"We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us." - Winston Churchill
Founder and the Practice
The Isle Architects was founded by Beata T Zygarlowska, an architect, photographer and artist. For many years, she acted as a consultant and advisor on sustainability and conservation and worked for Cambridge and London architectural offices since 2001.
After finalising her architectural education in Denmark at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, School of Architecture under Arch. Jens Bertelsen in 2003, and gaining a qualified architect's status, she embarked on a post-grad course at the University of Cambridge. Starting the MPhil in Environmental Design in Architecture at the University of Cambridge, Churchill College, she could not predict that this one-year adventure will extend so far into the future and that the UK will become her permanent residence and home.
Whilst working for architectural offices in Cambridge, she led projects of various types and sizes. She was involved in heritage, refurbishments, new build, conversions, single-family houses, student accommodation, and different commercial projects, including labs and office buildings, alongside masterplanning for residential and mixed developments.
One of Beata's first and a most memorable projects involved converting a Grade I Listed Building, the Front Court of Trinity Hall in Cambridge, into Fellows' educational suites, design of the new Porters' Lodge and complex conservation works.
Inspired by local architecture, history and traditional crafts, Beata developed a strong appreciation of the historic properties and traditional building methods, leading to her accreditation as a RIBA Conservation Architect. She is a member of the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings SPAB and the Twentieth Century Society. Her portfolio ranges from elegant contemporary designs that incorporate modern materials and minimalistic detailing, sensitive buildings constructed in vernacular style and materials. In her work, she adopts a philosophy that harmoniously blends connections between the old and the new, which maintains and respects both. She always works towards design solutions emphasising both very distinct characteristics, this approach goes back to her roots in Danish architecture, education and tradition.
Her interest in practical and theoretical aspects of environmental design led her in 2015 to embark on a new field of study, psychology. Her interest developed a greater understanding of how people are affected by, and interact with, their environment and surroundings.
Besides her interest in the theoretical aspects of architecture and environmental design, Beata has a very practical approach to her work. She has a high rate of successful planning and conservation approvals; she acted as a RIBA delegate for the Design and Conservation Panel at the Cambridge City Council and has well-established relations with local planning authorities in the East of England, including London.
Photography is an important part of her work, consolidating interests in architecture with daylight and the human environment.