Group Ginger

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.

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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 are experienced in developing bespoke projects for local authority’s, charities and institutional clients to provide inclusive environments for a range of specialist uses. Our experience enables us to develop spatial proposals which align with business plan objectives so that proposals exceed aspirations and deliver beneficial impacts to the business operation and the wellbeing of its occupants and users.

We contribute to the development of an economically sustainable business plan, and use this to determine the balance of accommodation required to make a project efficient, sustainable, operational and enjoyable. The provision of safe, usable environments is balanced against the preservation of flexibility, ensuring the building is futureproofed and adaptable to the changing needs of the client and user groups.

We have extensive expertise in the re-appropriation of listed heritage assets; our understanding and empathy for heritage projects allows us to carefully manage a project’s budget to restore the building fabric and establish attractive and functional spaces. A key consideration for listed heritage structures is the provision of safe, usable environments and the preservation of flexibility. Group Ginger’s work to transform the Grade II listed former post office for Hartlepool Council has been recognised for making a positive and transformational contribution to society, winning the RIBA North East Building of the Year Award 2021, Conservation, Renovation and Restoration Award 2020, and RICS Social impact Awards 2020.

Group Ginger works with clients through all stages of development from feasibility to delivery on site. Our services include; strategic feasibility, building design, heritage asset management, high street improvement, interior & furniture design and project management. Group Ginger have also successfully supported clients to secure grant funding including; Arts Council, Heritage Lottery, Coastal Communities, LEP and Future High Street Funding.

We have established a practice which has been recognised at a National and Regional scale with a number of awards for our completed projects including RIBA Regional Awards, BD’s Small Project Architect of the year award, and more than once securing the Client of the Year award through our work supporting clients to deliver their project aims.

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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.

Samantha joined Group Ginger in January 2020 after graduating from the University of Nottingham and the Sheffield School of Architecture, completing her Part 3 at RIBA North to become a registered Architect. She has previous experience working at multidisciplinary practices specialising in the residential sector, giving her a variety of experience from concept design to construction, at a range of project scales.

Samantha is interested in the balance between contemporary design and historic fabric, and the role of heritage assets in community identity and placemaking. She has a keen eye for detail and is passionate about creating considered spaces for both clients and end-users to enjoy.

Alex joined Group Ginger in May 2021 after working at Grimshaw on large masterplan projects, this has provided a variety of experience from conceptual design for communities through to the delivery of construction information packages on large scale sport & leisure projects.

Alex graduated from Newcastle School of Architecture in 2019 where his main thesis project was investigating into an opportunity for an alternative history of modernism in the context of 1930's Britain.

He has also been involved in architectural photography and filmmaking through collaborations with various private galleries and organisations to deliver exhibitions and public tours.

Ella joined Group Ginger in March 2022 after completing her BSc and Masters Degree at the Bartlett School of Architecture.

At the Bartlett she was interested in developing methodologies to explore and observe the entire architectural process with help from her deep-rooted interest in science, the natural world and ecology .Her final year project and thesis ‘A new way of seeing- An architecture through an Orchid sensibility’ Explored a new way of reading the sensitive landscape of the Yorkshire dales through the lens of the rare Lady’s Slipper Orchid.

Previously, she worked at Gruff Architects in London where her passion for fabrication and model making were explored on a number of projects varying in scale from the design and manufacture of a 500 bottled bespoke wine rack, to multiple residential projects.

Alongside her studies she co-founded the multidisciplinary design collective (@cellacollective -instagram ).

Jake joined in January 2021 after completing his AA Diploma and Masters Degree at the AA School of Architecture where he was awarded a five-year scholarship. His architectural writing and drawings have been featured in LOBBY magazine, KooZ/Arch and Something Curated and he was the recipient of the William Glover prize in 2016.

Previously, he studied at Leeds College of Art and has since worked at Foster + Partners, Squire and Partners and Farshid Moussavi Architecture in London. He currently lectures at the Leeds School of Architecture and is the programme head of the AA Visiting School in Los Angeles.

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. 

Pocket Book 01

Pocket Book 01

"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.