We take a look at the principles and philosophy behind the architectural process that defines what we call "The Rio Difference".

In the world of architecture, an organisation’s reputation will often be defined by their body of work. And rightly so. However, the principles and philosophy behind the architectural process can often go unnoticed.

At Rio, we believe that these lesser-known talents are just as important as the more technical skills on display during a design project. We asked Rio’s Director, Andrew Baker, to give us some insight into what he would define as “The Rio Difference”.


From our offices in Cardiff, London and Manchester, we are able to draw on significant expertise across different building types. This depth of experience, coupled with design skill, technical know-how and progressive visualisation techniques allow us to develop innovative, technology-led solutions. Our overall understanding of process and delivery enables us to solve complex problems around design, programme and budget. Our team has the confidence and ability to successfully balance flair and adventurousness tempered by rigour and restraint.


From inception to completion, our passion for collaborative design involving all members of the project team forms an essential ingredient in our company’s philosophy. This approach, always undertaken within a BIM environment and aligned to the BSRIA Soft Landings principles, significantly benefits the creative process. Through the amalgamation of knowledge and by collaborating closely with other members of the project team we produce fully integrated design solutions that are exciting, yet affordable. This well-established mindset has enabled us to develop a diverse body of work across a spectrum of sectors including residential, office, industrial, education, leisure, science, retail and healthcare.


Adding value is a key ingredient of Rio’s culture and forms the backbone to our service. We methodically and critically analyse key aspects of projects facilitating alternative solutions to achieve the best value over the whole life of our clients’ asset. Consequently, our practice deploys in-house design and technical review boards to scrutinise each project at key stages. This rigour focuses on lessons learned, holistic scheme overview and address specific design/technical matters. These sessions, chaired by senior team members, capture a balance between aesthetic and technical concerns ensuring that design quality and consistency is achieved throughout the office. Accordingly, the practice has won many prestigious awards for the quality of our work.