Four New Associate Directors

We are absolutely delighted to announce that Architects Rob Ruffles, David Bannister and Louise Knights and Architectural Technologist Steven Cotton are our new Associate Directors.

The four new Associate Directors are each examples of LSI Architects commitment to ‘growing our own’, whereby the practice seeks to recruit people at the beginning of their careers and develop talent internally through making significant investments in our team.

The approach has seen LSI Architects recognised as one of the best employers in the construction industry.

Director Rupert Kitchen commented,

“Rob, David, Louise and Steven have all shown that they are ready to take their next steps towards leading our business. These promotions to Associate Director are recognition that each of them have been instrumental in establishing successful relationships with a number of clients and are now leading teams within the practice, always supporting their colleagues with fairness and empathy and demonstrating a selflessness with their time and energies to make sure that their teams know that they’ve always got their back.

As the current leaders of the business we have made a conscious decision to succeed ourselves from within – this is our ‘grow our own’ mantra.

A huge amount of effort goes into developing our people, combined with significant investment, but we remain totally committed to continuing our philosophy which has seen us recognised as one of the best employers in the construction industry, something we are extremely proud of.

Rob, David, Louise and Steven all initially joined us at the outset of their careers and have been supported through their professional qualifications. We are so pleased to be able to share this news which evidences that we are succeeding in our ambition to ‘grow our own’.”


Rob Ruffles, Associate Director

Rob joined LSI Architects in 2008 after completing his Part 1 at the Leicester School of Architecture, working in the practice while undertaking his remaining professional studies part-time. During his time at the practice he has gone on to complete his Part 2 and Part 3 at the Leicester School of Architecture.

Rob now successfully leads project teams internally and externally, with a supportive team leadership style based on an ethos of collaboration and a desire to create the best possible spaces for the people who will use them. His work includes numerous projects across the Education sector, including UTC’s in Norfolk, Peterborough and Dagenham and the RIBA East Award winning Stephen Perse Foundation in Cambridge.

Outside of the education sector Rob has lead much of our work to provide Norwich City Football Club with world-class new facilities at the clubs Colney Training Ground in Norfolk.

Top Left: Stephen Perse Foundation Senior School, Top Right: UTC Norfolk, Bottom: Norwich City Football Club Lotus Academy


David Bannister, Associate Director

David joined LSI Architects’ London Studio in January 2012 and successfully completed his RIBA Part 3 at the University of Westminster, achieving Distinction Honours in late 2012. David has been instrumental in the continued growth of LSI Architects’ London office and he now leads a variety of teams across both the London and Norwich offices, with an underlying emphasis on innovative design and client engagement and a reputation for delivering large scale projects with demanding briefs and timescales.

David has been a significant contributor to the growth of LSI Architects’ work in the Education sector and has been a key part of the teams to deliver projects such as the Lycée International de Londres Winston Churchill and numerous projects delivered through the DfE Construction Framework including 3 new schools in the PSBP2 Suffolk Batch and 3 new schools in the PSBP2 Thames Valley B Batch.

Top: Bohunt School Horsham, Bottom Left: Lycée International de Londres Winston Churchill, Bottom Right: Eltham C of E Primary School

Louise Knights, Associate Director

Louise joined LSI Architects as a Part 2 Architectural Assistant in 2007. She qualified in 2009 having completed her Part 3 at the University of Brighton.LSI_Architects_Louise_Knights

During her time at LSI Architects, Louise has contributed significantly to the practice’s reputation as one of the UK’s leading architectural practices in the healthcare sector. Her work at LSI Architects includes a wide range of completed projects to improve facilities at NHS Hospitals such as Addenbrooke’s and the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. In addition, Louise has played a pivotal role in LSI Architects work in the hospice and palliative care sector, delivering projects such as the award-winning Arthur Rank Hospice and Fair Havens Hospice.

Beyond her project roles, Louise is also a core part of the internal team that oversees the practice’s training strategy, and is responsible for the delivery of our programme of ‘Forums’ that cover best practice and innovation within the world of architecture and architectural technology.

Top Left: Arthur Rank Hospice, Top Right: The Louise Hamilton Centre, Bottom Left: Addenbrooke’s Paediatric Ward, Bottom Right: Priscilla Bacon Hospice

Steve Cotton, Associate Director

Steve joined LSI Architects as a trainee Architectural Technologist in 2008. He completed his Architectural Technology degree, achieving a First, in 2014 and became a chartered member of CIAT in 2014.

In his time with the practice Steve has gained experience across a range of sectors. He has played an integral role on projects in the education sector including Brent Knoll School, a project which was shortlisted for an AJ Architecture Award in 2017, the Sir Simon Milton Westminster UTC building and the Hickling and Barton House student accommodation buildings at the University of East Anglia.

More recently, Steve has led teams on projects that span the full spectrum of the healthcare sector on projects for numerous NHS clients such as the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital and the James Paget University Hospital. Steve recently led the team on the project to deliver a new £20M wing for the Hospital of St John and St Elizabeth. He has also been a part of the team to deliver award winning Hospice projects.

Top Left: Brent Knoll School, Top Right: Ebury Place, Bottom Left: James Paget University Hospital Ophthalmic Theatres, Bottom Right: Queen Elizabeth Hospital Maternity Bereavement Suite

In addition to our four new Associate Directors, Architect Chris Lappin and Marketing Manager Karl Brooks have been promoted to Associate.

Chris joined LSI Architects in 2014 after completing his RIBA Part 2 at the University of Lincoln, and qualified as an architect in January 2018. During his time at LSI Chris has developed a real specialism within the healthcare sector and has been involved in a wide range of projects relating to the development of healthcare estates, acute and primary healthcare, and palliative hospice design.

Karl also joined LSI Architects as an intern before becoming Brand and Marketing Manager in 2014. Karl was responsible for the delivery of the project to provide a fresh new visual identity to reflect the practice’s renewed ambition, vision and leadership and has led the practice’s marketing function for a number of years, seeing the practice secure numerous awards and recognition for its project work and for its work to be a good employer.