Architect's Fashion

This morning our Architectural Assistant Jonathan arrived dressed in a crisp blue shirt, beige chinos and black shoes. Then in comes our new student Jay, ready for his first day in an architectural studio dressed in a crisp blue shirt, beige chinos and black shoes. Twins! It appears Jay has nailed the architect's fashion sense, he just needs to get the 7 yrs of education under his belt! 

We love supporting work experience so please do get in touch if you are interested in a career in architecture. 

ZST architects Jonathan Evans

Tower Point : Brighton

Tower Point Brighton ZSTa design

ZST architect's Partner Nick Stickland, talks us through the proposed transformation of the appearance and function of Brighton’s Brutalist Tower Point building.

ZST architects were appointed to transform the appearance and function

of the Tower Point building through the construction of a new

landmark rooftop restaurant and 4 penthouse apartments. The proposal is currently in planning with a decision due in July

The existing Tower Point is a large Brutalist building which is conspicuous within the city, but not engaging with its local environment. The Brutalist façade dominates the setting, yet it remains mute and uninspiring. ZSTa believe that the individuality of the building could be more of an asset within the townscape; providing a point of intrigue within the backdrop of Brighton’s central valley.

The site was originally occupied by the Hippodrome Circus in 1891, later best known as the ‘Grand Theatre,’ which was eventually destroyed by fire in 1961. The replacement building which now stands on the site, Gresham House, had its name changed in early 2000 to Tower Point.

Whilst the existing building does not make a positive contribution to the visual impact of the town’s landscape, ZSTa have proposed the opportunity to offer something more visually engaging to the experience of the pedestrian viewer. Allowing the building to draw attention to itself and in this way positively engage with its context as a confident representation of Brighton as a city destination.

 The proposal has the opportunity to offer something more architecturally and visually engaging, and to enrich the experience of the pedestrian viewer as well of the users of the building. The design approach taken here is to respond to, transform and build-upon (literally and figuratively) the existing architecture of the building rather than replicate any particular style which may be discovered in this eclectic setting.

A one storey extension of the lower Spring Gardens block will balance the composition of the existing building elements and create a distinct and tangible new element, the restaurant. With an oval overhanging roof of gold coloured material playing with the light, the restaurant will have 88 internal covers and 84 further covers to external terraces. The central bar will create a focal point within the space and all facilities are kept to one end, obscuring the view of the existing building and keeping the unrivalled panoramic view of the sea open to the diners.  This also serves as a distinctive beacon at the top of Tower Point, creating a strong identity within the city.

Additionally, ZSTa are also proposing the extension of the existing roof top to create four new penthouse apartments. The extension will sit symmetrically on the geometry of the building to cap the current flat roof more elegantly. The proposed rooftop extension will be minimalist in design with metallic panelling punctuated by picture windows and a terrace space to each apartment looking out over the city. The penthouses will be set well back from the building edge to prevent any feeling of additional overbearing to the surrounding streets.

The composition of these distinct new elements will transform the presentation of Tower Point within its setting and engage the building more effectively within its immediate and macro contexts.

Tower point Restaurant ZST architects ZSTa

Nick is an Architect with 20 years professional experience. He has run and administered construction contracts over £30M in value and developed design concepts for holiday villages including rural diversification, super prime London residences, luxury ski apartments, mixed use leisure-retail centres and community projects.

Nick is highly experienced in Practice Management and has played a key role within a growing practice, experiencing growth from 30 to 100 people. He is a founder member of Green Sea, a Brighton based collective of property and construction professionals, and his experience includes acting as an expert witness within a £6M arbitration claim centred around a time overrun.

Nick Stickland Architect: Partner

Nick Stickland

Architect: Partner

Slicing of the Wedding Cake

Situated opposite the Old Amex House on Edward Street, we at ZST architects have seen the daily progress of the demolition of this iconic building. It has been a sad and dusty experience and we are now left with a tiny slither of cake and a nearly uninterrupted view of the new 1 John Street American Express Brighton Headquarters.

Our Senior Architect Mohna Jolly, has been sketching the demolition and capturing it from a different perspective, something architects are famous for. Along with the sketches we have images taken from our front door to document the impressive work of Syd Bishop & Sons demolition on this challenging site.

The iconic nine-storey building was commissioned by American Express is 1977 and soon became known as the wedding cake. The demolition has sparked anger amongst conservation groups due to a waste of resources. Members of The Regency Society have said that it was Brighton’s best post-war building, and that it offered “a splash of style in Edward Street’s Jumble of mediocrity.”

So, what is next? With demolition, due to be completed very soon we are still none the wiser as to exactly what will be replacing it. The Edward Street Quarter Planning Brief Sept 2013 had the vision “to create a dynamic first-class business and residential district with a strong sense of place, distinguished by a high-quality townscape, architecture and public realm.” This vision includes the new American Express John Street building, Carlton hill and the former Amex Building, referring to them all together as the Edward Street Quarter. We hope more news on the plans for this site are released soon.

Welcome Justine Bourland & Rebecca Swain

2017 has been a busy year for ZSTa with both our Interior Design and Architectural sides of the business growing. We have a range of exciting national and international projects across all of our sectors and our collaboration with Caroline Wright, Niche Interiors, is going from strength to strength. This has given us the opportunity to take on two new team members, bringing the ZSTa team up 17!

Justine Bourland an Architectural Assistant Part 2 and Rebecca Swain is an Architectural Assistant Part 1. They are both getting stuck into our exciting workload and (hopefully) enjoying being part of the ZSTa team! 

Justine Bourland ZSTa architect
Rebecca Swain ZSTa architect

Nicola Thomas's trip to Crossrail Project, London

"I was so lucky to be chosen to be one of fourteen of the Constructing Excellence Sussex Club to go on a thrilling trip to Crossrail on 4th April 2017. We were made very welcome by the people at Crossrail. Firstly we were given a presentation on the project along with some fascinating facts including how deep some of the tunnels are (40m) and how many archaeological items have been found (more than 10,000, including a mammoth bone).

We then got togged up in PPE gear supplied by Crossrail and walked across Canary Wharf to the site of a new station building which extends 5 floors under ground level. The scale of the operation and the extent of the engineering challenge that they had overcome was breathtaking. We got chance to view the tunnel as well as the station building which was the highlight of the trip for me.

Thank you to Rafia, Patrick at Southdowns Environmental and the Constructing Excellence team who organised this trip for us and obviously, thank you to Crossrail for their hospitality.


To read more about the Crossrail project click here

Nicola Thomas Architect
I am really looking forward to travelling on the whole route when it opens in December 2018
— Nicola Thomas Partner:Architect
Nicola thomas architect Crossrail

#BrightFuture Today

Working with the Brighton & Hove Tourism Alliance for English Tourism Week (#ETW17), Brighton and Hove buses have donated their City Sightseeing bus to us. We will be running a workshop on board using our existing #Brightfuture hashtag, we want to continue the conversation on what you want to see to make Brighton better! Parked up in Ship Street, outside Fabrica from 11:30am to 4:30pm on Wednesday 29th March, we invite you to join the discussion on how to improve our city through regeneration and architecture. 

With an interactive map, we welcome your thoughts and ideas. We hope to use city connections and our architectural skills to make some of your ideas a reality. 

Feel free to come on board and join the #BrightFuture conversation with like minded people. 


Brighton Dome Ticket Office

Brighton Dome Ticket Office 

In 2016 ZST architects and Square One Workshop were privileged to have been awarded the tender for the collaborative refurbishment of the Grade 1 Listed Brighton Dome Ticket Office. 

The existing room proposed for the new ticket office was a blank canvas possessing only a few remnants of architectural character which comprise the heritage of this Grade 1 Listed building.

The Dome is a prime example of exoticism that was an alternative to the more classicising mainstream taste of the Regency style. The Indo-Islamic revival exterior leads into interiors evolved through the Moorish designs of Philip Lockwood to 1930’s Art Deco and the feature ‘Jackfield’ tiling from Craven Dunnil. The influence of exoticism is very current today albeit in a more measured, paired back, form. In particular, the attention to quality materials, careful detailing and craftsmanship are being rediscovered.

Our concept was to create a timeless installation of enduring quality which bridged, harmoniously, the style of the past and contemporary needs and tastes.

On entering the ticket office, the installation co-designed by Square One Workshop and ZSTa, comprises of two compositional elements. A refined monolithic block with framed screen back drop. To the side sits a shadow wall with a clearly defined aperture. Conceptually the shadow wall, cut with motifs borrowed from existing ornamentation in the rest of the Dome’s interior, creates a sub space within the room. Practically the wall screens the telephone areas, balances the main desk at the new symmetrical centre and also help balance the light and acoustics of the space.



Borough Street Development Completed.

Early 2014 ZSTa were appointed as the project architect in the conversion of a listed building at St Stephens House, Borough Street, Brighton. Converting from disused offices into 4 luxury duplex apartments over three floors. The building, originally built in 1895, is Grade II listed and within the Clifton Hill Conservation Area.

The Design concept was to restore and enhance the exteriors original character of the historic building and keep external alterations to a minimum. Inside the renovations focused on reinstating original features to avoid a fake traditional design which would lack any historical provenance. 

The duplex apartments boast open galleries which prevent floors from cutting across the ground floor front windows and to allow for higher ceilings behind them and also to enable the historic roof trusses to be partially visible from below.

It was important to ensure the renovation of the front of the building enhanced the historic street scene of Borough Street. The entrance door of the building was reinstated to its original 1895 design and the front had no flues, vents, grills pipes of meters added so that the residential conversion would have no visual impact on the street scene.

ZST architects enjoyed a site visit to admire this sympathetically restored historically building which is providing 4 high-quality luxury duplex apartments with bespoke features throughout.

BIM region Sussex 5th Meeting

Building Information Model (BIM)

BIM is a collaborative process by which everyone can understand a building through the use of a digital model which draws on a range of data assembled before, during and after construction.

ZST architects head up the BIM region Sussex branch. We are a group of construction professionals who gather quarterly to understand how to implement and work with BIM. 

For our next meeting we are excited to be hearing from Lauren Westpfel from David Miller Architects. She will be discussing and demonstrating how digital construction was used on a conversion and refurbishment of a group of historic barns that dated back to the 17th and 18th century.  

We have the privilege of being able to hold this meeting at the Award Winning Brighton & Hove Progressive Synagogue in Hove on Thursday 16th February 2017.


Christmas Closure

We are closing the studio from 23rd December 2016 and will be returning on Tuesday 3rd Jan 2017. 

Seasons Greetings and wishing you a prosperous 2017. Please do use our contact form if you have an enquiry or email 

Blatchington Mill Completion

Back in 2013 ZST architects started talks about the extension to Blatchington Mill School. We were commissioned to extend the existing science block to provide a new classroom and office accommodation on two floors with a flat roof. The brief was to design the new extension 'in keeping' with the existing buildings and provide good quality space with renewable technologies where appropriate. 

The Builders started on site April 2016 and after 8 months of construction, we are excited that the project is now completed. We are getting some professional photos soon but in the mean time we can bring you a short photo construction journey.

Launch of #BrightFuture

As a local award winning Architectural and Interior Design practice we are all very passionate about our city’s continual regeneration. We believe in the power of high-quality sustainable design to enrich our shared experiences of public spaces. We also recognise the importance of all interventions being able to be sustained by the communities who use them, requiring design to engage with local people and inspire change.


#Bright50 was founded back in April 2016 after we started to identify sites around the city that needed regeneration and noticing an opportunity to offer residents and visitors a platform to share their ideas for change. As supporters of the Brighton Festival, we wanted to celebrate its 50th anniversary and invite people to submit ideas via social media on how we can work to make Brighton better using the Bright50 hashtag. The top 50 were then displayed at our end of summer party for our guests to see and comment. We launched the campaign with the aim to continually working with our contacts to try and make these great ideas a reality.

As we move away from 2016 and the festivals 50th anniversary we are launching #Brightfuture to enable us to continue the conversation into the Future of our city. We fully support the Tourism Strategy which hopes to see the city being a destination where the needs of the visitor, the tourism industry, the community and the environment are in complete synchronicity and consequently will make a significant contribution to improving the quality of life for the local people.

Our Practice has been established for over 3 years and we quickly found ourselves deeply involved in the regeneration of the city. We have been active in suggesting the regeneration of sites including Edward Street, The Gasometer & Victoria Gardens and these have all been identified for potential redevelopment within the council's Local Plan.  Combining our knowledge and expertise with ideas from visitors and residents about how they want to improve in the city, ZST architects are actively engaged in the conversation about Brighton & Hove’s future.


As an example of what has come out of the campaign over the last 6 month's, we have identified many empty properties and rundown buildings that have the potential to be regenerated and boost the local economy, working on some ourselves and putting developers in touch with others. Locals have highlighted the need for better bins to promote recycling to our visitors and residents to help keep out city and parks clean.

We also have been supporting a need for the Brighton & Hove ‘Rooftop Revolution’ Pushing for these roof-tops to be used to support solar and wind energy plants and for the multiple benefits of living roofs to be seen as the preferred alternative to a stark concrete top. Some of our original Bright50 images were from the top of Sussex Heights where we realised the poor utilisation of the cities roofscape and its lack of aesthetic appeal, suggesting Solar panels, Living roofs and roof-top gardens.

What changes would you like to see? View our ideas on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram searching for #Bright50 and put your new ideas forward using the new Hash Tag #Brightfuture @ZSTaUK.





Who are ZST architects?

A Brighton based national and international architectural and Interior Design practice, ZSTa was formed 3 years ago when Richard Zinzan, Nick Stickland and Nicola Thomas joined forces. 

Now over three years old our team is the real substance to our enterprise, delivering on our client’s design aspiration.

We ARE first and foremost designers and recognise that successful outcomes come from placing our clients at the heart of the design process. At early stages we consider our designs through a collaborative exploration of the brief. Hand drawing is more immediate and helps us feel around the solutions. Embracing the new, we also use 3D modelling to test ideas at the very early outside of a project. We offer a broad range of services and within a broad range of sectors nationally and internationally. 

Watch our short video to find out more about us. If you have a domestic project our sister company ARCH-angels Architects has a team of domestic specialist Architects ready to work on your project across the South of England.

ZST architects End of Summer Party


Thank you to all that attended our End of Summer Party held last Friday. It was a wonderful evening filled with laughter, Gin and interesting conversations with like-minded people. We also enjoyed a fantastic interactive workshop for our #Bright50 social media campaign, so thank you to all who took part.

Read more about the ideas our guests came up with and see some images of our giant Brighton and Hove map on our new Bright Future page.

Thanks to Gin and Bear it for supplying a steady flow of award-winning alcohol from Brighton GinBolney wine and Brighton Bier. A further thank you to the University for the use of their venue and wonderful catering, Latest TV for our fantastic short film showcasing ZSTa and of course the colourful Katariina of Light trick photography for capturing the night as it unfolded. If you have any up and coming event please do consider Light Trick Photography – for more information visit

We hope you enjoyed the evening, thank you to all that attended, we have some photos from the evening below. You are also able to view our video here - ZSTa Short Film

Gold Award for Holiday Lodges


We were commissioned to create 22 bespoke lodges with a design-led approach and low environmental impact. This very special site in the Dorset Purbeck countryside is nestled in between multiple SSSI’s and with sensitive wildlife habitats within Burnbake Forest. 

We are delighted to announce that Burnbake Forest Lodges has just achieved a Four-Star Self Catering Accommodation grading by Visit England Quality Assessment report. In addition, the new lodges, designed by ZSTa have achieved the Gold Award after this year's assessment visit. The lodges all sit very safely within the Gold grade with all the quality scores towards the top of the rating band.

The Visit England report states "The development of the lodges has been very successful and the addition of the new lodges this year is another step up in terms of quality for the site. They are all very well presented and equipped, with each having its own hot tub and decked area, with the new lodges also having Bose sound systems in the living areas, larger decked areas and a better location. The setting, in the Burnbake Forest provides a delightful and safe environment for families, with walks and tracks right on the door step. It is also ideally located for exploring the Jurassic coast and its supporting area."

For more information about the site please visit Burnbake Lodges



Update on Residential Development

We are excited to be making progress on site with a conversion development in Brighton.

The conversion is of an existing Listed Building changing its use from offices to residential. The building has been converted into 4 luxury flats and due to be completed December.

For more information please contact or call 01273 964051 

Installed bespoke stair case

Installed bespoke stair case

uninstalled bespoke stair case

uninstalled bespoke stair case



Moulsecoomb Forest Garden Community Building Planning Approved

We were all excited to hear that our retrospective planning application for the Forest Gardens community hub building has been approved. This planning permission has been a culmination of over a year of hard work by a lot of people and organisations all trying to navigate through some tricky issues. Well done to everyone involved!

The community are now looking to source a builder who can help complete this exciting project. If you know anyone who can help please contact the charity on or click here for more details.

Watch what its all about....

New #Bright50 Card

Download the #Bright50 Card here

We have had a new #Bright50 card designed so please download here and join in the conversation.

We want you to share your bright ideas via all social media platforms on how we can make Brighton better. We want to display and build on some of your ideas so please keep them coming in. You don't even need the card just remember to Hashtag #Bright50 and say what you want to see.

Read more on our Bright50 page. If you wish to have some Bright50 cards sent to you please contact us.


Bright50 reuse old buildings