What does your business do?
We are an award winning West London architectural practice that focuses on contemporary minimalist designs with warmth and colour. Matt Keeler established KSKa in 1994 after a distinguished career as Associate at Nicholas Grimshaw & Partners. Our work is predominantly within the residential sector, ranging from small rear extensions to complete new build houses and flats. We have also designed office spaces, small cafés, a youth shelter, and architectural products.
What motivated you to do what you do?
We have a passion to achieve the extra-ordinary and aim to produce timeless architecture that is emotionally rewarding to inhabit. We do large and small projects, and work with clients who have aspirations to transfer their spaces into something special. They are looking for the out of ordinary, transforming a home into something special. We work hard to maximise hard earned budgets and deliver beyond expectations.
What is your Unique Selling Point?
Our mission statement that: ‘We don’t do ordinary’ – we always strive to propose clever, lateral design answers. To do this; we maximise potential in every inch of available space, making budgets go a long way while also sourcing the best and most innovative sustainable materials and systems available. Our clients have aspirations, and we use the theatre of light and space to deliver calm, contemporary solutions that surprise and delight.
Who is your ideal customer/client?
We enjoy working with people who have seen and are excited about our work. For us, the employment of an architect means starting a design team with the client. Our best designs are the product of active development with clients – and are also the designs that best represent their personalities and lifestyles. For each and every project we oversee the whole process: from design to planning submission to bringing it to life on site.
What gives your business the edge over your competitors?
KSKa’s director Matt Keeler is interested in all aspects of design. Before establishing KSKa he was an associate with Nicholas Grimshaw & Partners, for whom he worked for a total of seven years. He also spent three years working in New York City with leading practices: Gwathmey Siegel & Associates, and Swanke Hayden Connell Architects. With over 25 years of professional experience, he has been involved in: transport, sports and leisure, education, financial, and museum designs. He was fortunate to be at Gwathmey Siegel during the time that the extension to the Guggenheim was being designed, and also worked on Steven Spielberg’s apartment. At SHCA he worked on the renovation of the Statue of Liberty as well as a number of Manhattan skyscrapers. His portfolio also includes work on many landmark projects including: Waterloo International Terminal and The Berlin Stock Exchange, Communications & Services Centre.
Our team also takes on architectural assistants with strong design skills and top degrees from the foremost architectural schools. KSKa puts all of this experience to use extensively within West London, and has an almost perfect planning approval rate for projects. We have worked in a variety of locations and sectors, completing an eco dental practice in Chiswick, a beach house by the sea, a youth shelter, and a complete house transformation in Aldenham. For our work we have won many prestigious awards: from RIBA to the Brilliant Business Award, the NLA Don’t Move Improve award, and three-time winner of the local Ealing Civic Society Award.
Do you have a particular service or product you’d like to flag up here?
We have a passion for sustainability and efficient design, and are currently developing a design for a Passivhaus new-build home. Our projects include high tech glazing, sedum roofs, rain water harvesting, wind catchers, passive heating and cooling systems, and insulation. We also source distinctive sustainable interior design materials like recycled glass worktops and bamboo floors. We feel that within our architecture there is a lot more than meets the eye, and eco-friendly design can be one of these hidden factors.
How do people get in touch with you?
All of our information is available at www.kska.co.uk and we are always happy to discuss potential projects over the phone or via email. Our favourite contact point is during London Open House each September where we have been showing projects for fourteen years running – it is a great opportunity for people to come and meet us and see our designs first hand! We keep active Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, and Houzz profiles, but have also had people get in touch through past client recommendations. We also appear in numerous articles on our projects in: The Sunday Times, Time Out, Sunday Express, architectural magazines, The Metro, and The Evening Standard.
What is your biggest challenge in the current climate?
We have noticed a trend that people want to get increasingly more for lower and lower costs. Rather than let this inhibit designs, we take budget constraints in full stride and find creative solutions that often result in something spectacular!
Where do you think your business will be in 5 years’ time?
Creating architecture is a very multidisciplinary process. Our design limitations and developments are tied in very closely with those of current technologies, and construction materials. We stay very in-touch with these fields and have seen many exciting developments in products. With these we are able to do things that may not have been possible in the past – for instance: using larger structural glass rooflights and beams, creating origami-shaped roofs, and incorporating lifts into homes. In 5 years we think that our business will offer more and more stunning solutions to enhance living.
Has ABN helped your business?
With its regular events and information, ABN continues to be a valuable ever-growing community that provides us with an outlet for networking. The lively meet-ups that we have attended help us to solidify our affinity with other local businesses, and build a mutually beneficial momentum to improve the area.
What do you like about the Askew Road?
There seems to be a bit of everything! We are regulars in lots of the shops and restaurants so we have always felt welcomed and formed lasting connections with the business owners. From this we have taken on multiple home extensions and new build houses for the people working and living along the road.
How easy is it to shop locally in Askew Road?
The Ginger Pig and Lavelli bakery have great food options, and we’ll often pick up nibbles for the office. There is a good spread of local supermarkets down the road and little shops like Cocktail and the family run Dels are great for picking up unique things for everyday use.
What are your favourite shops and businesses in Askew Road?
There are a great variety of friendly cafés where we often have working lunches; we frequent Café Louche and Detour, which has actually led to us helping them to redesign and rebrand! When the weather’s nice we enjoy the drinks and food at the recently refurbished garden of The Eagle, and it provides a warm and cosy atmosphere during colder seasons. Adams Café is another nice place to go in the evening. We also do our specialist printing of flyers and posters at the Yellow Print Shop, which has helped a lot with our publicity.
What do you think Askew Road will be like in 5 years’ time?
The businesses along the street seem to keep improving and developing – there are more and more nice places to shop and cafés to relax in. Over the next 5 years hopefully we will see more of the same, and with a little luck KSKa can continue to work with local businesses to help with refurbishments and the design process.
What shops and businesses do you think Askew Road lacks?
We have been involved with setting up some of the cafés along Askew Road with some local artists to display artwork, but there could be a larger space dedicated to this. There are a lot of artists in the area, and a gallery to showcase and sell their work would be nice.
16 Ellingham Road
T 0044 (0) 20 8743 1984
F 0044 (0) 20 8743 1984
‘We don’t do ordinary’