Meet The Team

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Architectural Team the design talent

Mark Powles

Managing Director

My favourite thing is good food.

One day I hope to complete a round of golf in double figures.

From walking through the doors of RRA as a Part 1 student at the age of 21 and becoming a Director at 27, Mark is now the owner and Managing Director of the company. He strives to ensure the ethos of the business is that of Quality, Integrity and Value. And, that as an architectural company RRA can be relied upon to deliver good design that is functional, achievable and exceeds expectations.
Out of work Mark is an 1873 season ticket holder at Gloucester Rugby, enjoys skiing, golf and spending time with his young family.

Want to know more? Read our spotlight on Mark here.

Connect to Mark on LinkedIn

Oliver Smith

Associate

My favourite thing is exploring the countryside with my cocker spaniel.

One day I hope to see Aston Villa win the Premiership title.

Oliver has worked for RRA since 2014, having qualified from the University of West England in 2012, where he studied Architecture and Planning for 4 years. Oliver has become an important member of the team, being a key figure on many projects. Oliver is developing his understanding of the various sectors further within his role as an Associate.

Want to know more? Read our spotlight on Oliver here.

Connect to Oliver on LinkedIn

Tom Froggatt

Associate Architect

My favourite thing is a weekend without DIY.

One day I hope to have a runner in the Cheltenham Festival.

Tom has worked across a wide range of different sectors including ecclesiastical, retail and community projects whilst maintaining a particular interest in residential and commercial architecture. His diverse portfolio includes overseeing a number of renovation projects for one of the UK’s largest restaurant and public house companies, design and development of an aircraft control tower as well as numerous successful residential remodels and new developments.

Want to know more? Read our spotlight on Tom here.

Connect to Tom on LinkedIn

Pete Nickols

Associate

My favourite thing is riding my bike

One day I hope to complete the Mad Men of Ventoux!

After graduating from university, Pete renovated a couple of properties in Cheltenham and Gloucester before settling in the Cotswolds with his wife and three children. His passion for architecture was sparked by a childhood spent in houses that his father renovated and extended. This interest was cemented as a young teenager visiting the Architecture Department at Cardiff University, which was next door to his father’s office.

Outside of work Pete enjoys participating in lots of sports including cycling, running, and open water swimming. A keen musician Pete has an enviable collection of guitars and during lockdown Pete created a lockdown band with his old school friends. The band is still going, although they are still waiting for the record contract

Connect to Pete on LinkedIn

Steve Graves

Senior Project Designer

My favourite thing is rock climbing.

One day I hope to visit Mount Fuji.

Steve joined RRA as a Part II Architectural Assistant after completing his Masters degree in Architecture at The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL.
In professional practice Steve has worked across a variety of sectors both public and private, including work on ecclesiastical, community and residential projects.  Passionate about Hereford, Steve was eager to move back following his studies to work on local projects and help shape the city for the future.

Want to know more? Read our spotlight on Steve here

Connect to Steve on LinkedIn

Rebecca Jenkins

Project Designer

My favourite thing is going for long walks on the beach with my family and dog, Ella.

One day I hope to visit Machu Picchu.

Rebecca is a Part II Architectural Assistant based in both Gloucester and Hereford offices. Having recently graduated with her masters degree from Cardiff University, Rebecca is excited to apply her knowledge while working on a range of projects at RRA Architects. Rebecca’s interest in Architecture developed while travelling and exploring many different cultures. She is passionate about flexible architecture and community regeneration projects, as well as, restoration projects that combine new and old. Outside of work, Rebecca competes in national dance competitions, jumping into dance classes at any given chance.

Connect to Rebecca on LinkedIn

Tom Bale

Project Designer

My favourite thing is developing new designs in a workshop.

One day I hope to attend the Monaco Grand Prix.

Tom joined RRA after completing his Masters and Undergraduate Degree in Architecture in Cardiff. Tom’s interest in Architecture developed after being involved in a variety of renovation projects to a historic cottage. He is passionate about the sustainable use of timber in design and exploring how to minimise material waste through carefully considered design. In his spare time, Tom can be found in a workshop crafting furniture or repairing something mechanical, as well as attending the rugby and exploring the countryside.

Connect to Tom on LinkedIn

James Lovering

Project Designer

My favourite thing is exploring new places with our family dog, Ellie.

One day I hope to complete a 5k run under 25 minutes.

James joined RRA to gain experience prior to his third year at university in 2019 and has been a valued part of the team ever since. After achieving a First Class Undergraduate Degree, James enrolled on the innovative Architecture Degree Apprenticeship at UWE to undertake his Part II studies for his Masters Degree whilst still working at RRA. James graduated with an MArch in 2023 and can be found in the Cheltenham office working on a wide range of projects, big and small. In addition to having a passion for architecture, James is a keen Sheffield United fan, avid technology enthusiast and enjoys long walks in the countryside.

Want to know more? Read our spotlight on James here.

Connect to James on LinkedIn

Ryan Birch

Architectural Assistant

My favourite thing is to create something from nothing.

One day I hope to own my own house in the countryside.

Ryan joined RRA as an Architectural Assistant in Spring 2021 whilst on placement from his studies at the University of Bath, from where he graduated in 2022 with a degree in architecture in addition to a Passivhaus Designer Qualification from the Passivhaus Institute. He has worked in several other practices and we are delighted that he chose to return to RRA. Working mostly from the Gloucester office, Ryan will be involved on a number of projects across all sectors. His particular architectural interests lie in sustainable community reuse and regeneration projects.

Outside of work, Ryan is an accomplished model maker who also enjoys swimming and hiking to keep fit.


Connect to Ryan on LinkedIn

Administration Team The ones who keep the wheels on the bus.

Rachel Palmer

Marketing Director

My favourite thing is my family.

One day I hope to live in a finished house.

Following a successful 20 year career in product and graphic design for a number of companies, Rachel made the move to Marketing and co-ordinates RRA’s marketing activities and assists in the day to day running of the business behind the scenes. She recently returned to university to attain a Masters distinction in marketing. When not at work Rachel spends her time juggling her young family, two dogs and a number of house renovations.

 

Want to know more? Read our spotlight on Rachel here.

Connect to Rachel on LinkedIn

Jane Cooke

Group Operations Director

My favourite things are shoes.

One day I hope to take a road trip across the USA on Route 66 with the family !

Having spent 30 years as a manger in the hotel industry, in four and five star hotels – front office, events, reservations and project management, Jane decided it was time to utilise her skills and importantly, attempt to find a way to have a better work/life balance. She brings with her a wealth of customer care, organisation and hopefully just a bit of fun!  Jane loves going to the theatre, fine dining and all the lovely things in life and her family are a very special part of her life.

Want to know more? Read our spotlight on Jane here.

Connect to Jane on LinkedIn

Kate Davies

PA To The Directors

My favourite thing is rummaging through vintage and antiques markets for hidden treasure.

One day I hope to learn to play the piano.

Kate Joins the team as Administrative Assistant to the Associate Architects, having come from a background in legal administration. Kate is keen utilise her strong and varied administrative skills and also explore her creative side at RRA. Kate is passionate about historical architecture and design, having studied heritage interior design in her free time.

Outside of work Kate is an avid bookworm. She also loves drawing and watching foreign and arthouse cinema.

Connect to Kate on LinkedIn

Rebecca Stephens

Administration Assistant to the Associates

My favourite thing is spending time pottering in the garden.

One day I hope to travel around the world.

Rebecca joined the team in 2023 as Administrative Assistant to the Associate Architects, having come from a hospitality background. She is highly efficient and prides herself on being caring, organised, down to earth.

Outside of work, Rebecca loves cooking and regularly has friends and family around to visit. She also enjoys walks with her working cocker spaniel, Millie.

Steffany Hancock

Office Co-ordinator and PA to the Directors (Currently on Maternity Leave)

My favourite thing is going for long walks with my family and Parson Jack Russell.

One day I hope to live by the sea.

Administrator, Steffany Hancock joined the Gloucester office team to work closely with the Business Manager, supporting the team in the essential day-to-day running of the office. Steffany has always been a ‘home bird’ and although lived in London for three years, whilst gaining administration experience across a range of roles in the hustle and bustle of the city, she naturally couldn’t resist returning back home. Joining RRA from a background in the education sector and hotel industry, she hopes the broad range of administration and hospitality skills she has learnt will be an asset to the rest of the RRA team. Outside of work Steff enjoys Cornish breaks with her family and is a self-confessed stationery geek.

Want to know more? Read our spotlight on Steffany Hancock

Connect to Steffany on LinkedIn

Bear

Head of Well-Being

My favourite things are meeting new people and going for walks.

One day I hope to be a fully trained therapy dog.

Bear joined RRA in 2019 as a mere pup of just 11 weeks. He is mainly responsible for making people smile and offering cuddles wherever needed. Bear is also particularly good at stealth and can pickpocket a sandwich from a lunchbox almost entirely undetected. Out of work Bear likes to play with his toys and empty tissue boxes.

Consultants – experts in their specialist fields and jolly nice people.

Robert Kilgour

Conservation Architect (consultant)

My favourite thing is going for walks.

Having studied at Birmingham School of Architecture, Robert became a Registered and Chartered Architect in 1992 following successful completion of the SPAB Plunket Scholarship. He developed an interest in historic buildings after a part time placement with Michael Reardon & Associates where he worked on repairs to Hereford Cathedral and Keble College Oxford. Since this time, he has built a strong reputation for conservation repairs and has undertaken works on Grade I, II* and II listed structures as well as Scheduled Ancient Monuments. Robert is currently the inspecting Architect and surveyor of fabric at Hereford, Lichfield and Derby Cathedrals together with several smaller churches and National Trust properties.

Mike Harris

Heritage Consultant

My favourite thing is visiting art galleries and exhibitions

One day I hope my team will win the town’s Pub Quiz League

Having gained a Geography degree, followed by a Master’s in Civic Design, both from Liverpool University, Mike spent 18 years in various Local Planning Authorities in Hertfordshire, Worcestershire and Shropshire, mainly as a Conservation Officer. He achieved a further Master’s degree in Historic Building Conservation from Oxford Brookes University. Since 2005 Mike has worked in the private sector on a wide variety of development projects, most involving heritage issues. Heritage Statements and Planning Appeals are the focus of his professional efforts.

Emma Thomas

Financial Controller (consultant)

My favourite thing is counting beans.

Emma is a qualified accountant and has been responsible for RRA management accounts since 2012. Her role has been pivotal in the growth and development of the business. Emma has always loved counting beans and immersing herself in spreadsheets. She loves all things excel. Outside of work Emma enjoys seeing live bands and looking after her extensive menagerie of pets.