Nissen Richards Studio strengthens senior team with new promotions and appointments

Design Insider is thrilled to celebrate the growth of Nissen Richards Studio, a distinguished exhibition design-focused studio renowned for its innovative approach and multidisciplinary expertise. Founded in 2010 by Pippa Nissen and Jim Richards, this double RIBA National Award-winning practice has consistently pushed the boundaries of design, seamlessly integrating master planning, architecture, exhibitions, and more into its impressive portfolio.

As the studio continues to expand its international footprint, taking on diverse projects from experimental theatre designs to significant cultural buildings, in England, Jersey, Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Malaysia, India and the USA, Nissen Richards Studio announces a series of strategic promotions and a key appointment. Sophie Mitchell, a Senior Architect who has worked at the 14-year-old practice for 9 years – and was formerly an Associate – has now been promoted to Senior Associate. Senior Architect Francesco Bitelli, who joined Nissen Richards Studio in 2022, has been made an Associate. New appointment Paula Trindade Morgan joins the company as a Senior Architect and Associate, bringing the company’s second tier of Senior Associate and Associate management to eight people, helping Directors Pippa Nissen and Jim Richards run the studio’s increasingly-international portfolio

Design Insider is particularly excited to support our Design Ambassador, Pippa Nissen, as she guides the studio through their continuing growth and creativity.

‘We are really proud of the work that this team has done on behalf of Nissen Richards, and we are thrilled to expand our management and senior team to allow us to be able to continue to take on complex and larger projects, as well as to help control quality across the office.’ Pippa Nissen, Director, Nissen Richards Studio

 Francesco Bitelli, Sophie Mitchell, and Paula Trindade Morgan

Sophie Mitchell

Senior Associate Sophie Mitchell’s 9-year tenure has seen her working primarily within the company’s exhibition design arm, especially on projects with an architectural remit. Key projects have included The National Waterways Museum in Gloucester, set within the Grade II listed Llanthony Warehouse building on the Gloucester Docks, and ‘Forgotten Masters’ for The Wallace Collection, which featured the work of Indian master painters originally commissioned by the East India Company and received a 5* review from Jonathan Jones in The Guardian. Sophie also worked with Nissen Richards Studio Director Jim Richards on the new-build viewing tower at Anglo-Saxon burial ground Sutton Hoo – a project which went on to win an RIBA National Award in 2022, as well as Dezeen’s Alternative Stirling Prize. Also in 2022 for Sutton Hoo, Sophie was shortlisted for the M J Long Prize, jointly organised by The Architectural Review and The Architects’ Journal to celebrate exemplary work by women and non-binary architects in practice, for their work as project architect on a building completed in the last two years.

Sophie commented on her promotion to Senior Associate:

‘I have thoroughly enjoyed being part of Nissen Richards Studio as it has grown over the last 9 years. This time has enabled me to build a wealth of experience within the cultural and heritage sector. It is a privilege to work on such a diverse range of projects, often in complex historical settings. As a studio, we enjoy using rich narrative storytelling as a driver for these projects, which makes for an exciting and creative environment to continue to work in.’

Francesco Bitelli

Associate Francesco Bitelli, a native of Bologna in northern Italy, studied architecture in the city of Ferrara before working on retail and residential projects in a Bologna practice for a period of three years. He moved to the UK in 2016, working on residential projects for RM_A Architects and then on a variety of projects during a three-year tenure at Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands. Francesco has worked both across the architecture and exhibition departments of Nissen Richards Studio, from the highly-sustainable conversion of former farm properties at Hartdene Barns in Kent to the expansion plans for legendary grass roots music venue Clwb Ifor Bach in Cardiff. He is currently working on an industrial heritage museum within a historic dockyard in Sarawak, Malaysia.

Francesco commented:

‘I came to Nissen Richards Studio to get more hands-on experience and have more ownership over projects. I wanted to be involved in the full-life planning of projects from concept right down to the final technical details on site, which is where my passion really lies. This is exactly what my role is allowing me to do here and I’m very much enjoying the challenges of complex and often historical sites.’

Paula Trindade Morgan

Associate Paula Trindade Morgan studied design and then architecture in her native city of Lisbon, before moving to the UK in 2006. Paula is now a highly-experienced Senior Architect, whose previous experience includes working at Dixon Jones on the Saïd Business School in Oxford and the Exhibition Road project in London, before moving on to Stanton Williams. There, over a period of eight years, Paula worked on projects such as the Sainsbury’s Laboratory, University of Cambridge; the Musée d’Arts in Nantes and the Lee Valley Tennis and Hockey Centre for the London 2012 Olympics. Directly prior to joining Nissen Richards Studio, Paula worked with VPPR Architects on Marina Abramović’s solo exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts. Paula is currently working on four different exhibition design projects in her new role, variously located in England, Jersey, Iceland and India.

‘I was very attracted to the cultural project experience at Nissen Richards Studio’ Paula commented. ‘Cultural projects really allow you to think about the emotional experience of visitors in a space and provide a constant and stimulating freshness of subject matter.’


About Alys Bryan

Alys is a knowledgeable design editor who is focused on instigating conversations, both online and in-person, with industry experts which challenge, educate and advance the commercial interior sector. Her training and 15 years of professional experience as a furniture designer for the commercial sector makes her uniquely placed to lead Design Insider as Editor
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