MEET The Team


VIVIAN CHAN

Director & Founder

VIVIAN’S CV 

Yuk Yee phang

Director

YUK YEE’S CV

SARA GARCIA PIZARRO

Associate

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SARA’S CV

Urszula Witkowska

Architectural Assistant

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URSZULA’S CV

Martina VANIN

Architectural Assistant

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MARTINA’S CV

SERGIO-FIGUEIRA-RODRÌGUEZ

Architectural Assistant

SERGIO’S CV

Jose Manuel escudero

Architectural Assistant

JOSE’S CV

Gillian watson

Practice Manager/Admin

GILLIAN’S CV

Tiger

Office Top Dog 

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INFO

Vivian Chan

Vivian is the director and founder of Studio Verve Architects.

Vivian was born in Malaysia, winning the ASEAN scholarship to study in Singapore at the young age of twelve. She obtained her Masters in Architecture at the National University of Singapore in 1999 and gained her RIBA Part III with distinction from the Bartlett School of Architecture in 2004. In Singapore, she worked for CIAP on a variety of residential, commercial and religious projects; in particular the award-winning Garden of Remembrance Columbarium.

Vivian moved to London in 2002 to join Foster + Partners where she worked on the prestigious Kamakura House. Subsequently she worked at David Morley Architects where she was the project architect on several education and higher education / sports laboratory projects to include The Campus in Weston-Super-Mare that won the RIBA 2005 award. She joined Walters and Cohen in 2008 and was leading a BSF project in Bristol.

After cutting her teeth at some of the best practices in the country, she decided to set up a private design practice in London in 2009. As the founding director, Vivian is responsible for the creative design direction of every project that comes from the studio; ensuring that designs are worked through with rigour and passion. 

Narrow Lane Farmhouse won both the West Lancashire Design and Sustainability Awards in 2015 via unanimous votes by the Jury whilst the Domino Houses in London won the Special Mention Architizer A+ Award for 2016. 

Vivian enjoys painting and conceptual installation art and contributing architectural articles to design magazines.

Yuk Yee Phang

Yuk Yee was born in Ipoh, Malaysia. After obtaining her Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Design (Part 1) and Bachelor’s Degree in Architecture (Part 2) with First Class Honours from the University of Tasmania in 2003, she served as a United Nations volunteer architect in India under an UNDP funded programme ‘Promotion of Appropriate Housing Technologies’, and has helped to design and train the local masons to construct safer disaster-resistant homes at a lower cost. In Singapore, Yuk Yee worked for MKPL Architects and Maps Design Studio on high-end leisure and residential projects before moving to the UK.

Yuk Yee joined London-based practice Walters and Cohen Architects in March 2008, where she worked on several education and cultural projects, including the award-winning Towers Junior School and St Swithun’s Junior School in Winchester. She was made Associate in 2011 and completed her Part 3 at The Bartlett (UCL) in 2012.

Yuk Yee joined Studio Verve as an Associate in Spring 2015, where she was providing technical design support for various residential and commercial projects. She was made Associate Director in the Summer of 2016 and Director in December 2016, overseeing the delivery of projects across the practice.

Yuk Yee is currently leading on several challenging mix-use and residential schemes in London.

Yuk Yee has been passionate about her hobbies – she makes comic illustrations, she paints, she plays the piano, she cuts hair, she does photography, she plays table tennis and she has very recently started playing tennis (very badly!).

Urszula Witkowska

After receiving her Master degree in Environmental Engineering from AGH University of Science and Technology in Krakow, Poland in 2005, Urszula worked for two years as an AutoCAD Draughtsman and Surveyor.

In 2006 she joined Kingsland Surveyors Ltd in Surrey, UK and after a few months she was moved to the Architectural Survey department where she was working on many residential, commercial and historical projects in London. In 2010 she obtained the Bachelor of Architecture from University for the Creative Arts in Canterbury while she was working part time for the same firm. She joined Studiodare Architects for a few months in 2008 and worked on high-end residential projects in Central London. In 2009 with a group of students she won a second prize in Student Design Charrette Competition.

Ula joined Studio Verve Architects in autumn 2010 as an intern initially working her way up to running projects on site. She has been a key member of the design team responsible for the Bow Quarter Duplex Conversion, the highly published Redchurch Loft in Shoreditch and the award-winning Narrow Lane Farmhouse. She also oversaw the remodelling of the The Cloisters project in Bayswater. Having an exceptionally keen eye and feel for materials and details, Ula leads the Interior Design in Studio Verve.  

 

Blessed with an early education in classical music she enjoys playing piano and cello in her free time.

 

Sara Garcia Pizarro

Sara studied Architecture at ETSAM Polytechnic University of Madrid, Spain. She also studied in Athens, NTUA, for one year as part of Erasmus exchange programme where she developed her graduation project. She qualified in Spain as an architect in 2012.

She moved to London in early 2013 where she worked as a furniture maker in Unto This Last- a Furniture Design Digital company. During this period she was involved in the development of a series of prototypes; besides being in charge of the production line, programming the machine, through to assembling and finishing the products.

Sara joined Studio Verve in early 2014, where she has been working on various residential and commercial projects in London.  Amongst others, she oversaw the remodelling of an apartment overlooking the Thames and helped in the design of apartment buildings in several challenging sites in Hackney and Enfield. She is currently working on a large innovative mix-use resi-commercial scheme in Hackney. 

 

Sara was registered as an ARB-registered architect in the UK in 2016 and was promoted to an Associate in August 2017. 

Outside of work Sara enjoys reading and painting. She likes work with her hands in small projects making crafts.

Martina Vanin

 

Martina studied Architecture at the IUAV University of Venice, Italy. She obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in Science of Architecture (3 years) followed by a Master’s Degree in Architecture (2 years);  qualifying as a registered architect in Italy in 2013.

Upon graduation Martina joined ASV studio in Castelfranco Veneto (Italy), working on several projects in the fields of architecture, urbanism, community and design. During this period she was also working on a private residential project as a freelancer.

She then moved to London and joined Studio Verve in 2015 working on a masterplan and various mix-use residential projects.

Martina loves cooking and experimenting with new recipes to share with her dear ones – but above all she is a real foodie who enjoys eating! Blessed with green fingers; Martina also loves walking close to nature.

 

Sergio Figueira Rodríguez

Sergio studied Architecture at Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura de A Coruna, Spain where he acquired specific skills in design, structures, construction and installations. He qualified as an architect in Spain in 2015.
He moved to London at the beginning of 2016 and joined Studio Verve in Spring working on high spec residential projects. 
He is very interested in sustainable architecture and he is very concerned about energy efficiency making it one of the main subjects during his studies. In 2012 he developed a project for Isover Multicomfort House competition on low energy consumption dwellings.
Outside of work, Sergio enjoys watching movies, travelling and riding his bicycle.

Jose Manuel Escudero

Jose studied Architecture at ETSAVa University of Valladolid, Spain. He spent a year studying in Florence as a part of his studies, under the Erasmus exchange program. He did an internship at the studio of Giampaolo Mochi as a part of his stay. He qualified as an architect in Spain in 2016.

During his college years, Jose researched on the topics of historical buildings, cultural landscapes and heritage. This research granted him more insight and sensitivity when dealing with existing buildings.

He moved to London at the beginning of 2017 and joined Studio Verve in spring.

Outside of work, Jose enjoys swimming and watching movies. In his free time, he also loves travelling, discovering new places and going for a hike in the nature.

Gillian Watson

Gillian graduated with an Honours degree in French, German and Politics. She started her career with a tanker shipping company and then moved into shipping journalism where she was editor of Lloyd’s Shipping Economist. She then moved into general magazine journalism, where she worked mainly in part works and on a huge range of consumer magazines.

After many years freelancing and bringing up her son, Gillian returned to work in the charity sector and then to the books department of a London auction house, where she also edited the company’s magazine.

Gillian has recently joined Studio Verve as our studio manager.

She takes a keen interest in interior design and loves looking round markets and junk shops for rare bargains.

In her spare time, Gillian teaches the piano and singing and enjoys going to concerts, the opera, the theatre and cinema. She loves cooking, reading, listening to a huge range of music, Radio 4 and watching too many American crime series on TV. She hasn’t missed The Archers Omnibus in 36 years and is owned by two very pampered cats!