t-sa is an architectural atelier focused on producing work of enduring tactile quality. Its methodology deeply engages with each character of the specific context and materiality of each project. Context meaning the existing built fabric, its details, city, landscape as well as the stories and the narratives of the client and the inhabitants. Social, cultural, economical and political aspects of the background context also play important roles regardless of the scale of the project. t-sa believes in working with what already exists on site in the most economical means, delivering enriched and renewed built-life to each project. The notion of renewal is researched and investigated within the practice and through teaching at t-sa forum, our own independently run research school. Through materials and each specific context, t-sa has an interest in emotional qualities in the textures and tactility as well as connecting to the past and the future for each project environment.
From refurbishment of small spaces to new build projects, t-sa seeks for the core essence of each architectural challenge for our clients and aims to create timeless architecture with clarity and sensitive subtleties. It is helping to construct the future heritage of our built environment and landscapes.
t-sa was set up in 1996, founded by Yuli Toh and Takero Shimazaki. Formerly known as Toh Shimazaki Architecture, it works as a team discipline, often collaborating with designers, researchers and photographers on projects.
The Team and Collaborators
Takero Shimazaki — Director
Takero graduated from the University of Wales, Cardiff and The Bartlett School of Architecture, London. Having previously worked for Itsuko Hasegawa Atelier, Richard Rogers Partnership and Alison and Peter Smithson, he co-founded t-sa with Yuli Toh in 1996. He taught at the Architectural Association between 2010 and 2015 and is an external examiner at Cambridge and Cardiff. He currently runs Diploma Unit 8 at The Cass, London Metropolitan University.
Jennifer Frewen — Associate Director
Jennifer having graduated from Dublin Institute of Technology, worked for an architecture and masterplanning practice in Dublin. She has been an integral part of t-sa since participating in t-sa’s research workshop, t-sa forum following her degree. She is involved with guiding the direction and delivery of t-sa’s ongoing works, bringing a strong aesthetic, precision and detail to each project. She has become a lead designer in the team and a credit in the development of the practice.
Cécile David — Associate
Cécile graduated from École d’Architecture in Marne-la-Vallée, France before moving to the UK in 2011. She completed her professional qualifications at the University of Westminster. Prior to joining t-sa in 2018 she worked in several practices in Switzerland and London, where she worked on the delivery of several projects, ranging from residential extensions, retail refurbishment and a large student halls of residence in Cambridge. She is currently leading the development and delivery of cultural, commercial and heritage projects, focusing on their materiality and detailed expression.
Ricky Kwok — Architect
Ricky completed his architectural studies at the Cass School of Architecture and previously studied at the University of Brighton. Prior to joining t-sa he has worked on a range of projects from delivering small residential extensions and office refurbishments through to housing and public realm schemes for local authorities across London.
Karabo Turner — Architect
Paolo Emilio Pisano — Architectural Designer
Joshua King — Architectural Designer
Joshua graduated from the University of Manchester before completing his diploma at the Cass School of Architecture. Prior to joining t-sa he worked on a number of residential developments, office buildings and educational facilities across the UK. Joshua continues to consider material culture within architectural design through his on-going contribution to projects within the office.
Anton Gorlenko — Collaborative Photographer
Anton completed a Masters Degree on the history of European Neoclassical architecture at Moscow State University. He has worked as an art critic for various magazines and in 2008 launched 1064 ° Goldsmiths Guild, a creative agency working on book design, installations, films and jewellery. Since moving to London in 2012 he studied architecture at the Architectural Association and is currently working as a freelance architectural designer, collaborating with Strelka Institute.
Doll Knowles — Hospitality
Ian Parlane — Financial Director
Christine White — Bookkeeper
Past team and collaborators
John Ahern, Tomoyo Arimoto, Louisa Barfoot, Jason Bechtle, Simon Davison, Emmanuel Dupont, Angie Foong, Jon Errazti De Miguel, Tom Gibson, David Giera, Tanya Goknel, Isabell Gonzaga, Egon Hansen, Emily Harland, Aki Hiraoka, Takehiko Iseki, Yeewan Iu, Risa Iwashita, James Kitson, Stefan Kogler, James Lloyd-Mostyn, Charlie Luxton, Kate Luxton, Anna Mansfield, Monika Marinova, Alasdair Mckenzie, Rosie McLaren, Craig Mitchell, Carin Nakanishi, Haruka Nogami, Antonio Otero, Giacomo Pelizzari, Edward Pepper, Colin Priest, Ben Rogers, Keyura Alva Samson, Mami Sayo, Wee-Liam Seow, Meiri Shinohara, Sarah Smith, Erika Suzuki, Kenji Suzuki, Take Suzuki, Kirsty Taylor, Anna Maria Trauttmansdorff, Franziska Wagner, Yu Hsiang Wang, Yoko Watanabe, Ceri Williams.
Graphic Designer and Screen print artists
Luma Studio – Lucie Murtagh and Mark Stonehouse
- Nina C. Müller, ‘Everyday Atmospheres An interview with the architect Takero Shimazaki’, Baunetz-id, January 2021
- Nina C. Müller, ‘Japanese Live in London, Apartment in the Barbican complex by Takero Shimazaki Architects’, Baunetz-id, November 2020
- Margot Guislain, ‘Maison de Ville, Londres’, AMC No.287, Intérieurs 2020, July 2020
- Luca Trombetta, ‘Archi di cemento e un giardino zen. A Londra il rifugio di una coppia di creativi innamorati del Wabi-Sabi’, Living N.04 2020, April 2020, p. 196-205
- Dominic Lutyens, ‘Inner sanctum’, Design Anthology UK issue 2, April 2019, p. 64-79
- Antonino Cardillo, ‘Colori nelle ombre’, Casabella 895, March 2019, p. 30-39
- T.Shimazaki, ‘Takero Shimazaki is still learning from Palladio’, RIBA Journal, January 2019
- I.Priest, ‘City sanctuary’,The RIBA Journal, January 2019, p. 8-11
- R.Barr, ‘Casting Spells’, Architecture Today, Issue 294, January 2019, p.46-50
- R.Wilson, ‘Building study: City Bolthole’, The Architects’ Journal: The AJ Architecture Awards, Issue 23, vol. 245, December 2018, p.34-46
- Venice Biennale, August to November 2012, Venice Takeaway, British Pavilion: Architecture of People, Nature and Place, 'Venice Takeaway'
- AA Project Review, June 2011, Intermediate Unit 2 – Crafted Narratives
- TOTO Gallery, September 2010, Adaptable Structures
- Nanyodo Bookshop, April 2010, Adaptable Structures and Tactile Details: Exhibition of Work from the t-sa Tokyo Forum
- Royal Academy, March 2009, Andrea Palladio: His life and legacy
- Embassy of Japan, June to July 2008, Craft in Context: an Exhibition of Work from the Toh Shimazaki Architecture Forum
- Buro Happold, February to March 2008, Architecture: Where to? Toh Shimazaki: The Working Table
- Zollverien, Essen, Germany, August 2006, Talking Cities, ENTRY2006 – Toh Shimazaki Installation
- Bookartbookshop, May 2005, Draw It: An exhibition of drawings on the cover of Blueprint. Image, Takero Shimazaki.
- Royal Academy, August 2004, Summer Exhibition, Open & Shut House Collage
t-sa forum architecture school
t-sa is actively involved in education. t-sa forum, an independent school run by the practice was set up in 2006 and is now running annual workshops. t-sa forum aims to bridge the gap between academia and practice, teaching students to test creative working methods in professional environments. t-sa forum is a research wing to t-sa and has been investigating the idea of renewal in our built environment, focusing on ‘refurbishment’ as a theme in buildings in the UK. Takero Shimazaki taught at Architectural Association (2010-2015) and is currently an external examiner at Cardiff and Cambridge.