Renowned architectural historian, curator, author, editor and critic Dennis Sharp established the Dennis Sharp Architects in the year 1965 and moved to St Albans in 1968. This practice has a wealth of expertise working on Listed Building Architects and new build ones in the many public, private and residential sectors. Based in Hatton Garden and Hertfordshire, also known for Hertfordshire Architects, the practice is befitting to undertake a wide range of projects. Hertfordshire is also known as the leading Interior Designer Hertfordshire as well as for the Hertford Architect which is a part of its county town named, Hertford. Even Dennis Sharp Architects is now located at Epping Green, Hertford. The practice portfolio includes projects from racecourses, schools, dance studios, care homes, exhibitions and installations as well as private homes, refurbishments and extensions.
They work with DSA who has a well-established network of consultants and contractors in order to ensure Planning Permission and projects are delivered on time and within an agreed budget. DSA is also working currently on a number of their own developments including a hotel, housing and refurbishments, giving them straightaway experience of funding mechanisms, opportunities and constraints.
Furthermore, DSA even undertakes a good range of pro-bono work. In the last two years, they have helped design an adult education centre in Aswan, built dams in Sinai, and helped in schools and colleges in the UK. The offices give opportunities to young people to nurture their creative talents.
After Dennis Sharp, Yasmin Shariff was appointed as the director of Dennis Sharp Architects in the year, 1992. She has won several awards which includes a lottery grant to build a strawbale dance studio; an EU Thermie Research award for innovative sustainable design; and also the Malcolm Dean Heritage Award which she received for restoring a very early thin wall concrete house by Colin Lucas (Connell, Ward and Lucas).
She has conducted several highly successful projects including Landmark East, which generated over £4m of free advertising for the Regional Development Agency. Her professional module for the University of Westminster has grown from very strong with time and has enabled over a hundred students to gain work experience annually. Also, the popular the Interior Designer Hertfordshire too has benefited from this as it had brought them some extra added exposure. The design of this module offers students, the opportunities they value above all other training experiences. Yasmin also started AAXX, a centenary project to research, record and celebrate the talents of women who trained at the Architectural Association. This has been achieved with the help of several Planning Permissions, obtained through a network of consultants and contractors which is near St Albans where the Dennis Sharp Architect has been located since 1968. This move by Yasmin has also benefitted the neighboring several other Listed Building Architects which includes the Hertfordshire Architect and the Hertford Architect.
Yasmin has contributed to several governmental and professional bodies. She was once a member of the UK Government’s Round Table for Sustainable Development and a non-executive director of the East of England Development Agency. She was also selected by both the Royal Institute of British Architects and the Architectural Association as a member of their Honorary Secretary as well as of the Architects Registration Board Association. She has been the Branch Chair of the RIBA Hertfordshire Association of Architects, as well as the RIBA East of England Regional Chair.
Dennis Sharp (30th November 1933- 6th May 2010) was best known as an author, teacher, and critic, with countless articles, books, exhibitions, events and magazines to his legacy. He helped set up Docomomo International and worked tirelessly to save modern buildings from demolition. Some of his works focused on Modernism, the MARS Group, Odeons, German Expressionism and Connell Ward & Lucas is still considered unmatched and ground-breaking. Sharp was also responsible for the citations for the Sydney Opera House and the Fagus Factory when they were being considered for World Heritage status. Throughout his working life, he had maintained his architectural and has influenced several architects in the course of the time. In 1992 he was joined by his wife Yasmin Shariff and together they were responsible for many building projects as well as exhibition designs.
One main reason behind Sharp natural fondness for construction was the fact that his father and grandfather were builders. This really had influenced his career choices which ultimately led him to become one. His scholarship resulted in involvement in a number of complex structures and historic buildings including Chandos House by Robert Adam and Norman Foster’s famous Renault building in Swindon.
Sharp’s expertise as an exhibition designer was highly sought after and he got to design the influential Kurakawa and Calatrava exhibitions at the RIBA which supports many British architect associations such as Architect Brookmans Park, Architect Hadley, and Architect East Herts, etc. This has led to the collaboration with Santiago Calatrava on Trinity Bridge in Salford. He worked with Fast & Epp on the exhibition at Canada House of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics building, showcasing the works of Arthur Erikson and the design of a timber sculpture in Trafalgar square.
Dennis had a keen eye for emerging architects of interest and helped upcoming architects like Manfredi Nicoletti with his Cardiff Bay Opera House entry, and the young Ken Yeang with his first Building Centre exhibition. His enthusiasm for architectural initiatives was infectious, and he took part in the launch of the World Architecture Festival and acted as a judge where Architect Harpenden and Architect Welwyn & Hatfield leaders were also present.
Dennis has founded several architectural magazines which include several recognized accomplishments such as AA Quarterly, International Architecture and Construction, and the World Architecture, a magazine for the International Union of Architects.