Context Office is a design and research practice specialising in public space. We provide cultural and spatial strategies and design solutions.

We work with both public and private sector clients to help them make thoughtful and nuanced improvements to the built environment. We interpret the forces that shape complex places in order to make proposals. Our approach involves the detailed observation of people’s use of space, the study of site-specific environmental, historical and future conditions, alongside consideration of stakeholder needs, policy and development demands. 

Our services include:

  • – surveys and analysis of place
  • – strategies and identification of sites
  • – brief-setting and engagement
  • – design and delivery

We are interested in urban, rural and marginal conditions, from celebrated spaces to overlooked places. We work with clients and partners to integrate new development and infrastructure, enable cultural activity, design characterful streets and build public spaces that contribute to sustainability and improve the quality of everyday life.

Alex Arestis

Alex has over fifteen years of professional experience designing and directing public realm projects, award-winning streetscape renewal, architectural and masterplan integration schemes.

He works collaboratively with cross-disciplinary teams, city governments, developers, curators, community groups and other designers. Alex devises methodologies for analysing and representing the many layers that make up a site, synthesising these findings into design decisions. He develops proposals for the public realm of new developments and historic buildings as well as their surroundings. During his career he has led designs for streets and parks, improving pedestrian and cycling experience, upgrading material quality, connectivity, public art and greenery. Alex has particular experience in the West End of London.

Alex studied architecture at the University of Cambridge, The Royal College of Art and London Metropolitan University. He has taught at the University of Brighton over many years, leading studios investigating how to design imagined futures and new buildings within distinctive contexts.

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Victoria Wägner

Victoria is an urban designer with over ten years’ experience directing cultural projects, large-scale strategies and policy documents shaping areas of the city.

Victoria’s expertise lies in the documentation and analysis of urban environments and in the development of sensitive, context-led strategies. She has an in-depth understanding of the historic character, unique patterns of use, stakeholder networks and policy context of central London and the River Thames. She is particularly experienced in leading projects that bring together culture and the public realm in locations with competing pressures and multifaceted user groups.

Victoria studied civil engineering with architecture at the University of Southampton and gained her diploma in architecture at London Metropolitan University.

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Ffion Parry

Ffion is an urban designer at Context Office. She joined the team in 2021 and has over six years of experience in practice working on concept, planning and construction stages. Over this time Ffion has contributed to a broad range of urban scale, architectural, interior and landscape projects for several design practices. She produces compelling drawings that record the existing conditions of places and clearly communicate spatial proposals.

At Context Office, Ffion undertakes on-site analysis, research, mapping and detailed design tasks. She has extended her keen interest in urban scale projects and how in-depth analysis of sites leads to proposals. Most recently, Ffion has been mapping the diversity of Acton’s physical and demographic make-up, working through various means including GIS data to create accessible visual outputs. At Shepherd Market she has been developing detailed paving plans in natural stone for new pedestrian spaces. 

Ffion completed her Professional Diploma in Architecture at Kingston University, gaining a coveted Distinction for her thesis project. Her project looked at semi-urbanised territories on the storied south coast of England close to Dover. Her designs integrated open spaces, public routes and landscape planting with new community buildings and housing.