Digitally Crafted Architecture

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About Us

Arkilab is a creative architectural design studio based in Manchester.

Arkilab | Taken from being true to our love for ‘architecture’, its origins and translation as ‘master builder’, we look to the original Greek combining form arkhi-, and its etymology – the start or lead of something new, which will always reflect our leadership and passion for this new venture, with design, innovation and technology at the forefront of our creative solutions.

Arkilab is a joint venture between architects and commercial/project strategists. We have collaborated from as far back as the year 2000, and since then we have worked together on, amongst other projects, PFI Schools, NHS Local Improvement Finance Trust (LIFT) for primary healthcare facilities, and more recently as pioneers in design and detailing of the DfE’s offsite construction strategy for the early wave of Free Schools.

A new company, but not a new team, founding a bridge between design and commercial acumen in architectural practice.

OUR CULTURE AND VALUES

 

 

First we Sketch    |    Then we Model    |    Lastly we Build

 

 

 

Our culture is about Leadership and Passion   |    Energy = Motivation x Commitment2

 

Our Team

Iain Reece
Katerina Kofinaki
Chris Russell
Ranbir S. Bhatoa
David Gratrix
David Johnson

Iain Reece

BA (Hons) DipArch (Sheffield) ARB RIBA
Director
Iain Reece

Iain Reece

BA (Hons) DipArch (Sheffield) ARB RIBA
Director

Iain’s passions for golf, rally navigation and whisky emphasise his approach to mental and physical health, exploration and a little culture, surpassed only by his passion for creating exceptional spaces for people to explore and learn in.

A founding member of Arkilab, Iain is an experienced Architect with 22 years post qualification experience. Throughout his career, Iain has largely been involved in the education sector, originally in the Diocesan sector followed by a brief involvement with the design of PFI bids, and more recently the design of several schools ranging in value from £1m to £20m under the DfE’s Free School and Priority School Programmes.

Iain has also worked as a Design Technical Advisor for the DfE and has a detailed knowledge of DfE design and procurement processes, Output Specifications and Building Bulletins including current area and cost allocations. Iain is a talented designer and a collaborator, thriving on stakeholder engagement in this role, with excellent communication and presentation skills.

With a high level of self-motivation, galvanising a team’s collective sense of direction, Iain always keeps the end goal as the focus. With a bias for exploration, Iain looks to innovation and finding new ways of doing things, a visionary offering challenging and sometimes radical ideas, with intellectual insight.

Katerina Kofinaki

Dipl.- Ing Architecture ARB RIBA
Director
Katerina Kofinaki

Katerina Kofinaki

Dipl.- Ing Architecture ARB RIBA
Director

Katerina is passionate about design and headstands. When she is not upside down, she secretly practises for the next season of Great British Bake Off.

A founding member of Arkilab, Katerina was born and raised in Athens, Greece, naturally growing up to love art and architecture with great admiration for the Modern Greek Architecture of the 1930s.

Having worked as an architect for more than 14 years in both the UK and Greece she has delivered schemes across a range of sectors including education, healthcare, transport, cultural and residential. Katerina’s most notable project to date is the National Opera and Library of Greece. She was fortunate to work as an architect for Betaplan S.A, the local Greek partner to Renzo Piano’s Building Workshop, engaged in all phases of the project.

Katerina has won awards and honourable mentions in competition entries and is always seeking to explore new opportunities in all sectors of architecture.

Katerina has exceptional technical skills and is a talented designer with attention to detail. She has excellent communication skills, being fluent in Greek, English and French and enjoys all aspects of the Client engagement process.

Katerina leads by example and is very passionate about her work with a commitment and dedication that simply inspires her team in every way.

Chris Russell

BA(Hons) BArch (Manchester) ARB RIBA
Business Development Director
Chris Russell

Chris Russell

BA(Hons) BArch (Manchester) ARB RIBA
Business Development Director

Chris believes he is a man born too late in time. There was a time when the architect was also the master builder, and this was Chris’s time! The joy he gets from designing is only matched by the joy he gets from building – that’s if you ignore the joy he gets from drinking single malt whisky!, and has progressed over time from enthusiastic DIYer to fully fledged self-builder,

Chris has spent the 34 years of his professional life as an Architect in private practice with most of this time spent in a Senior Management role be it Partner, Director or MD. As a founding member of Arkilab, this new venture enables him to pass on the experience of practice management to a fresh generation and concentrate on his passion for building and maintaining strong relationships with Clients in order to help the new business grow and flourish.

His knowledge and experience covers all sectors, procurement routes and construction methodologies with the emphasis in recent years on education, primary healthcare and modern methods and off-site construction.

Ranbir S. Bhatoa

BA(Hons) DipArch ARB RIBA
Associate Architect
Ranbir S. Bhatoa

Ranbir S. Bhatoa

BA(Hons) DipArch ARB RIBA
Associate Architect

What Ranbir doesn’t know about health foods, and herbal teas isn’t worth knowing, surpassed only by the number of options he produces on the design of any one given project.

Ranbir has worked as Architect for more than 15 years in the UK and has been involved in schemes within multiple sectors including Commercial, Healthcare, Transport, Cultural and Residential.
More recently Ranbir has been involved within the DfE Free School and Priority Schools Programmes, providing bespoke design and detailing in the modern methods / offsite construction sector.

Ranbir is a creative and critical thinker who pushes experimentation with innovative materials and new technologies.

With excellent design and technical skills, he is passionate about every detail of a project. He has the ability to lead and work collaboratively in teams to meet project deadlines and budgets.

David Gratrix

Director
David Gratrix

David Gratrix

Director

David is a senior property and estates professional with over 25 years’ experience, engaging effectively with clients at all levels ensuring strategic estate solutions can be implemented. Operating very successfully in the Public Private Partnership field, David has an excellent track record in the delivery of health and social projects with challenging timeframes and budgets.

A founding member of Arkilab, David is also an experienced manager and leader of multi-disciplinary teams delivering strategic estates management and project delivery with Castle Gate Projects. Prior to this, David was a Project Director for three LIFT (Local Improvement Finance Trusts) companies and Development Director for the private equity partner.

He was responsible for delivering 14 private financed health/mixed use developments over 35,000m2/£120m in a six year period, five-year estate planning, rationalisation and building compliance on multi agency sites, supporting the ‘one public place’ agenda, delivery of two carbon negative accredited schemes and the development of a benchmark health and education offsite construction design and construction model.

David Johnson

Director
David Johnson

David Johnson

Director

David Johnson is an experienced and effective business leader with a proven track record of delivery. David’s board-level experience gained over 15 years, of business development, strategic corporate growth and Public Private Partnerships (PPP) means Arkilab’s clients benefit from a deep knowledge of how professional service delivery makes the highest impact within your organisation.

Currently David also heads his own specialist PPP – Castle Gate group of companies and David was previously Group Commercial Director for a leading investment and development Group.

Operating in the PPP and Joint Venture arena, David has delivered to financial close PPP/PFI projects worth over one billion pounds predominantly in the education and primary health sectors, gaining a reputation for his ability to deliver results under pressure and for the delivery of value for money and affordability in public private partnership projects.

David is also a founder of two Free Schools and a Multi Academy Trust Trustee.

 

 

Architectural design   |    Where art, technology and people collaborate

 

 

 

Let’s think about your next project