Architect in Profile - Benedetta Rogers

Benedetta Rogers, Director at ARTEFACT, shares insights into her architectural career journey, highlighting pivotal experiences and influences. From her diverse education to impactful projects like the Common Rooms for Clapton Commons, she discusses her passion for community-driven design, reflects on personal anecdotes that shaped her approach to architecture and offers a glimpse into her day to day.


Benedetta Rogers

is the Director of ARTEFACT

Tell us about your career journey. How did you get started in the field of architecture?

I was always into art and enjoyed making things, but it was also quite practical, so a career in architecture seemed an excellent way to combine my interests. I had a varied architecture education, studying first at the AA at a foundation level, followed by a BSc at the Bartlett and a Diploma at the Cass. I was exposed early on to very different approaches to architecture, which have all shaped me as a designer. After university, I worked for Publica, Featherstone Young and Henley Halebrown on projects of all scales, from researching whole neighbourhoods and designing large-scale housing to delivering residential and cultural projects. Alongside practice, I also pursued self-initiated projects in the form of both research and small-scale installations. I have been very fortunate to have such a broad range of experiences, which have given me a good grounding for running my own practice.

Were there any pivotal moments or experiences that solidified your decision to pursue a career in architecture and design?

For the final year of my diploma, I was lucky enough to do an exchange in South Korea as part of the free unit led by Robert Mull. The ethos of the unit was that every student set their own brief and pursued their own areas of interest. A group of seven of us travelled to Seoul for a term and, inspired by the context, began disparate research projects. With the added freedom of being on the other side of the world and within a foreign and inspiring environment, it was a fantastic opportunity to start developing an independent way of working. I really enjoyed it and came back to London passionate about my career.

If you hadn’t followed your passion for being an architect, what other career path would you have pursued?

I am quite inquisitive and enjoy problem solving. A bit leftfield, but in another life, I would have enjoyed being a detective!

What has been your greatest influence and source of inspiration?

I grew up in Italy and have travelled extensively throughout the country. It has been a great source of inspiration over the years, from the historical architecture of Rome to the modern apartment blocks of Milan and the dense and compact towns on the Ligurian coast. My interest in Italy is both in the detail and design of the architecture as well as the culture and the way Italians appropriate their cities, whether in the large, formal public spaces or the small village bars.

What’s been the most memorable project you’ve worked on?

We recently finished a project for Clapton Commons called the Common Rooms, a community group in Stamford Hill that operates from the undercroft of St. Thomas’ Church. It has transformed the church into a hybrid building centred around a community kitchen and canteen. It is a place where people come together to cook and eat shared meals, to hold intimate and public meetings and for tenant clubs from neighbouring estates to come together to exercise in the studio, make music and learn new skills. Low cost and high impact, the project is a great example of how we can invest well in our local communities and bring life into underutilised buildings, using our skillset for the common good.

Can you share a personal anecdote or experience that taught you a valuable lesson about being an architect?

A few years ago, I designed a travelling, inflatable performance space on Regent’s Canal. As part of the project, I also curated a 10-day festival in collaboration with local art organisations and travelled with the venue to various locations. As architects, we rarely get to fully experience the spaces we design, so it was a really valuable experience to see the project in use, supporting the performers, greeting the audience and chatting with the general public passing by. It was particularly beautiful at night, with the music spilling onto the towpath and people dancing to the rhythm of the performances as they walked by.

Could you walk us through a typical workday in your current role?

As a director of a small design-led practice, I am involved in all aspects of the business. This includes the day-to-day running of the business, designing and project managing live projects, promoting our work within the industry and securing future projects. No day is typical. Today, for example, I finalised a tender package, had an interview with ICON Magazine and reviewed a potential new project for a new-build house. Keeping the practice small allows me to keep drawing and being involved in all aspects of the projects, which I really enjoy.

What is your favourite building and why?

The National Theatre by Denys Lasdun. It is a monumental and confident building, Brutal in its exterior but intimate and warm in its beautifully-detailed, cave-like interior.

I love how bold the designs of the '60s were and how they represent a vision of a future that never was. But I especially love the National Theatre because it is a building I use when I come to see a play, meet friends or simply when I need a place to work for a few hours when I am in town It is a building I keep returning to over the years, a constant in the ever-changing metabolism of the city. It is one of the great public interiors of London, like the Barbican and the Royal Festival Hall, where you always feel welcome to linger; a public living room for us all to enjoy.

In your opinion, who is the greatest architectural mastermind of our time?

The climate emergency is the biggest challenge of our time and requires us to rethink how we design, build and procure our buildings. In recent years, Material Cultures have been instrumental in the UK in promoting the use of regenerative materials and thinking holistically about the way we use land, supply materials and build. They are doing extensive research on the subject while also putting the research into practice and running educational programmes to tackle the lack of skills required to transition to a low-carbon construction economy, which is all very inspirational.

If you were hosting a dinner party to discuss architecture and design, and you could invite three individuals, either from the past or the present, who would you choose to join your conversation?

Leonardo da Vinci, Bruno Munari and Ray Eames. They are three incredibly creative and prolific individuals who work across disciplines with passion. They would make for an interesting conversation, although Ray might feel left out about me chatting to the other two in Italian!

What exciting projects or initiatives can we anticipate from you in the coming year?

We are currently working on ‘Brick from a Stone’, an exciting stone pavilion for Clerkenwell Design Week. The project showcases the use of stone bricks as a low-carbon alternative to traditional clay-fired bricks. The installation celebrates the process of how these ‘bricks’ are cut from ‘unloved stones’ and their physical qualities, with all the imperfections that come from a natural material. It has been really exciting to deep dive into a material, visiting quarries to understand the process. Commissioned by Hutton Stone and Albion Stone, the project is part of a wider effort from the stone industry to help decarbonise the construction industry.

Share this article

Login to post comments

About us

Future Constructor & Architect is a specification platform for architects and building contractors, which focuses on top-end domestic and commercial developments.

As well as timely industry comment and legislation updates, the magazine covers recent projects and reviews the latest sustainable building products on the market. Subscribe here.

Privacy policy

Latest updates


Sign up below to receive monthly construction, architecture and product updates from FC&A via email: