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Born in 1949 and trained at the Architectural Association. Nigel Coates is a celebrated British architect and designer.

He has consistently experimented and questioned his field, extended its boundaries and bridged it with semiotics, craftsmanship and contemporary culture. With his first architectural commission in Japan in 1985, he founded Branson Coates Architecture.

His portfolio of buildings and interiors in the UK and Japan includes the Wall and Art Silo in Tokyo, the Hubs in Sheffield, the Geffrye Museum in London and the Body Zone in the Millennium Dome. In recent years Coates has also accumulated a broad-ranging catalogue of furniture and lighting designs.

His products have been realised by many Italian companies including Gebrüder Thonet Vienna, Fornasetti, Alessi and Slamp where he art directs. In 2006 he established his own London studio of architecture and design. The HQ in Bloomsbury combines architectural laboratory, showroom and gallery.

From 1995 to 2011 Coates was Head of the Department of Architecture at the Royal College of Art. He is currently RCA Professor Emeritus and Chair of the Academic Court at the London School of Architecture. In 2012 he won the Annie Spink Award for excellence in architectural education. From 2008 to 2014 Nigel was also President of Jury at the Pavilion of Art & Design, London.

Photo Credits – Kensington Leverne



  • Noah’s Ark, Sapporo 1987
  • The Wall, Tokyo 1990
  • Art Silo, Penrose Institute of Arts, Tokyo 1993
  • Powerhouse::uk, London 1998
  • Geffrye Museum 20th Century Wing, London 1998
  • National Centre for Popular Music (now the Hubs), Sheffield 1999
  • Body Zone, Millennium Dome, London 2000

Interior design

  • Bohemia Jazz Club, Tokyo 1986
  • Caffè Bongo, Tokyo 1986
  • Katharine Hamnett’s stores, UK and Japan 1988
  • Otaru Marittimo Hotel, Otaru 1989
  • Taxim Nightpark, Istanbul 1990
  • Jigsaw, London and across the UK 1990 -1998
  • Liberty, London 1993
  • Bargo café and bar, Glasgow 1996
  • Charles Fish Jewellery Boutique, London 2005
  • Lancaster Gate Apartment, private residence, London 2005
  • Luigi Colani exhibition design, Design Museum, London 2007
  • Hoxton Hotel, London 2007
  • Wallop Restaurant, Glyndebourne Festival Opera, Glyndebourne 2009
  • V&A VIP Room, London 2011
  • Swimming Pool Pavilion, Private Residence 2012
  • Slamp stands at Euroluce Milan, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015


  • ArkAlbion, Architectural Association, London 1984
  • Eurofields, Metropolis, ICA, London 1988
  • Ecstacity, Architectural Association, London 1993
  • Living Bridges, Royal Academy of Arts, London 1996
  • City Visionaries, British Pavilion, 7th Venice Architecture Biennale, 2000
  • House to Home, Hansard Society, London 2004
  • Mixtacity, Tate Modern, London 2007
  • Hypnerotosphere, 11th Venice Architecture Biennale, 2008
  • Casa Reale, Entratalibera, Milan 2012
  • Casa Reale, White Post Gallery, LDF, London, 2012
  • Picaresque at Kama: Sex and Design, Triennale Design Museum, Milan, 2012
  • Paracastello, H+ Milan, 2015


  • Guide to Ecstacity, Laurence King, 2003
  • Collidoscope, Laurence King, 2004
  • Narrative Architecture, Wiley, 2012

Product design

Nigel Coates is a prolific designer of lighting and furniture. His products feature in the catalogues of Alessi, AVMazzega, Ceramica Bardelli, Glamorora, Fratelli Boffi, Fornasetti, Hitch Mylius, Nude Glass, Poltronova, Slamp, Terzani, Gebrüder Thonet Vienna and Xilo1934. His eponymous furniture and lighting collection was launched in 2015.


Examples of his work are held in collections around the world including the Victoria & Albert Museum and FRAC, Orleans.


In 2012 Nigel Coates was awarded with RIBA Annie Spink Award for excellence in architectural education.

Nigel Coates

Visting Professor

Department of Architecture

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