Architecture is more than producing an object, or even a landmark building. It is the art of creating inspiring places for people to interact.
Established and led by Michel Mossessian, Mossessian Architecture is an award-winning London-based architecture practice.
Everything we do revolves around people, encouraging them to interact with each other and engage with their surroundings. From involving clients in our collaborative design process to designing buildings and public spaces for people to work, live and play, we are avoiding elitist ‘ivory tower’ attitudes to claim an architecture in favour of a culturally responsive approach. Different each time, our design forms are unique and specific to their context, climate and end users.
Since our foundation in 2005, we have continually validated our ever-growing reputation for work of the highest calibre. Key to our success is our original ‘Black Box’ process, our pioneering approach that informs the vision from the outset of every project.
Our 20-strong team encompasses experts of a variety of nationalities, with knowledge and experience in architecture, master planning, technology and research, all promoting innovation for the built environment. Our people-based ethos is reflected throughout our team, encouraging engagement with each other and in carefully selected experts in each required field to best inform our Black Box methodology.
We are committed to benefiting society and adding cultural value through our work. For us, iconic architecture creates a dialogue with its context, environment and culture, thinking past its exterior form. Our passion extends beyond buildings, focussing on the people that inhabit spaces, the local environment and public arenas. This determination of ‘sculpting the void’ has allowed us to deliver successful projects across the world.
"The Michel Mossessian methodology clarifies the design process and assists all parties to arrive at a solution that meets both cultural and commercial aims."
Peter Murray, Curator, New London Architecture
"Mossessian’s success in town planning is due in no small part to the sense of shared ownership created from his process of thorough analysis and strong vision."
Bob Woodman, DP9
"Very few architects are able to blend the seductively reductive commercial architecture of Mid-Century Chicago with the lightness of touch and creative flair of contemporary European design — Mossessian is at the forefront of those few."
Edwin Heathcote, Architecture Critic, Financial Times
Michel Mossessian is a world-class architect delivering acclaimed projects in London and internationally.
Consistently at the forefront of new approaches, Michel believes in design that creates engaging spaces to work, live and play.
Born in Paris, Michel studied Architecture at the Ecole National des Beaux Arts, where he was honoured with the Villa Medici Hors les Murs prize, before choosing to continue crafting his approach at Cooper Union in New York and at the Harvard Graduate School of Design in Cambridge, MA. He was later appointed Associate Director and Senior Designer at the Chicago office of Skidmore Owings & Merrill (SOM). Michel went on to lead design for the SOM London office on a number of complex high-profile projects, notably including the winning design for the new NATO headquarters.
London became key in Michel’s passion for architecture, design and the arts, and so it was here, realising the global attraction for the new architecture and design centre of the world, that he chose to establish his own practice in 2005. His expert team encompasses a wide variety of nationalities, an invaluable advantage in the practice’s diverse international projects, yet is recognised as a constant force.
Since the foundation of Mossessian Architecture, Michel has designed landmark buildings in London and internationally. London projects include 5 Merchant Square in Paddington which is occupied by Marks & Spencer, and buildings S1 and S2 in King’s Cross, one of which will be the offices for Google Deepmind. Propelled by his vision of creating culturally responsive architecture, Michel has sought out like-minded organisations, such as UNESCO and the MCC, and worked on the world heritage site of Fez Medina in Morocco. He also completed 26 buildings across the four stages of Doha’s iconic Msheireb regeneration scheme including the main square. The ExonMobil Technology Centre in Shanghai is another example of Michel’s work.
Leading every aspect of the design process, Michel is dedicated to working directly with his clients and engaging them in a collaborative approach in order to achieve the best results. His pioneering attitude sees him at the helm of new approaches and technologies. Michel’s original Black Box method is now a staple of every project the practice delivers and ensures a shared vision from the outset.
Michel is deeply interested in cultural localism and architecture that is concerned with far more than the buildings themselves. He considers great design to be as much about where space and light begin, as where walls and boundaries end. Michel’s ability to view public space as a presence rather than an absence enables the practice to deliver successful community areas through their unique sculpting the void approach.
Outside of the practice, Michel’s love of design remains a key aspect in his life and he lectures widely at schools of architecture and cultural institutions. Currently Michel is a visiting professor at Imperial College London where he lectures on how architecture affects well-being. He also personally organises events to promote innovation and development in the industry.
Mossessian & Partners
Creative Director / CEO, London 2005-present
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill Inc
Design Director, Associate Partner, London 2001-2004
atelier 4 Architecture
Principal, NYC-Paris 1993-2001
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill Llp, Design Studio Head, Associate, Chicago 1987-92
Harvard Graduate School of Design, Master of Design Studies
Prof. Raphael Moneo, William Mitchell
Villa Medicis Hors les Murs fellowship
The Cooper Union School of Architecture, NYC, Visiting Scholar
Ecole Nationale des Beaux Arts UP#8 Paris, Diplôme d’Architecte D.P.L.G. avec Félicitations du Jury