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In Profile:
Nash Baker Architects

In Profile:

Nash Baker Architects


The International Design & Architecture Awards 2024

Nash Baker Architects

Name: Ahmed Shawky

Company: Nash Baker Architects

Position within company: Design Director


Tell us a little about your background in design:

  • Graduated as an Architectural Engineer from Ain-Shams University, Egypt in 2005
  • Studied Interior Design at Brighton University
  • Continued my Architectural studies at Oxford Brookes and UCL.
  • I have worked in London for the past 15 years in predominantly high-end and Prime residential properties.

How would you describe your personal design style?

My personal design style embraces minimalist principles, favouring clean lines and uncluttered spaces that highlight the intrinsic beauty of materials and form. While I naturally gravitate towards minimalism, I also appreciate and will incorporate ornamentation when it enhances the design’s aesthetic, meaning or an emotion I want to convey. This balanced approach allows me to create serene and richly detailed spaces, tailored to each project’s uniqueness.

Where does your design inspiration come from?

My design inspiration is deeply rooted in my admiration for architects whose work embodies timeless beauty and profound attention to detail. Architects like John Pawson and Peter Zumthor, with their minimalistic rigor; Carlo Scarpa, who masterfully blends materials and textures; David Chipperfield, whose work is a study in modern restraint; and Hassan Fathy, who integrates traditional design with sustainability—these are the architects whose philosophies and legacies inspire my approach to architecture and interior design.

In my pursuit of timeless beauty, I aim to create spaces that are not only aesthetically pleasing but also deeply resonant with the personal and cultural narratives of those who inhabit them. This philosophy is perhaps best reflected in my design style, which one friend aptly described as a confluence of Scandinavian minimalism, Japanese precision, and Middle Eastern vibrancy. This blend underscores my belief that great design transcends geographical and stylistic boundaries to create environments that are both innovative and inviting.

Each project is an opportunity to weave these influences into a cohesive whole, crafting spaces that reflect my inspirations and are attuned to my clients’ unique lifestyles and aspirations.

In what direction do you feel that design is moving towards in a general sense?

  • Reduce, Reuse and Recycling
  • We need more architects to be experts in retrofit design.
  • There seems to be a renewed appreciation of ornament, which I never considered is a crime!

Name five key themes to consider when approaching design in 2023 and beyond.

  1. Enhancing Natural Light: Prioritizing the increase of natural light to Improve ambiance and well-being in living spaces.
  2. Maximizing Space and Flow: Focusing on optimizing both the width and height of spaces while carefully considering the flow between different rooms and their functions.
  3. Sustainability and Natural Materials: Committing to the use of sustainable, natural materials and promoting upcycling to reduce environmental impact.
  4. Multifunctional Spaces: Designing spaces that serve multiple purposes, including integrating home office solutions for evolving lifestyle needs.
  5. Retrofitting Over Demolition: Aiming to retrofit existing structures whenever possible to preserve resources and reduce construction waste.

These themes reflect a holistic approach to creating functional, sustainable, and aesthetically pleasing environments.

Nash Baker Architects
Nash Baker Architects
Nash Baker Architects
Nash Baker Architects

If you could offer one piece of advice when it comes to design schemes, what would it be?

It is something Sir Peter Cook once explained to me when I interviewed him many years ago. ‘Design is about improving and making every bit better…’

How important are The International Design & Architecture Awards?

We feel The International Design & Architecture Awards are probably the only major awards to specifically recognise the type of project we do, which is luxury residential projects for end users.

What projects are you currently working on?

Mostly confidential prime residential homes in Westminster and Kensington.

What was your favourite project to work on and why?

I enjoy challenging projects that require innovative solutions and bespoke elements as these are the most rewarding and keep me learning.

What was your most challenging project to work on and why?

We had to design a laser-welded stainless steel lap pool below a listed building. The house’s cross-section looked more complicated than a TFL underground station! That said, I could not have been more proud of the finished results.

Which products/services could you not live without when designing?

A cliché response, but it would be a fountain pen and a thick paper notebook. I have been an advocate for the use of iPads and still use one everyday but nothing beats the real feel of pen and paper.

What are your aims and goals for the next twelve months?

 To keep realising people’s dream homes, including my family’s!

Final thoughts; tell us a little more about yourself and your daily inspirations:

Your most treasured possession?

My café racer thruxton motorcycle

Your favourite holiday destination?

White sands and blue seas…

Your favourite hotel, restaurant & bar?

Don’t have one but if I must choose, it will be Meert, Lille, France.

Your favourite book, film & song?

Philosophy for Architects – by Branko Mitrovic. I recommend it to all architectural students.

Your favourite drink?

Morning Flat-white


Your favourite way to spend an afternoon?


If you weren’t a designer, what would you be?

Carpenter / metal worker / maybe a mechanical engineer

Nash Baker Architects
Nash Baker Architects

Architect: Ahmed Shawky

Interior Design: Cleme de Grivel, Lehlo Interiors

Construction: Bonchurch Building Contractors

Photography: Helen Cathcart

Nash Baker Architects
Nash Baker Architects

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If you think you have what it takes to compete in The International Design & Architecture Awards, submit your application by following the links below:

Use the links below for more information about the Awards:

The International Design & Architecture Awards 2024
are organised by design et al and sponsored by:

Sylka Carpets
Joseph Giles

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