People who use and engage with buildings come first in design; we help them to smile
LA are unique and expert architects. We specialise in the design and delivery of sports, arts, libraries, theatre, and other civil projects including urban regeneration.
Our portfolio consists of all types of buildings including residential, health and leisure.
We approach each Client as unique, each site as special and each project with care and rigour.
We work throughout the UK and are collaborating internationally on multi million-dollar projects.More about our ethos ⟶
Quality is never an accident, it's always the result of intelligent effort
For 28 years we have been designing and creating buildings and facilities that inspire excellence in sport, or simply joy in people.
The reason for this is simple ... we enjoy what we do and we do it well.
Our practice is still managed and run by the two Founding Directors, Mike and Elizabeth, one of which will always be working with you.
Our Associates, Project Architects, and Architects are allocated specifically to your Project.
Our team can provide Architectural Design, Interior Design, Master planning, Leisure Consultancy, Filtration Engineering, Accessibility Design and Assessment.
Mike, who founded LA architects with Elizabeth Adams in 1992, is a highly experienced and motivated architect and interior designer. He works closely with each and every Client to ensure that the designs we produce are to the very highest standards, and sees opportunity in everything, using this to raise the aspirations of those around him.
Dedicated to delivering long term good quality solutions that inspire, he is equally proud of the success of Guildford Spectrum as he is of a small Japanese Tea House in Cardiff.
A specialist and expert in the delivery of sports and leisure, arts and community public buildings, Mike has been an advisor to Sport England and other European Sports Governing bodies and Olympic Authorities. He has also been a tutor at Cardiff College, an ‘RIBA Awards’ judge, and played a key role in the RIBA previously on the board of RIBA Enterprises responsible for NBS and the RIBA board.
Beyond architecture, Mike’s passions embrace Aikido, Japanese culture, sailing…fast, and of course, Welsh rugby!
Elizabeth, who founded LA architects with Mike Lawless in 1992, is responsible for all the commercial and legal requirements of the company. The operation of all the administration within the Practice comes under her management as well as the financial and contractual control of all Projects.
Leigh, who joined LA architects in 2000, is a vastly experienced architect and team leader, highly focused on the delivery of our buildings.
His understanding of material qualities and attention to detail, coupled with his ability to coordinate project resources and translate good design into a built reality, have seen the successful delivery of some of the largest sports facilities LA has undertaken including the award winning Glass Mill, and Haven Point Leisure Centre.
Leigh, who sits at the forefront of the LA’s BIM delivery programme, champions a thorough understanding of governing body requirements, servicing, construction and fabrication including the detail and specification of elements, materials and fixtures.
All things sport, Leigh’s interests away from the office encompass health and fitness, spin cycling and football.
Since joining LA in 2000, Sandy has been responsible for some of the most innovative and complex projects within the Practice, leading a diverse portfolio covering the sports and leisure, arts, commercial and residential sectors.
He is an experienced and creative architect who is dedicated to producing well considered buildings including Hengrove Park Leisure Centre, The Capitol Theatre and Pancras Square Leisure.
His design skills, sensitive approach and critical practice ensure that creative opportunities are explored fully during design development. Advocating design, coordinating project resourcing and ensuring delivery, Sandy’s calm but authoritative manner make him a confident champion of a good idea, and allow him to keep even the most challenging project on track.
To bike or not to bike: Sandy is a keen mountain cyclist and relishes every opportunity away from the office to ride.
Architecture is not wallpaper to be applied. It is to be lived in and experienced through every sense of the human being.
LA is a specialist sports and leisure architectural practice.
For 25 years we have been designing and creating buildings and facilities that inspire excellence in sport, or simply joy in people.
The reason for this is simple ... we enjoy what we do and we do it well.
“We’re delighted that Glass Mill has triumphed at this year's Planning Awards. This is actually the fifth Lewisham Council project that has received a Planning Award in recent years, and just goes to demonstrate how much innovative, high-quality development is taking place across the borough.”Cllr Allan Smith - Deputy Mayor of Lewisham and Cabinet Member for Regeneration
“It has been a pleasure working with you and I have also enjoyed the breath of fresh air which your innovative ideas have brought to the design of Guildford Spectrum.”Leslie Fairclough- Leisure and Amenities Officer, Guildford Borough Council
“LA architects have demonstrated their ability to lead on design and quality as well as co-ordinating the project team itself and I fear that without their involvement we may not have achieved the quality building that we now have.”Mike Clarke - Executive Director, Derwentside District Council (View project)
“LA architects were responsible for the design and construction of the Pavarotti Music Centre in Mostar, Bosnia Hercegovina working under extremely difficult conditions, in a bombed out town with much of its infrastructure lying in ruins together with its buildings. The result was a building which London would be proud to have. How they did it to such quality and in time still amazes me. Much of it had to do with a mix of professionalism with empathy and commitment to the project and its vision.”David Wilson - Founding Director, WARCHILD (View project)
“LA architects performed design services for this project demonstrating a wealth of experience with strengths in consultation and in particular accessibility. LA were keen to listen and investigate stakeholder requirements and strived to achieve quality in all aspects of the building design. The Council and the users of Glass Mill Leisure Centre are hugely satisfied with the building that is operating above expectation. This is testament to LA architects work and commitment to the project.”Matthew Eady - Head of Estates Management, LB of Lewisham (View project)
“Effectively by combining their flair and vision for project winning concepts, with their dedication to understanding client requirements and providing detailed designs to suit, means that LA architects always deliver and have a very strong reputation in the leisure sector that they truly deserve. In short they are an invaluable member of our supply chain.”Jeremy Lightfoot - Managing Director, Parkwood Consultancy Services (View project)
“Mike and his team have an uncanny sense for sharing the vision we were seeking to achieve, really listened effectively, brought forward creative design ideas for our consideration, and did it all in a timely manner. We have been impressed with their willingness to share and contribute ideas, the depth of industry experience which when combined with their skilled, helpful and friendly approach at all levels makes for an exceptionally strong and rewarding working relationship.”Byran Atkinson - Corporate Lead Culture and Leisure (View project)
The Mayor of London, London Planning Awards 2013/2014 – Best Build Project Community Scale Scheme