Johanna Sopher-Torres

GRID architects

My grandfather was an architect in Colombia, sadly I never got to meet him, but his incredible work ethic and desire to build was instilled into my mother who encouraged me to follow in his footsteps. I was deterred when a teacher at school advised me that I couldn’t be an architect, and as such left school and followed the path of a fine artist. 

However, it was during my foundation in Art and Design at Loughborough University that, in-between life drawing, 3D design and cheerleading, I stumbled upon this incredible article in Detail magazine that inspired me to properly pursue architecture. I was mesmerised by the contents of the pages, the beautiful images and the fascinating, but foreign vocabulary that I was determined to decipher. It led me to study architecture at Oxford Brookes University, where I left believing that as an architect we have the opportunity to think outside of the norms and influence the society and the world.

After my postgraduate Diploma and MSc specialisation in Sustainable Buildings Performance and Design, I chose to work for PCKO architects, where I worked on The Pheasantry, the largest Passivhaus development in the UK at the time, which has won a number of awards. Within the past 5 and a half years at GRID architects, the projects have been incredibly varied from gaining planning permission for the Grade 2 listed redevelopment of the former 19th London Chest Hospital, to my current project, the construction of a new piece of city in Swiss Cottage, which features a residential segment, a school, and retail.

The site currently has the tallest crane in London! Having recently been to site, the most wonderful thing about architecture is seeing your vision being built.

Theatre Square, Swiss Cottage Image credit: DBOX

​For more projects by GRID Architects, visit their website