Pippa Nissen

Nissen Richards Studio

Pippa Nissen established Nissen Richards Studio in 2010 and now runs the practice together with co-director Jim Richards. The arts and culture-based studio offers architecture, exhibition design, interpretation, theatre and graphic design as its unique multi-disciplinary skillset. Thirteen years on, the company’s multi-award-winning portfolio features projects for some of the UK’s – and the world’s – leading cultural institutions, from the British Museum, the National Trust, the National Railway Museum, the National Portrait Gallery, Wordsworth Grasmere and the V&A to MUNCH and Kode in Norway, the Modern Art Museum, Shanghai, the Hannover Staatsoper and the National Library of Norway.

The practice was awarded two RIBA National Awards 2022 and 2023. First, for the sensitive new-build design of the viewing tower at historic Anglo-Saxon burial site Sutton Hoo and secondly as part of the team that refurbished The Courtauld, leading the scheme’s wayfinding and gallery designs. Nissen Richards Studio’s inspirational new colour scheme and designs for the National Portrait Gallery earlier this year were called ‘bold and sometimes surprising’ by the FT and ‘magnificent’ by The Times.

Pippa Nissen studied architecture at University of Cambridge, gaining first class honours, and returned to teach as a Design Fellow after qualifying. She also studied for an MA in Theatre Design at Slade School of Fine Art, graduating with distinction. In 2020, she and her team agreed to lead a new postgraduate teaching unit at the School of Art, Architecture and Design, London Metropolitan University, challenging students to face the future and design ‘A Museum for Now’.

Pippa’s unique fusion of architecture and theatre design is one of the many elements that set Nissen Richards Studio apart. The studio’s theatre work, under Pippa’s direction, has also included work for The Actors Touring Company, Aldeburgh Festival, Albany Theatre, Basel Opera and Teatro Orientación in Mexico.

Pippa speaks and writes widely on architecture and interpretation, sustainability, colour and lighting for publications including for The Architects’ Journal, Architecture Today, Architecture Magazine, the RIBA Journal, FX, Museums Journal, Design Insider, DARC, ARC and Art & Museum. In 2020, Pippa was invited by the RIBA to edit the Civic and Cultural chapter of the RETHINK book, which looked at post-pandemic architecture, involving guest submissions from leading industry figures from the British Museum and The Natural History Museum. Pippa has been a design judge for the Blueprint Blue Riband Student Awards, the Design Week Awards, the Architects’ Journal Student Prize and the FX International Interior Design Awards.