Our guest this week is Deborah Saunt, co-founder of the architecture practice DSDHA.
Deborah was born in Australia but moved as a child to the UK via a brief stint in Kenya. It was in Scotland that she first studied architecture at Edinburgh College of Art. She later studied via a scholarship at the University of Kansas in the USA, and then at Cambridge University back in the UK.
After graduating she worked for Mary Jane ‘MJ’ Long and Sir Colin (Sandy) Wilson on the final stages of the British Library in London, before working for Tony Fretton Architects.
But in 1998 she went on to co-found her own practice, DSDHA along with David Hills.
Deborah Saunt. Image curtsey of the practice
The practice has gone on to win numerous awards including for the renovation of the Economist Plaza, originally designed by Alison and Peter Smithson, as well as Christ’s College, Vesta House and Covert House. The practice has also gained a reputation for their work on urban design and public space particularly through their work on Tottenham Court Road and around the Royal Albert Hall.
Deborah completed her PhD thesis in 2013 as part of the Practice Research programme at RMIT in Melbourne, Australia. And teaching remains a large part of her work, as she helped to co-found the London School of Architecture with the school’s first intake in 2015.