Group ginger is a practice of architects. Our name derives from the political term, a ginger group. Ginger groups work to identify alternative ideas for the benefit of their host. As such Group Ginger works with clients to identify opportunities which amplify development potential and celebrate activity.
We have worked for national practices over a number of years and have gained extensive project experience across many sectors, including retail, leisure, office, residential and culture. We use this experience when addressing problems but maintain our enthusiasm to explore fresh ideas to solving problems. Our interest extends beyond the provision of a full architects service and includes, brand development, interiors, furniture and designing temporary events.
The office operates beyond the architectural object and explores the potential of creating social spaces, focused on place-making and experience. We approach all our projects by considering who will be living, working and experiencing the spaces that we are helping to generate and we explore how our role as architects might be developed into that of concept managers or curators with on-going relationships to place-making, influencing policy, defining space, public use and participatory involvement. Through this continuous activity we are intent on delivering pragmatic solutions of adaptation/appropriation to create architecture and design that challenges boundaries of political engagement and aesthetic perfection.
Simon Baker founded Group Ginger Architects to offer an accessible design studio focused on place, identity and distinction.
Simon graduated from the Architectural Association, School of Architecture in 1995. He has worked as a director in architectural practices with Piers Gough, Terry Farrell and Laurie Chetwood. Simon is highly experienced; he has successfully conducted a number of high-profile projects throughout his twenty-five-year career as a professional architect. The project portfolio amplifies spatial experiences that bring people together with a specific specialism of cultural heritage projects. Simon always looks for the potential of a project, raising design aspirations to unlock value; through a strategic approach that addresses complexity and community. Working with existing buildings and places, Simon is able to communicate a clear strategic vision for projects and provide a cohesive approach and sustainable future.
Simon is a Design Council CABE; Building Environment Expert, Design Review Panellist, has been the Yorkshire Regional Chair of the RIBA and is a director of a community interest company; Ginger Works. He teaches at Post Graduate level at Sheffield University in the department of Social Sciences and regularly publishes his work.
Mai is qualified as a professional architect in Japan and has RIBA Part 3 professional management qualification in the UK.
Mai and Simon have worked together for over twelve years. Mai joined Group Ginger as a start-up member. She is an integral part of the studio; her role includes responsibility for project management, business development and major projects.
Mai has extensive experience working in the UK for over 13 years. She has worked on a wide range of projects including new build, heritage refurbishment and regeneration, with particular expertise in heritage conservation, markets and cultural arts sector. She is experienced in working with multidisciplinary design teams and regulatory agencies, developing schemes from feasibility through to completion. Mai is the project lead on Blakey Moor Terrace, coordinating the input of the consultant design team. She is highly skilled in utilising Intelligent Models to prepare delivery information, schedules of conditions and specification.
David is an experienced, qualified Architect of five years plus and a key member of Group Ginger. A particular interest of David’s is in refurbishment/re-use projects, this has lead to him start the RIBA conservation course with the long term goal of becoming a registered Conservation Architect. His experience includes working with prominent listed buildings in conservation areas in Leeds, York, Hartlepool and Manchester. David is the lead architect for onsite delivery, working closely with contractors with a “hands on” approach to ensure quality is achieved throughout. David's eye for detail is visible on the projects he has delivered, most recently the extension and refurbishment for the Grade II listed former Post Office in Hartlepool. The project unifies the existing post office with a modern but complementary extension to the rear. David worked with the contractor and design team to deliver an initial catalytic project for the regeneration of the old historical section of Hartlepool.
The Hide at Tophill Low Nature Reserve was taken from concept through to completion by David, he worked closely with the contractor and project manager to achieve the highest quality exemplar eduction hide in the country. He is proud that this project was one of three projects to win an RIBA regional award and RIBA Client of the Year award in 2018. The project later went on with Leeds College of Music to win the practice the award for the BD Small Project Architect of the Year 2018.
Brett has taken up the role of “Researcher in Residence” following the launch of Ginger Works in October 2019. His research explores social relations in local communities, asking questions of urban spaces and cultural change. Drawing upon interdisciplinary frames including arts, cultural heritage, and leisure studies, previous collaborations have included a range of youth research projects, delivered via music-making, documentary filmmaking, cultural mapping, and transmedia storytelling. These projects were focused (each in their own ways) on how leisure and creative spaces shape—and in turn are shaped by—“the city.” Brett has held academic positions in the UK, US, Canada, and the Netherlands. Earlier collaborations with Simon Baker have included a pop-up cinema in Leeds, and the bicycle “kino-cine-bomber” cinema in Coventry. During his research residency at Ginger Works, Brett will be exploring “freespaces” or “urban free rooms” in Leeds, documenting these through mappings, interviews with creative practitioners, and podcasts.
Joe is in his sixth year of architectural studies at the Sheffield School of Architecture. He has previous architectural experience working in Mumbai during his part 1 placement.
Joe works at Group Ginger part time whilst he is undertaking his final year at university. He has been a crucial member of the team through helping the construction of the workshop and free room.
"I, the undersigned declare that having read this little book full of ideas, design, intelligence, describing places you want to spend time; have no excuse , not to explore a projects potential with Group Ginger and find out why clients like them so much."
Studio culture is an essential aspect of Group Ginger. Located within the Tetley Art Gallery, the office is part of an active and growing creative community.