combines her practices in fine art with architectural and spatial considerations, exemplifying an approach that embraces materiality and engagement.

    Hailey received her Bachelor of Architecture (BArch) degree from London Metropolitan University. Fuelled by a passion for sustainable construction materials, her undergraduate thesis explored the utilisation of agricultural byproducts to reverse the economic and physical decline of villages in the South of Italy. During an extended residency with La Rivoluzione Del Seppie, she conducted practical experiments with bio-based building materials in collaboration with local farmers. Her work gained recognition, including a nomination for the RIBA Bronze Medal and the award for Best Environmental, Social, Cultural & Economic Sustainability from the East London Architecture Group.

    At JKA Hailey continues to work at the intersection between architecture, communities and sustainability. Presently, she is working on combined work space – community space projects in Ramsgate and Harrow.

  • Barnet Council
    Brent Council
    Cadogan Estates
    Camden Council
    Camden Town Unlimited
    Discover Children's Centre
    Enfield Council
    Euston Town
    Feeding Britain
    Global Generation
    Hackney Council
    Haringey Council
    High ST Works
    Islington and Shoreditch Housing Association
    Islington Council
    Islington Play Association
    Kingston Council
    Meanwhile Space
    Merton Council
    Newham Council
    Notting Hill Genesis
    Poplar Harca
    Redbridge Council
    Royal Borough of Greenwich
    Science Gallery
    Southwark Council
    South Woodford Society
    Stow Projects
    Sutton Council
    Team London Bridge
    Thanet District Council
    Thornhill Primary School
    The Peabody Trust
    Tower Hamlets Council
    Waltham Forest Council
    Westminster Council
    Windsor Walk Housing Association
What People Say
  • "JKA had their finger on the pulse. You showed us a different way of looking at things. You identified what was unique about Sutton. You found the lavender [n.b. design concept based on historic site context] – which was wonderful. I liked the spirit of adventure and experimentation."

    Manmohan Dayal
    Sutton Council

  • "The impression your project has made on the area, the community and the borough is really extraordinary. Leyton is truly transformed. This investment would not have come to Leyton without your work being so successful – things just keep getting better!"

    Claire Coghill, Leader of Waltham Forest Council
    Waltham Forest Council
    [WORKS: High Road Leyton]

  • "A massive thanks and congratulations to all involved in delivering a great piece of placemaking which has gained more and more resonance in difficult times, but driven outcomes which will hold us in great stead for the future. Hard work, a really knotty little project but we are delighted with the outcomes and it is great that this is being recognised in the industry too! Thank you all!!!"

    Guy Thomas, Head of Place Assets at Lendlease
    [WORKS: Sayer Street]

  • "I’m writing to you to say a big thank you for the Urban fresco adjacent to Alfred Hitchcock’s birthplace. I’m a local resident here and every time I’m passing this building I used to praise whoever has created it. Hope Leytonstone will also see many more projects of yours –"

    Leytonstone resident
    Waltham Forest

  • "Your team was very communicative and always gave the project 110%. You were very skilled and sensitive and really understood what was needed. On top of that you made a lot of friends on the street – that's definitely credit to Gareth & Heloise. People felt really listened to."

    Anna Burton, Project officer
    Westminster Council

  • "I thought this was an exemplar in terms of community engagement. Residents really loved the opportunity to not only chat to them but also talked to each other about Leytonstone. I’ve been impressed by the quality of the presentations, materials and crucially the strategic thinking of those involved in this project."

    Councillor Marie Pye
    Waltham Forest Council
    [WORKS: Blue House Yard]

  • "JKA's team are grounded and understand the significance of real people. The working method is innovative and you are prepared to work without needing to know what the outcome will be. Your contribution was above and beyond expectation. It felt that it was just as much your project as it was ours. You were a good critical friend, sometimes not just nodding, but provoking the client."

    Kate Beeching, Community Asset Manger
    Clarion Housing

  • "When we set out to find an architect we needed to account for the novelty of the project and had to find someone who would not be afraid of the scale of the challenge and of the inbuilt uncertainty. The service we received was absolutely superb, 100% - it would be difficult to improve. Your presence was a great reassurance through the Mayor's project review process."

    Andrew Forsey, Director
    Feeding Britain
    [WORKS: Wandsworth Food Bus]

  • "We were delighted with the service, your proposal needed to make an impact but what you delivered was beyond expectations. There was more investment on your behalf than anticipated, a real willingness to get under the skin of the place."

    Malcolm Ward, Project director
    Poplar Harca
    [WORKS: Aberfeldy Street]

  • "We have commissioned an independent assessment of the outputs of your project and you have blasted way past all the deliverables."

    Pippa Gueterbock, Senior Regeneration Officer
    Haringey Council
    [WORKS: Blue House Yard]

  • "You holistically understood the brief, which was hard. You provided a vision where you thought we could get to. The design really surpassed our expectations. There were significant challenges within the project and we resolved this in very realistic ways"

    John O'Shea, Head of Programming
    Science Gallery London

  • "You just picked up issues and resolved them and did many things that I should have done."

    Zoe Sellers, Programme Manager Town Centres
    Waltham Forest Council

  • "It has been a great pleasure to collaborate with Jan Kattein and I warmly recommend him as an artist with great inventive spirit and enormous commitment."

    Kathrin Tiedemann, Director
    Forum Freies Theater Dusseldorf

+ show more

  • Civic Trust Awards, Highly Commended, 2024

    MacEwen Awards, Commendation for a lifetime of architecture for the common good, 2024

    Civic Trust Awards (finalist), 2023

    Inspire Future Generations Award, Best Built Environment Practice, 2023

    Inspire Future Generations Award, Community Engagement (shortlist), 2023

    Inspire Future Generations Award, Award for Education Collaborations (winner), 2023

    Royal Fine Art Commission Building Beauty Award (commended), 2023

    New London Architecture, Best Meanwhile Project (winner), 2023

    Planning Award, Award for Fostering a Healthy Town Centre (winner), 2023

    Building Design, Social Value Architect of the Year Award Award (winner), 2023

    AJ Small Projects Award (shortlist), 2023

    Building London Planning Award, Best Borough Led Project (highly commended), 2023

    Pineapple Award, Creative Retrofit (winner), 2023

    Pineapple Award, Activation Reuse (finalist), 2023

    MacEwen Award Architecture for the common good (longlist, 2 projects), 2023

    Inspire Future Generations Award, Award for School collaborations (winner), 2022

    New London Architecture, Best Meanwhile Project (shortlist), 2022

    National Social Value Awards, Social Innovation Award (highly commended), 2022

    MacEwen Award
    Architecture for the common good (shortlist), 2022

    Civic Trust Awards (finalist), 2022

    Landscape Institute Awards, Excellence in Place Regeneration (winner), 2021

    AJ Architecture Awards, Landscape and Public Realm Award (shortlist), 2021

    New London Architecture
    (Best Meanwhile Project – shortlist, 3 projects), 2021

    New London Architecture
    (Best Placemaking Project – shortlist), 2021

    Structural Timber Awards, Retail and Leisure Project of the Year, 2021

    Design Council, Pinapple Award (shortlist), 2021

    Off Site Architect of the Year Award (shortlist), 2021

    MacEwen Award
    Architecture for the common good (shortlist), 2021

    New London Architecture
    (Best Meanwhile Project – unbuilt), 2020

    New London Architecture
    (Best Placemaking Project – shortlist), 2020

    New London Architecture
    (Best Workspace Project – shortlist), 2020

    LABC Award
    (Best Small Commercial Project), 2020

    Civic Trust Regional Award, 2020

    Haringey Design Award
    (Best Regeneration), 2018

    New London Architecture
    (Best Temporary Project), 2018

    European Prize for Urban Public Space
    2018, Finalist

    MacEwen Award
    Architecture for the common good
    (Shortlist, for Morden Retail Gateway), 2018

    MacEwen Award
    Architecture for the common good
    (Commendation, for Blue House Yard), 2018

    Planning Award, 2018

    Finalist, Award for Regeneration
    Civic Trust (Pro Tem Award), 2017

    Civic Trust (Regional Award), 2016

    New London Architecture
    (Best Temporary Project), 2016

    London Planning Award
    (Best Community Led Project), 2015

    Waltham Forest Design
    (Best Town Centre Project), 2014

    Regeneration and Renewal
    (commendation), 2013

    Civic Trust Award
    (community recognition), 2013

    London Planning Award
    (Best Town Centre Project), 2012
Essays and Articles
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