Katrina Kostic Samen takes over Presidency of the British Council for Offices


Industry News

The British Council for Offices (BCO) today welcomes our Founder and Managing Partner Katrina Kostic Samen as its new President. Katrina formally took over the position from Ken Shuttleworth, Founding Partner of Make Architects, at the BCO’s Annual General Meeting in London on Wednesday 11th July.

As Chair of the BCO Annual Conference held earlier this year in Berlin, Katrina set out the vision for her Presidential year, challenging delegates to look at the workplace from multiple occupier perspectives, and to ensure that they are designing and delivering offices which are inclusive and provide for a diverse workforce.

Commenting on her appointment, Katrina said: “As technology evolves at pace, and the way we live and work changes, so too must our commercial offices. The recent BCO Annual Conference 2018 in Berlin focused on a key issue – how to design and build workplaces which are inclusive for a diverse workforce. At the Conference, I challenged delegates to redefine the BCO to mean “Building Communities for Occupiers” – to move away from thinking in old fashioned terms about creating a building, and instead shift to a more diverse and inclusive world where the role of placemaking is central. I will continue to extend this challenge to the BCO membership throughout my presidency.

“I will also work to make the BCO itself a more diverse organisation. 21% of this year’s Conference delegates were female, a significant increase on previous years, and reduced-cost tickets saw 81 NextGen delegates attend. Throughout the rest of my presidential year I will look to build on this success, and to support and mentor our female and NextGen membership in particular.”

Katrina started her career at Wilmot Bower Architects, before moving to Gensler where she was instrumental in setting up the firm’s London office in 1989, and went on to become its first female Partner. After 19 years at Gensler, Katrina founded KKS in 2004, an all-female-led interior architectural practice based in London. The practice today both advises major developers and end users in the financial, legal, insurance, media and corporate sectors throughout the UK, USA and globally.

Katrina regularly speaks on best practice for workplace design, development criteria, and occupier strategy. She has been a BCO member since 2006, a Board Member for eight years, and will be the organisation’s third female President.