Design Process

Our design process fuses meticulous research and technical expertise with flair and imagination. Rather than pursuing a house style, EPR Architects believes all buildings should flow from their context and their brief.


We begin with a detailed site analysis that goes far beyond the red line site boundary in order to thoroughly understand the broader context. This includes delving into the history of the site and its surroundings, understanding the community, context and potential for social benefit, and analysing building heights, materials and details.

This research forms the bedrock of our design. Understanding the constraints and opportunities enables a robust and well-grounded design response, whether bold and imaginative or carefully respectful. This is especially true in our work reviving heritage assets, where we gain a forensic understanding of each building before formulating the best way forward.


Our designs are informed by a series of design workshops at key points in the design process. From the onset, these embrace sustainability goals and ensure that all technical design requirements are met, in collaboration with the technical services team.

Our design teams also draw on the expertise of EPR’s team of in-house design champions, who are on hand to offer constructive insights from beyond the project team. In this way, valuable synergies from different sectors can be achieved.


EPR values the role of hand sketching, which is used extensively throughout the design development in addition to screen-based design methods.

Models play an intrinsic role, from rough card massing models right through to 3D printed details. Created by EPR’s in-house model makers, these enable a swift exploration of ideas, form and materials. We also make use of the latest visualisation software to test designs in the urban streetscape. Both encourage more interactive discussions with our clients, who are involved throughout the design process.


EPR enjoys material experimentation, and has worked with experts outside the practice, including ceramicist Kate Malone, to develop bespoke finishes for a number of projects.

Our context-driven design process enables the best possible outcomes, not only for clients and for those using our buildings, but for all those who experience them.