John Bushell is a Principal at Kohn Pedersen Fox with over 27 years of experience. As an integral part of KPF's global practice since joining the London office in 1994, he has achieved wide acclaim and won numerous awards for his innovative and distinctive designs across a broad range of project types including commercial, institutional, residential, mixed use and cultural buildings in the UK, continental Europe, the Middle East, Asia and the United States.
John creates compelling designs combining imagination and practicality, where the many competing forces effecting design are elegantly assimilated into an overall approach with its own energy, and a strong spatial and material experience. His designs are grounded in an innovative and sustainable approach to how buildings work, while the places created are transformational and inspiring contributions to communities and cities. John believes that a thorough apprenticeship on site and involvement from conception to completion allows for practical issues to be integrated thus strengthening the creative forces of a project.
John's detailed understanding of what makes a successful city has contributed to a strong track record of effective planning applications, and has positioned him as an authority on a range of architectural issues. As Design Principal, he has achieved planning consents across many London boroughs. In Southwark, he led the design of the transformation and extension of South Bank Tower, a project which will see a previously unoccupied 1970s office tower reimagined as a vibrant mixed-use destination with new residential, office and retail. Along the Thames River in the Cities of Lambeth and Wandsworth in the dramatically developing Nine Elms area, John has achieved consents on two landmark projects, Aykon London One, a distinctive composition of residential and office space, and Market Towers, which when approved incorporated the tallest residential tower in London. Now known as One Nine Elms, the design has evolved for new owners. In Hackney, John has led the design of One Crown Place, a rich mixture of refurbishment of Georgian and 1970's buildings with new office and residential towers to recreate a busy urban block, and on a slender mixed-use office and hotel tower at Appold Street. By maintaining close design cooperation with KPF's New York office on many projects, John ensures that the firm’s extensive experience and technical skills are brought to the London market.
Also in London, John has also led the design of a number of award winning office buildings. He designed the iconic transformation of Unilever House, which preserved and restored the building's historic exterior while completely renovating and modernizing the interior. The project was the recipient of over 17 awards, including MIPIM, BCO, ULI, and the AIA National Chapter Honour Award for Architecture, the Institute’s highest honour. He is currently working on the transformation of the Which? Headquarters in Marylebone. John also led the designs of Sixty London, a speculative office building that responds in form to its urban context and involved the rebuilding of an original Victorian gatehouse, and the award-winning Thames Court which has a balance of dramatic spatial experiences in shared spaces, large simple workplace floors, a busy working atrium and responsive layered skylight. For MidCity Place, John paid tireless attention to the best way to draw for efficient construction, combining with a striking layered and subtly scaled design.
John’s office building experience also includes the delivery of projects at Canary Wharf and Paddington Central, obtaining challenging planning permissions in the City of London, Hackney, Westminster, and further afield in Doha, Moscow, and Brussels. Additional mixed-use experience includes a large hotel and leisure project on site in Hong Kong, and a competition-winning hotel in Abu Dhabi. In addition to signature towers, his residential experience extends to low rise developments and transformation projects.
Currently, John is working in Cape Town, South Africa on a mixed-use waterfront master plan that seeks to integrate diverse areas and guide development that preserves the existing essence of place. He has worked on master plans in the UK (including early iterations of Earls Court), Asia and the US. In Brussels, he was part of the design team for the Zaventem Corporate Village, a six-building complex comprised of office, hotel and conference facilities integrated within a landscaped park.
Prior to KPF, John worked in the US (New York and New England), and in London for a number of years on the British Library, and the Oxo building transformation.
John received his BA (first class with Distinction) and Diploma from the University of Cambridge and was awarded a Kennedy Scholarship to study at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. His study of the Roof Gardens of early 20th Century New York has inspired a lifelong interest in creating new usable roofscapes. He is a Chartered Architect with the Architects Registration Board (ARB) in the UK, a member of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), Conseil National de l’Ordre des Architectes (CNOA) and a Member of the Worshipful Company of Architects. John’s contributions to the built environment extend beyond the studio to encompass paintings and drawings exhibited at the Royal Academy, as well as opinion columns in the architectural press. He participates annually in the 10x10 Drawing the City London initiative, which sees artworks by prominent architects, designers and artists auctioned for charity.