- Noun 
ynys f (plural ynysoedd)
  1. island
  2. piece of land, realm, territory

- Etymology
Welsh, from Proto-Brythonic inis, from Proto-Celtic enisti.


Ynys, a Welsh word commonly translated as island, has historically held a wider meaning than that of a rock surrounded by water. It is also used to describe a bounded domain - a realm recognizable as a coherent whole, be it surrounded by water or not.

We believe that successful architectural projects work to produce similar types of space. That is, that they make “complete” domains. Whole worlds with their own internal logics and ways of living. Constructions that have the ability to entirely encapsulate their subject.

In order to design such spaces, we work across various disciplines and scales, and believe that contemporary architecture’s remit includes things as diverse as the organization of ephemeral technologies; the development of systems, strategies, rules and scripts; writing, publishing and film-making; as well as the design (and development) of services, products and furniture, interior design, buildings and structures, landscapes and their climates.   

Navigating a path through landscapes of objects, structures, flora and fauna, we find ourselves entering into conversation  with people from a wide range of disciplines – from artists to metrologists, philosophers through economists, engineers and authors.

If you ever want to talk to us you can drop the office an email at  at studio@ynys.co

Unlike some studios, we both intiate projects and encourage long-term and ongoing relationships with a project’s development.

To help you better understand which projects have come from external clients and which the practice has initiated we have labeled the former in yellow and the latter in turquoise.  

Sun Piece

Before the modern age every city, town or village large enough to afford a bell tower, drum tower or town crier sat within it's own "time-zone", set each day by sun-rise, sun-set, and the position of the sun at noon above the earth.

In some ways this was a far more precise way of documenting the passage of time over the day - being local to a small area - than the current “rationalized” system, splitting the earth into 24 massive territories, each accounting for 1 hour of the planet’s day.

ynys’s new Sun Piece, 2018, is a type of mechanical timekeeper, and a “complication” app for Apple Watch currently in development, that strips back the hourly division of the day reconnecting its users with the expereience of inhabiting a day whose length changes upon a fixed position somewhere on the earth.

Acle Bridge Visitors’ Centre

Competition entry in collaboration with Alison Crawshaw Architects, Norfolk, 2018.

Cocktail Sandwich

The on-going design and development of a nomadic cocktail bar that moves around the Lac Leman region in Switzerland. In collaboration with media and interaction designer Emily Groves, Lausanne, 2018.



Colour-Space Branding Guide, for Cocktail Sandwich, Lausanne & London, 2018.

Institutional Forms and Urban Logics - The Archive

Archive detailing the briefs, projects and research articles produced over three years of Institutional Forms and Urban Logics at the Royal College of Art, 2017.


Phased Development

Objects, Furniture and Structural System for a Residential Development, 2017.

A Caribbean Ground

Regional Design + Strategy Document commissioned by Clive Sall Architecture for the islands of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, 2017.


Flagship Store Designs for Drake’s, with Clive Sall Architecture and Liam Mc Inerney, London, Tokyo and New York, 2016 - 2017.

Zero Relevance

Design Research, Royal College of Art, 2014

Fragments from Work in Progress Article and Performance, 2013 - 2014

Sausage Party

Recipies, Objects, Furniture, Performance, Royal College of Art, 2013

Gestalt Derailed

Text, Performance and Giclee Prints, RIBA NW, 2011

If you have any questions please contact us at studio@ynys.co , or dowload a PDF bio of the practice and its Director here.


  • June 2018

Microscopic photo, slice or “plan” view, 2018, part of an on-going research project called 3 Metres, or, dozen.blindfold.gurgling

Traditionally there are two elements that absorb architectural practice. One is the representation of space, the other the management of time. And whilst this might seem like stating the blindingly obvious, these two sets of techniques are dynamic and shape the world and how we want to live in it. 

To help develop a deeper understanding of these themes and therefore of how to design the best environments we possibly can, we take these two tropes as continous research strands throughout our practice. 

To help make some of this research public, over the coming months we intend to publishing a series of articles on the themes of space and time.  

Drawing togther research alongside ynys's projects we will explore how these two concerns intersect throughout our studio's work. 

  • October 2017
We are pleased to announce the launch of a research archive consisting of student work from Institutional Forms and Urban Logics -  the Royal College of Art’s MA Architecture studio that we were lucky enough to help tutor last year.

Featuring research and design projects, set across a range of locations, and encountering various problems around the theme of institution, the work was produced over three years by a host of up-and-coming young architects and designers.

You can find the archive at  - www.institutionalforms.com .

  • June 2017
RCA Architecture Show 2017
Come along to The Workshop at Lambeth Firestation to see this year’s student work.

  • March 2017 
New ynys website launched.

  • September 2016
This year Rhys will be teaching on the Royal College of Art’s MA Architecture programme with ADS9 - Institutional Forms and Urban Logics.  The unit will be working alongside students to explore this year’s theme - Units, Scales and Meassure (pdf).