‘Championing sustainability’ at heart of new Hackney Design Review Panel


The influential Hackney Design Review Panel (DRP) has been refreshed with the appointment of 33 panel members tasked with maintaining high-quality development across the borough. 

These professionals provide invaluable design input into proposed developments in Hackney with a knowledge of the borough and expertise in a range of disciplines, including architecture, urban design, landscape and public realm, building conservation and heritage, sustainability, engineering and town planning. 

To help provide a degree of continuity, approximately half of the panel’s roster is composed of previous members who have been re-appointed and the other half is made of new panel members who have been added to bring new perspectives, covering different areas of expertise, with varied experiences, backgrounds and who add to the panel’s diversity.

Sumita Singha, an award-winning architect, academic and author, joins the panel as a new member having served on many RIBA committees for over 25 years and set up its equality forum, Architects for Change. She is a non-executive director of Moorfields Eye Hospital, author of many books, trustee of four charities and an academic.

She said: “I joined the Hackney Design Review Panel because I have worked in Hackney and love the place! I'd welcome the chance to make a difference through championing sustainable and ethically led designs, especially as we seek solutions for the climate and environmental crisis.”

Returning Panel chair Paul Reynolds (pictured), a Chartered Landscape Architect & Urban Designer, is the founding director of Tapestry - an interdisciplinary urbanism practice based in Hackney Wick. He is an active advocate for design quality in the built environment and promotes the values of a landscape-led design approach to placemaking.

He said: “It’s an honour to be invited back as a chair of the Hackney DRP, and to be able to continue working alongside a group of diverse professionals with both technical and local knowledge to support the excellent work that the panel does promoting design quality in the Borough’s built environment. 

“Having been involved with the panel for a number of years now, it is great to now be seeing schemes that we have reviewed in past years being built and appearing in the Hackney Design Awards. A particular highlight for me has been supporting the Council’s own delivery of high quality new social housing - directly helping to improve the lives of residents - with many schemes also being used as exemplars for other authorities.”

The panel was one of the first in London when it was established in 2006 to help raise the standard of design across all types of development, as part of the Council’s wider objectives to achieve balanced, sustainable communities and neighbourhoods. It has reviewed more than 200 schemes, many of which are now built and have become nominated and award winning projects.

Hackney faces enormous pressures to provide sustainable growth through new development, making the need for quality design all the more important and the DRP, alongside the Council’s own design experts, is pivotal in achieving this. 

It is not only the panel membership which has been refreshed but also the panel’s terms of reference have been updated to ensure it operates in line with current best practice and in compliance with the London Quality Review Charter.

The new Hackney DRP membership is as follows:

Amandeep Singh Kalra, Be First

Bill Webb, Able Partners

Carolina Caneva, PRP

Catrina Stewart, Office S&M

Cordula Weisser, ZCD Architects

Dominic Cullinan, Studio Cullinan and Buck Architects

Donald McCrory, Donald McCrory Architectural Studio

James Lord, HTA

Jo McCafferty, Levitt Bernstein Associates

Julia Erdem, BDP

Julia Ratcliffe, Scale Consulting

Kasang Kajang, Ksquared

Kate Graham, The Heritage Practice

Katy Marks, Citizens Design Bureau Ltd

Louise Goodison, Cazenove Architects (Chair)

Murray Kerr, Denizen Works

Oscar Gomes, Architect

Patricia Woodward, matthew lloyd architects

Paul Reynolds, Tapestry (Chair)

Philip Turner, AHMM

Russell Brown, HawkinsBrown

Sarah Allan, Solidspace

Siu Pei Choi, Wates Construction

Stephen Cherry, Horden Cherry Lee Architects

Sumita Singha, Ecologic Architects

Susan Lowenthal, WSP

Susanne Tutsch, Erect architecture

Thomas Bender, Montagu Evans

Thomas Bryans, IF_DO

Tom Stebbing, John Stebbing Architects ltd

Valeria Segovia, Gensler

Wayne Head, Curl la Tourelle Head Architects

Zaira Iacopelli, Roger Mears Architects