Barreto-Smith Architects is a Canterbury based architectural studio with a passion for reinvigorating existing buildings and working with sensitive sites.

We have the expertise to deliver beautifully crafted buildings which are both uplifting and functional. We achieve this through a thoughtful design process and a hands-on collaborative approach.

We believe that the most successful buildings are the ones designed in close collaboration with our clients. We advocate regular design workshops to encourage an open and honest dialogue between client and architect. By using a range of design tools such as physical models, sketches, and three-dimensional representation we help our clients to truly engage with and contribute to the development of the design.

At the heart of what we do is a desire to do the right thing for our planet. We pride ourselves on creating sustainable and socially responsible buildings. We believe that one of the most effective approaches is to breathe new life into existing buildings, minimising the carbon footprint of a building over its lifespan. Combined with the use of durable and sustainable materials, this ensures that our buildings are designed to stand the test of time.

We aim to produce memorable and elegant buildings. Our projects do not have a style, instead each responds uniquely to its brief, context, and site history to truly capture the spirit of place.

About Barreto-Smith

Who We Are

Barreto-Smith Architects was founded by Chris Smith and Rossana Barreto-Smith in 2023.

Rossana and Chris met whilst working at Stanton Williams Architects in London. Following a combined 25 years as key members of the Stanton Williams team, working alongside talented and inspirational professionals, they embarked on the adventure of forming their own studio. They combine a desire to create beautifully crafted small-scale buildings with the experience, quality, and professionalism of established award-winning architectural practice.

Portrait Rossana Barreto-Smith

Rossana Barreto-Smith

Director
BA (Hons) MArch DipArch ARB

Rossana studied architecture at PUCRS University in Brazil and the University of Greenwich in London. She spent 11 years at Stanton Williams Architects, becoming an Associate in 2021, where she worked on several high-profile, award-winning projects including the Riverwalk riverside luxury residential development. She acted as Project Architect for the extension of Tintagel House and the Grade II Listed Rhodes House project in Oxford.

Rossana also worked at Wilkinson Eyre Architects and was involved in the Weston Library project in Oxford. Home of the Bodleian Libraries’ Special Collections, the project was shortlisted for the RIBA Stirling Prize in 2016.

Rossana was a member of the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion working group while at Stanton Williams and is passionate about increasing diversity in the built environment professions.

Portrait Chris Smith

Chris Smith

Director
BA (Hons) MArch DipArch ARB

Chris studied architecture at Oxford Brookes University and the Architectural Association in London. Following graduation in 2004, he has worked at several leading architecture practices in London including Allies and Morrison and Henley Halebrown.

Most recently, Chris spent 14 years at Stanton Williams Architects, becoming an Associate in 2021. At Stanton Williams, he worked on several high-profile, award-winning projects, including the Hackney Marshes Centre and Kings Cross Square, and acted as Project Architect for the Cambridge Judge Business School and Norton Folgate mixed use development in London.

Chris has performed as a mentor for the Open City Accelerate programme, aimed at increasing diversity in the built environment professions. He has also contributed as a guest critic for the architecture course at the University of Greenwich.

Our Approach

We design through the process of making. Just as architecture can be a physical experience so is our design process. We use physical models and hand drawn sketches to test ideas, explore materials and engage with our clients. This tactile process of making things can encourage creative responses to design challenges that may not be immediately obvious.

We believe the use of models helps to give our clients a sense of inhabiting their buildings. Models are tangible and can help us experience how one space flows into the next or how light changes at different times of the day. We use models to help our clients contribute to the development of a design and to look forward to their completed project.

We believe that good design is a result of rigour, critical thinking and research. We promote regular workshops and listen carefully to our client’s needs, sometimes gently challenging them, to fully understand their brief. For each project, we aim to develop a clear and tailored concept to help guide the design. We immerse ourselves in the history of the site, its local materials and cultural context to ensure each project has a unique sense of place.

About Barreto-Smith

Our Values

We are committed to delivering high quality, thoughtful architecture with a sense of place. We aim to design beautifully crafted buildings that enhance their surroundings, improve our client’s lives and are environmentally considerate.

Sustainability is at the core of our approach and environmental considerations are key to all stages of our design process. We believe in a holistic approach to sustainability and carefully consider a building’s form and orientation, fabric and materials in addition to the use of green technologies. The preservation and reuse of building fabric is fundamental to a sustainable approach to architecture, and this underpins our passion for working with and reinvigorating existing buildings.

About Barreto-Smith