The Practice

Emmett Russell Architects are a Bristol based architectural practice engaged in a broad portfolio of work including projects in housing, urban design, education, community buildings as well as bespoke residential projects. The practice was originally formed in 2001 as Tom Russell Architects and entered a new era in 2014 when it became Emmett Russell Architects Ltd.

The practice draws on the wide experience of its two directors, Victoria Emmett and Tom Russell, both of whom have held key positions in nationally and internationally respected practices prior to establishing ERA.

What we do

Together we have developed a reputation for imaginative and ambitious designs within the constraints of existing buildings and sensitive sites. We have won a number of high profile architectural competitions including two National RIBA competitions and the international Europan 9 competition.

Our practice is informed by our engagement with teaching and research. We are an RIBA Chartered Practice and a Member of the Green Register of Construction Professionals.

Asking questions

As architects we work collaboratively with people, whether individual clients, companies, educational establishments, communities, builders or developers, to support them in creating new buildings and to improve existing ones.

Whether we are working with a family or a large institution we strive to identify the real needs and aspirations of our clients. This often involves questioning prior assumptions about the project in order to ensure that the final outcome is the right one.

Treading Lightly

No site is a blank canvas. Understanding the context of our projects is central to our approach. Whether we are working within a listed building or on vacant land we aim to turn the constraints and conditions of the site into opportunities. In this way we are able to realize the full potential of each site, developing unique buildings that ‘belong’ to their place.

Social and environmental sustainability is at the core of our approach and is re-enforced by our teaching and research. We are members of the Green Register of Construction Professionals.

 

The Team

(above from left to right)

 

Tom Russell

Tom was educated at Cambridge and Harvard Universities completing his Diploma in 1994. He worked for several practices in London including Tony Fretton Architects before returning to his native Bristol in 1998. As well as running the practice Tom has been involved in teaching at UWE, Bath, Cardiff and Cambridge Universities. Tom has been a panel member for the Bristol Urban Design Forum and a Trustee of the Architecture Cenre.

Al Jarratt

Al studied Architecture and Planning at the University of the West of England.  He has a wide range of experience working in different practices, including Gianni Botsford Architects in London.  

Nicola Chan

Nicola joined the Practice at the beginning of 2016 from 6a Architects in London. She is a project architect and has previously worked on projects for Churchill College Cambridge and for the Davies Street Gallery.

Victoria Emmett

Vicky is a director and co-founder of Emmett Russell Architects. She studied at Cambridge University where she graduated with distinction. In 2003 Vicky moved to Bristol from London where she was an associate at Hawkins Brown Architects. As well as her commitments in practice, Vicky has been involved in teaching at the University of the West of England Since 2003.

Rachel Witham

Rachel is a Project Architect and has been a key member of the practice since 2011. She studied at Cardiff University, graduating with First Class Honours and MArch with Distinction. Previously, she has worked at Block Architecture in London where she worked  the Ministry of Sound and the V&A as well as working on projects for retail and residential clients. Rachel runs a second year design studio at Cardiff University.

Kelwin Palmer

Kelwin joined the practice in 2015 having studied at Cardiff University and TU Delft. Kelwin has previously worked in France, Germany and in London as well as working on his own project in Mid-Wales. 

Julia Wilson

Julia studied at Oxford Brookes University and Plymouth University graduating with First Class honours and Distinction respectively. Prior to joining us she worked in two practices in Bristol and worked as a development officer for the Bristol Community Land Trust.

Chris Browne

Chris studied Architecture at the University of Cardiff. Before joining Emmett Russell Architects he worked for award winning practices in London and Wales including Pitman Tozer and Loyn & co. 

Anne Bellamy

Anne graduated with a First Class Degree from Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design. She worked for Fifth Studio Architects in Cambridge for two years before joining us in 2015.