Kirsten Lees

Kirsten is the Managing Partner of Grimshaw’s London studio; overseeing the development of the studio as it continues to grow.  She is a highly experienced architect with over 25 years’ experience in architecture, strategic planning, urban design and regeneration in sensitive environments within the arts, sports and master planning sectors. She brings insight and creativity to the development of strategic projects, and she demonstrates strong conceptual judgment when integrating buildings into sensitive settings, both urban and rural

Genuine innovation and architectural distinction distinguish Kirsten’s projects, which are founded on the insightful translation of client and stakeholder objectives. Her work has been acknowledged for its subtle response to place, the pre-eminence of the cultural agenda and its unique expressive and material qualities.

She was shortlisted for the AJ Woman Architect of the Year award in 2014.

Kirsten is a creative and collaborative design leader who is capable of inspiring her teams and collaborating with engineering, construction and client teams to achieve optimum solutions. She has significant experience in managing complex stakeholder environments, and she is skilled at thoroughly understanding the impact of strategic, regional and political drivers.  Her work demonstrates a clear understanding that commercial viability must be balanced with the demands of local plans and the requirements of the local community to deliver tangible legacy benefits.  Project examples include the Mönchengladbach urban regeneration strategy, the Wimbledon Master Plan, the Gilston Park Estate Master Plan, Didcot Garden Town and the regeneration programme for Hammersmith Town Centre. She is currently developing the Koç Contemporary Art Museum in Istanbul, and a new grandstand for Curragh Racecourse.

Kirsten is an inspiration within the practice and beyond, due to her unparalleled vision and commitment to high-quality architecture and belief that architecture can transform people’s lives.  She has led a number of charitable initiatives within the office including a major construction project in Rwanda with Bridges to Prosperity and her Pro Bono work with Passmores Academy and Places for People, developing a new skills centre in Harlow.  Embracing her position as Managing Partner Kirsten has taken a pivotal role in Grimshaw’s Women in Architecture & the Diversity & Inclusivity programme, mentoring and inspiring younger architects.  Her membership in the Equilibrium group extends her influence to the wider industry.