Dean Smith founded SCH in 2000.  With Nathan Hodges as a fellow Director, they form a management team with a strong interest in the importance and function of space, particularly in urban environments, and a commitment to the pursuit of eloquent and sustainable design solutions.


Since its formation, the practice has steadily increased in size and scope. A balance has been maintained between the experience of the Directors and the energy of the Design Team and, today, the practice combines a fresh, clear approach to creativity with all the benefits of an established multi-disciplinary firm.


Based in London, our approach is rooted in the urban and are sensitive to the growing pressures of urbanism. From a small gallery in Herzog and DeMeuron’s Tate Modern to the complete regeneration of a major urban block in Covent Garden, much of our work addresses the need for regeneration through the retention, reinvention and extension of existing buildings.


Through many such projects, we have become involved in the complex relationship between the past and present that is so influential in the urban landscape. We engage with the conflicts between the poetic and the technical, built objects and vacant space, and between the theoretical and the pragmatic. The concern is always to balance the abstract with the concrete and to merge the aspirations of the client with the contextual demands of a site.


Integral to the work of the practice is simplicity. In response to the complexity of the urban environment, we believe design has a duty to reduce and clarify. Throughout each project, we strive to understand the essence of a design problem and find the simplest possible creative solution. With this approach, we have built a reputation for effective problem solving, deep technical understanding and imaginative solutions, the strength of which is reflected by the high number of repeat clients.