About YSA

Yabsley Stevens Architects is a RIBA Chartered architectural practice founded by Sara Yabsley and Will Stevens in 1998. Prior to forming YSA, both worked at Nicholas Grimshaw and Partners where they met Rowena Bolton who joined YSA in 2020.

Our designs are a response to the surrounding context. We focus on the form and materiality of the building and how it fits within its setting, we consider the in-between spaces with careful placement of the building on site and use building materials in an inventive way. Along with this we consider natural light and how to weave it through the interior spaces.

This approach enables YSA to work with – and in close proximity to – historic and listed buildings. Central to our projects is a commitment to building a sustainable future for our planet. We work closely with our clients, involving them in the design process so that they understand their building as it develops.

The team

Sara Yabsley

Bsc(Hons) BArch RIBA
Sara has been running her own business since she founded YSA in 1994. She studied architecture at the University of Bath. After receiving her professional qualifications in 1990, she worked for Nicholas Grimshaw & Partners on Waterloo International Station, for Wilkinson Eyre Architects on the Crossrail Redevelopment of Liverpool Street Station. She joined Alison Brooks Architects as a director, working on award-winning projects such as Albert Crescent, Bath and Exeter College, Oxford. This challenging project created a new quad by converting and adapting an existing building, with the addition of new elements to create new student rooms and teaching spaces. Sara in interested in approaching to densifying suburbia whilst retaining the elements of openness and green space.

Rowena Bolton

Bsc(Hons) BArch RIBA
Rowena studied architecture at The Bartlett School, University College London. She worked for Sir Denys Lasdun and Sir Nicholas Grimshaw before spending four years at the offices of Philip Cox in Sydney where she was Project Architect for the Asian Games Stadium in Bangkok. Rowena also worked as Design Architect for stadiums in Canberra and Kuala Lumpur. Before joining YSA, Rowena successfully ran her own practice specialising in residential work and in particular assisted living. Rowena is House Committee Chair and on the Board of Governors for a local school. Responsibilities include planning the strategic direction of the school, overseeing financial performance of the school and holding the school leadership to account. She has an interest in conservation work and is working towards her CA qualification.

Will Stevens

Bsc(Hons) BArch RIBA
A registered architect with over 30 years of architectural experience since graduating from the University of Bath in 1988, Will specialises in the technical design aspects of buildings. He has worked on a range of projects including the Royal Opera House, Tate Modern and 62 Buckingham Gate. In 2012, Will founded Interface Façade Engineering and continues to collaborate with YSA, enabling us to incorporate high level specialist technical knowledge into our projects. Will currently chairs the Technical Committee of the Society of Facade Engineering.

What our clients say

“I found Sara to be both incredibly professional and lovely to deal with. She really listened to what our requirements were and delivered them 100%. She has an amazing eye for detail, and there is nothing we would change about the work she has done.”

“We are delighted with the extension Sara designed for our house, which has transformed the space.”

“Sara has completely changed the way we live in our home – it’s had a greater impact than I could have imagined. We spend a lot more time together in the same space, which is great. Having a family room a teenager wants to be in with you is really something.”