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Our Studio

Translation Architecture is passionate about ethical and sustainable design and our approach is open and collaborative. We actively encourage the re-use and adaptation of existing buildings and materials where possible and see the design, construction and use of these spaces as a continuous process of translation. 


Our completed projects demonstrate a curiosity about the intersections between hospitality, heritage and design and, together with our clients, we aim to create evocative and memorable experiences drawing on a sense of storytelling, history and place. This relationship between storytelling and design is a fundamental conceptual underpinning of our work. The waterside culture of our first completed projects is threaded through the guest’s experience of the hotel throughout their stay.


We engage with clients early in the development process, helping to identify and evaluate potential projects, undertaking feasibility studies to explore the potential of a space, building or site, often at pre-acquisition stage. This level of curiosity and interest is maintained throughout the design process, working from the urban scale right through to the detail design of furniture and joinery. Every project is an opportunity to develop highly valued relationships with the client, consultants, contractors, local community and other stakeholders. 

Collaboration is foundational to our way of working. Alongside our own team, we have a wide network of other architects, interior designers, artists and makers that we collaborate with, which enables us to scale up appropriately to meet individual project requirements.

Please get in touch with us to ask for a copy of our credentials or to discuss your project requirements. We would love to collaborate with you on developing the vision and story of your next project.

"Working with my architect Nick de Klerk, a well-seasoned and talented professional, made our journey all the more stimulating and rewarding."

Grace Leo, Managing Partner, The Relais Retreats

Our Stories

Nicholas de Klerk RIBA ARB

Founding Director

As an architect, I approach the design of buildings as extensions of cities, towns or landscapes that invite people in. When I began my career in Johannesburg, I visited a house called Coromandel designed by Italian architect Marco Zanuso. It was formed out of stone and was cut into a hillside creating a series of rooms with multiple viewpoints and lines of sight over the landscape. This was the beginning of a lifelong passion for buildings that respond to their immediate context. I also increasingly understood architecture as a social space connected to history and place. These experiences have shaped my thinking as an architect ever since, and now, in London, have culminated in a specialism in hospitality design which, at its very core, is about making people feel at home.

Yvette Greslé PhD (UCL)

Director – Business and Brand Development

I grew up visiting beautiful hotels in the Seychelles archipelago where my mother would take me swimming after school. Because of the tropical climate, public areas including hotel lobbies and restaurants were open plan, spacious environments that provided views of the sea and the lush, mountainous landscape. Hotels were designed to provide respite from the heat and the humidity allowing for the circulation of air and island breezes. Gardens and walkways were planted with bougainvillea, frangipani and hibiscus which were often picked to decorate tables in restaurants. These memories have informed the ways in which I look at buildings, not as neutral, self-contained entities, but as spaces that are embedded in the geographies and histories from which they emerge. 

Lee Sze Wei RIBA (Assoc)


I wanted to be an architect after visiting Rome for the first time. I was sixteen and travelling around Europe with my parents; seeing art and architecture that I had only read about at school in Malaysia. Remnants of ancient architecture such as the colosseum fascinated me. I thought about the people who had inhabited and moved through all these historical buildings and spaces across time. I felt as though these structures had time travelled. I was walking through them and experiencing them, yet the people for whom they had been built were long gone. Architects leave behind a legacy; all these great buildings that people will love and cherish forever. 

Building for Change - Review

Nick de Klerk reviews Ruth Lang's Building for Change for Building Design

Winter Newsletter

In our third newsletter, we consider experiential travel, AI, art-themed hotels and authenticity.

Autumn Newsletter

Our second quarterly newsletter takes in climate and the environment, adaptive re-use of existing buildings, changing travel habits, food waste and low carbon construction innovation.

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