About us

About

RFK Architects Ltd was founded by Alan Farlie and Debby Kuypers in 2003.

We are a design led architecture and design practice. We are part of the creative community in the Arts Building at Finsbury Park, London N4.

At RFK the principle sectors we work in are retail and hospitality, museums and galleries, offices and workspace.

The practice has delivered projects of the highest design quality. We develop solutions that are formally, functionally and technically innovative, but always within cost and programme.

We undertake projects of varying sizes, from one off display cases and furniture, to buildings and fit outs up to £50million construction cost.

We are a close knit team with low staff turn over. This makes us efficient and allows each member to take on challenges and responsibilities to ensure they continue to grow.

Alan Farlie
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Debby Kuypers
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House by John Lewis

Retail

After 20 years experience in retail design and brand liaison, we go beyond providing architectural design proposals in response to a defined brief.

We work closely with our clients to develop the overall retail proposition. The customer experience is always our primary consideration.

Projects often start with an analysis of an overall masterplan, ensuring primary walkways, plot sizes and product displays are in the correct location.

A strong customer focussed masterplan with clear vistas and circulation, will help customer orientation, encourages browsing, increases dwell time and enhances the overall retail experience. This in turn increases spend and results in repeat visits.

We consider department/ category layouts and adjacencies, the product mix and locations as well as brand mix, offer, size and groupings.

We understand the challenges of the current retail landscape. We therefore actively work with our clients to find solutions that are robust and innovative and are ahead of the changing customer engagement.

We work in a variety of different ways, spanning across base-built, ‘grey-box’, ‘white-box’, full fit-out, product density analysis and display, fixture and furniture design, as well as brand design management and guidelines. We are not precious and happy to work along side other architects and designers in a truly collaborative way.

Our clients include Selfridges, de Bijenkorf, Harrods, Fenwick, John Lewis, Boots and Walgreens. All of which we’ve worked with for many years, on different projects, repeat commissions and retainers.

We are design professionals so ‘excellent’ design should be a given. The bullet points below summarise the unique services that ensure RFK delivers successful projects.

  • RFK are passionate about design, but also commercially astute in our understanding of retail and our approach to your budgets.
  • Debby Kuypers, director will be directly involved in all stages of a project.
  • We are lean and efficient, keeping our overheads low so that our fees can be focused on quality and service.
  • Customer experience is at the heart of everything, and product is king.
  • We are experienced in the analysis, development and delivery of complex masterplan projects in trading stores.
  • We have experience in all product types and categories from superbrand to high street.
  • Our white box design will focus on elements with the most impact and therefore the best return for your investment.
  • Our fixture design will include merchandise analysis and operational reviews.
  • We are strategic and practical and used to finding the most efficient temporary, enabling or consequential solutions.
  • We are architects and interior designers, that can take on all stages of a project from concept through to delivery.
  • Our scope of services include planning, building control as well as structural and services coordination.
  • We have extensive experience in brand design liaison and have built relationships with most brand in-house design teams.


British Museum

Exhibitions

Drawing on more than 40 years of joint experience as architects and designers, the RFK are leaders in exhibition, museum and gallery design.

Our client list includes the British Museum, the British Library, V&A, the Royal Collection Trust, the Jewish Museum, Dulwich Picture Gallery, Wallace Collection, Tate Britain, the National Gallery, The Story Museum and the Royal Academy.

Current and recent exhibition projects include the Japanese Galleries at the British Museum, Anglo-Saxons at the British Library, Ribera at the Dulwich Picture Gallery, Richard Wallace 200 at the Wallace Collection, Winnie-the-Pooh at the V&A, Asterix in Britain at the Jewish Museum, Russia and Fenton at the Queens Gallery.

Past exhibitions include: Curtain Up at the V&A; Magna Carta 2015 at the British Library, Vikings, Shakespeare: staging
the world & Treasures of Heaven at the British Museum, Blood at the Jewish Museum, Buckingham Palace Summer Opening 2018, Goya at the National Gallery, Rodin’s Dancers at the Courtauld Gallery, Turner Whistler Monet, Van Dyck and Holbein at Tate Britain.

Alan worked at award-winning practice Stanton Williams for 13 years and during that time he had a leading role in many of the practices major exhibition, museum and gallery commissions, including Whitby Abbey Visitors Centre, Ashmolean Museum, Birmingham Gas Hall Gallery and The Royal Observatory, Greenwich. All projects in

Debby worked for 8 years at Benson + Forsyth on the Museum of Scotland (including the Scotland in History exhibition design) and the National Gallery of Ireland Extension; both projects were short listed for the Stirling Prize.

One of our trademarks as a practice is how closely we work with the curatorial teams to ensure that the objects always are highlighted as the prime focus of the exhibition.

All projects start with a dialogue with the curator or curatorial team to understand the storyline and how the objects relate to the story. By understanding the site, the design brief, the objects and budget we get to the heart of the problem and produce solutions that are sometimes unexpected but always well considered and appropriate to the needs of the museum and the visitor.


Facing the Modern / Goya


Kent House – Great Titchfield Street

Commercial

We have been working with Great Portland Estates for almost ten years and have also worked with Threadneedle Estates, Scottish Widows and Burleigh Estates amongst others.

We also have extensive experience in working within a historic context where our aim is to find the most appropriate contemporary solution that respects the historic qualities of the existing building. Recent work includes a new entrance for the Courtauld Gallery and ongoing work for Kings College Chapel in Cambridge.


John Lewis


Shakespeare: Staging the World


M&S Lifestore


Selfridges


Walgreens Boots Alliance