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Abell Nepp - Studio
The Studio intro image

the studio

The Abell Nepp studio is comprised of dedicated architecturally trained professionals who are passionate about designing technologically sophisticated projects. For us, we combine craft with design, from the most complex laboratories to inspiring public-realm spaces to sensitive heritage buildings. Although technical, we are creative. We are collaborative whether leading the Design Team or assisting other practices. We strive to optimise the balance between form and function.

Intentionally, we keep our studio small. This enables the Directors, Chris and Bruce, to actively contribute on all projects and directly guide and grow our employees. Our clients benefit from experienced advice on all projects at all phases during a project.

The studio is informal and collaborative, we support our staff and encourage healthy work / life balance through providing flexible working hours and minimising overtime working. Over the years, we have maintained a multicultural studio with a largely equal gender balance.

Our completed buildings successfully demonstrate our commitment to design quality; three being finalists in regional and national design awards and a member of the Higher Education Design Quality Forum (HEDQF). Providing environmentally sustainable buildings is embedded in our design process and verified through our quality and environmental management procedures including ISO 9001 and ISO 14001.

Studio Leadership

Chris Abell, Director

Prior to co-founding Abell Nepp in 2009, Chris worked in the offices of Norman Foster and RMJM London for a combined 20 years. At RMJM he was Director in charge of major science projects including the Medical Research Council’s new £159m LMB in Cambridge, which won the S-lab Laboratory of the Year in 2014.

He passionately supports a design-led approach to our science projects that integrates the technical requirements into an efficient delivery strategy. ‘Working on such projects necessitates open, direct and collaborative dialogue between clients and the project team. When this is achieved the results are buildings which translate the clients’ organisational aspirations.’

One of Chris’s projects has been leading Abell Nepp’s team for AstraZeneca’s Global R&D Headquarters in Cambridge UK designed by Herzog de Meuron and BDP.

Bruce Nepp, Director

Bruce has acquired significant expertise in the design of complex facilities for leading research, higher education and healthcare clients in the UK, USA, and EMEA. Prior to co-founding Abell Nepp, he established the UK offices of NBBJ and Anshen Dyer (Stantec) and led their Science and Higher Education studios.

Bruce has been involved in all stages of projects including briefing, feasibility studies, design, laboratory and healthcare planning, delivery and project management. He is ‘hands-on’, often leading the briefing and functional design engagement with the users and the design team.

His success has resulted in repeat work for world-leading academic, institutional, and industry organisations including projects spanning over 15 years on the Wellcome Genome Campus with the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and EMBL-European Bioinformatics Institute.

Our Clients


RIBA - Royal Institute of British Architects

Abell Nepp Architects is an RIBA Chartered Practice

EGNATON - European Association for Sustainable Laboratories

Abell Nepp Architects is a member of EGNATON

BS EN ISO 9001:2015 - Quality Management Systems

BS EN ISO 14001:2015 - Environmental Management Systems

Abell Nepp Architects operates a quality management system

Click here for our environmental disclaimer