The Academy of St Francis of Assisi

A new-build five-storey Academy for 900 Year 7-11 students; it was the first school in the UK to have the Environment as its specialism, and the top-ranked school in the country in the ‘value-added’ official league tables in its first year of opening.  The project won numerous design awards and was published widely in architectural publications in the UK and across Europe.  It was described by the Independent newspaper as ‘Britain’s Greenest School’.  Designed by Richard whilst at Percy Thomas Partnership.


Client: Kensington Academy Trust

Location: Kensington, Liverpool



"In one word Richard was excellent.  He has been a pleasure to work with at every stage and has proved his commitment which he spoke about at the interview.  It impressed me from the start that he fully understood our brief, honed it and gave expression to it in a way that communicated his own convictions and commitment."


The Rt Revd James Jones, Bishop of Liverpool


Victoria School Federation

A major reordering of the external areas for Victoria School, a specialist Arts College for children with complex educational needs, Cherry Oak, its partner primary school, and Victoria College, its further education provision.  The projects incorporated a geodesic dome, fire pit, outdoor classrooms, willow sculptures, an art trail, and a horticulture zone, providing an income stream for college students.  In addition, a previously inaccessible part of the site comprising a wood and small brook was reopened as an opportunity for the teaching team to develop Forest School activities. Designed by Alison Davies, in her previous practice, Groundworks Architects.


"Alison energised our project, and immediately instilled confidence and enthusiasm. She is brimming with ideas and good humour coupled with a healthy pragmatism. She is highly professional and worked very hard at designing a concept that was, through diplomacy and broad consultation, a scheme that was exactly right for the school, actually surpassing expectations.

Nicky Dupays, Project Arts Consultant, Creative Partnerships."


Client: Victoria School Federation

Location: Birmingham

100 Years of Council Housing Research at University of Nottingham

Research project undertaken by Alison’s studio unit celebrating the centenary of the Addison Act: the act of parliament that first enshrined widescale local authority in the UK.  The unit has collaborated closely with Nottingham City Homes and some of their tenants and residents to explore the history of council history locally, and examine some of the architectural responses to this typology over the last century.  Project work includes consideration of real-world issues imbedded in projects of the imagination, and will culminate in a celebratory exhibition at the Urban Room in Nottingham in Summer 2020.  Featured recently by the RIBA Future Architects network:
celebrating 100 years of council housing.

Image Credits

  • 100 years of council housing collage: Freya Chitty & Rosa Wilde
  • Presentations at the Urban Room
    © Tom Morley
  • Social housing for single parents and their children: Henri Kopra
  • Reimagining community at Balloon Wood: Freya Chitty
  • Wolves © Dennis Gilbert

BSF Wolverhampton Schools

A series of predominantly remodelled and extended high schools designed with close consultation with staff, students and wider community.  New-build elements were designed to enhance the place-making qualities of each site, with external spaces given a high emphasis as learning and recreation opportunities.  The schools received several design awards and nominations. Richard Woods was lead architect, working at Capita Percy Thomas.


Client: City of Wolverhampton Council


No. 9 Regent Place

Working with Ruskin Mill Land Trust, Urban Fabric have developed design proposals, and gained Listed Building Consent, for the remodelling of the Grade-II listed building adjacent to New Standard Works.  The building will be renewed to provide a jewellery workshop social enterprise, a living skills suite for overnight accommodation for students and conference and office spaces.


Client: Ruskin Mill Land Trust

Location: Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham


  • Presentations at the Urban Room
    © Tom Morley
  • Social housing for single parents and their children: Henri Kopra
  • Reimagining community at Balloon Wood: Freya Chitty
  • Wolves © Dennis Gilbert