Established over 50 years ago, the practice has over 50 staff operating from a design studio in Cardiff. Our practice is structured as a series of “studios”, each specialising in a particular sector (or sectors), enabling us to foster and develop our expertise to offer our clients the very best response to a specific project. Each of those studios is headed by a Director and contains a balance of design and technical expertise that can flex in size to suit project demands.

Architectural Design

The studios cover a full range of building sectors including residential (private and public), education (schools, further and higher education), health (primary care and hospitals), commercial, leisure and hospitality, retail and industrial.  In addition, we have a Special Projects studio, led by our Design Director, which focuses on urban design and masterplanning alongside private sector, developer-led commercial and leisure projects, whilst also having a wider practice overview of the design quality across all our projects.

It is a core practice philosophy to operate in all building sectors, giving us both business resilience and the opportunity to cross fertilise skills and expertise from the diverse building types.


“Inspirational, contextual and sustainable design”

We are dedicated to the design and delivery of high quality, sustainable buildings and places that are an inspiration and joy for those who use them and for the communities that they sit within. We aim to design buildings that are grounded in their response to context, climate and topography and, by adapting to these contextual factors, we create sustainable, resilient solutions that fully embrace our commitment to innovative and sustainable design.

Our approach to innovation and sustainability is embedded in our design process from the outset and we have developed senior staff with specialist skills related to environmental design, zero and low carbon technologies and the wider global sustainable agenda. Our ethos to low carbon design is always a ‘fabric first’ approach, ensuing that the fundamental base elements are designed and specified in a way that provides minimal energy loss, providing an ultra-efficient building from the outset.

Our Expertise

Architecture is our core discipline and we have extensive experience in the design of a wide range of building types, sectors, placemaking and regeneration. Embedded in our design approach is sustainability and innovation; our in-house expertise in sustainable design and in particular, PassivHaus, informs our projects from the outset and has resulted in a number of successful high performing schemes. Alongside architecture, we have Interior Design specialists who work seamlessly with our architects to create interiors that respond to and enhance the architectural vision of the building, and an in-house digital team who are fully integrated into projects from the outset to support the team as the design detail is developed.

Read more

Our Process

The foundation to our design process is the generation of the “idea” in response to the project brief and the site; the “idea” becomes the “design concept” which must drive the architectural solution as it develops through the detailed design stages.

In our experience, buildings that respond sensitively to their setting foster a sense of belonging and social cohesion. They create a successful public realm that supports social interaction and contributes to community well-being. Combine this with an approach to innovation and sustainability embedded within our “design concept”, considering environmental design, zero and low carbon technologies and the wider global sustainable agenda, and the result is a design solution which can positively shape our built environment and enrich the user experience.

Building Section


Powell Dobson have a team of experienced staff with a “can do” approach to the design and delivery process of our buildings. Whilst we have strong design principles that are at the core of our vision, we understand the many commercial pressures that can impact the delivery of a project. Our staff, whist aiming to design buildings that are inspirational, contextual and sustainable, have a commercial awareness, supporting our clients and the wider design team to collaboratively deliver a successful project.


Meet the team