Matteo Cainer Architecture is an interdisciplinary practice, with a distinct conceptual approach to architecture and design. With projects that vary in scale from urban planning, landscape, building, and interiors, to the design of temporary installations, exhibition, and stage design, the work is informed by a continuously evolving dialogue with the cultural setting, nature, and the resulting intersections of different disciplines.

Established in London in 2010 and led by Matteo Cainer, the practice is committed to building and designing the highest quality projects. With a strong belief that design has the power to create change, it welcomes contamination and experimentation through both local collaboration and remote relationships, contributing thereby to sustainable solutions and the development of the practice internationally.

Composed of a small team of highly qualified and motivated individuals, we have structured ourselves with experts in urban design, architecture, landscaping and interiors. Working with multiple tools from advanced computing techniques to graphic design and model building has allowed the practice to flourish with new ambitions and renewed engagement and given us the acumen and expertise to lead each project every step of the way, always keeping an eye on the world and an ear to the ground.

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Design Philosophy

At the heart of our design philosophy lies an enthusiastic ambition to ingeniously meld cultural insight and new technologies through imaginative thinking - to seamlessly integrate history, technology, art, design and nature - generating an architecture that addresses contemporary issues and evolves through concepts as a series of built ideas.

The convergence of multicultural experiences and creative talent coupled with a keen sensitivity to spatial investigation results in intellectually stimulating and spatially complex architecture that not only responds to the existing environment, culture and politics but aspires to define an innovative vision of the future. Cultural insights and visionary experiences are intricately interwoven throughout our projects like a ‘fil rouge’, creating a seemingly complicated architecture that is however driven by a simple, yet at times unexpected, bold idea.

Poised to capitalize on the strengths of emergent systems, we continuously challenge and reformulate our own logic striving to forge an elegant and contemporary vision that transcends current aesthetics, infusing every project with the essence of change through culture, heritage, nature and inspiring philosophies.

MCA Team

Matteo Cainer is a practicing architect, curator, and educator. Based in London and Milano he is Principal of Matteo Cainer Architecture, Founder of the Confluence Institute for Innovation and Creative Strategies in Architecture in France, and Director of Architecture Whispers.

After receiving his master’s degree from the University of Architecture in Venice, Italy, he worked and collaborated with a number of celebrated international practices including Peter Eisenman in New York, CoopHimmelb(l)au in Vienna and Arata Isozaki Associati in Milan. In 2004 he was Assistant Director for the Venice Architecture Biennale - METAMORPH, and in 2006 was Curator of the London Architecture Biennale - CHANGE. It was in London that he created/directed the Design Research Studio at Fletcher Priest Architects and in June 2010 opened his own office. In 2011 he moved to Paris where he was Associate professor at the École Spéciale d’Architecture and it was there that he created and directed the 'Pavillon Spéciale' series. It was also in Paris that he conceived and hosted ‘Architecture Whispers’ and in 2013 co-founded and co-directed with Odile Decq the Confluence Institute for Innovation and Creative Strategies in Architecture in Lyon. In March 2018 he moves back to London and is nominated curator for the 7th Edition of the Dark Side Club for the 16th International Architecture Biennale in Venezia, and is a regular visiting critic at Westminster and the AA. In March of 2020 to respond to the pandemic, he launches MCA Online a free educational initiative to provide lectures, teaching, and support to home-bound students, and at the end of the year, he opens MCA in Milano, Italy.

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MCA team: the following architects have been contributing to various office projects:

Chiara Antonelli, Elena Balossino, Francesca Biasco, Nina Bobinac, Teresa Cancellari, Sara Carciotti, Caterina Cicognani, Maria Antonietta Cossu, Futura Falco, Iolanda Fortunato, Giulia Gatti, Bogdan Gavriliu, Marilena Georgantzi, Alessia Gerardi, Zlatina Kalaydzhieva, Yeonsu Lee, Valentina Leodori, Vasiliki Mavrikaki, Giulia Mazza, Francesco Maria Messina, Edouard Molinari, Yo Murata, Daniella Persson, Avigael Perez, John Robins, Helene Roncerel, Giuliana Sibilia, Barbara Stefán, Rana Taha, Evonne Tam, Claire Tournier, Tam Nhan Tran, Nike Vogrinec.

Collaborations / Membership

To better nourish talent within the practice, our teams are in constant dialogue with our consultants. Architecture and the pleasure of experimentation and research is the goal of our practice, and the very nature of Architecture demands collaboration with multidisciplinary teams of experts ranging from engineers to landscape architects and designers.

Quantity Surveyor/ Cost consultants
MB&co (France)
Gleeds (United Kingdom)
Marco Checola (Italy)

Mechanical and Electrical
Espace Temps (France)
Waterman (United Kingdom)
Studio Intering (Italy) 

Structural Engineers
BET Batiserf (France)
Ove Arup (United Kingdom)
Studio Intering, Studio Strutture (Italy) 

Lighting Designers
Fabertechnica (Italy)

Climate Engineering

Fletcherpriest Architects (London) 
3XN (Copenhagen)
Iolanda Fortunato (UK/Italy)


Professional Memberships

RIBA Chartered Practice
Matteo Cainer Architecture - 20029030
Chartered Member of Royal Institute of British Architects - 11936917
Member of the Architects Registration Board - 070486E

*Matteo Cainer is also a licensed architect in Italy and France.



Various projects of Matteo Cainer Architecture have received nominations, won design awards and been finalists in international competitions. Furthermore, in 2010 the practice was selected at the London Architecture Festival as one of 25 young international emerging practices.


Honourable mention
Neutinamu Youth Center, Incheon-si, South Korea


WA Design Award
Bauhaus Promenade Museum


WAN Award finalist
Future projects with ‘Open Gate Art Platform’ in South Korea
WA Design Award
Finalist Three stone Performing Arts, Taipei, Taiwan
WA Design Award
MOCAPE, Shenzhen China


WA Design Award
Open Gate Art Platform, South Korea
WA Design Award
Timeless Cube, Kabul Afghanistan


Honourable mention
Camellian Opera House, Busan South Korea


Red dot Nomination
Taittoigami, Mantta Finland


Robin Hood Gardens, UK
Young International Emerging Practices
Selected as part of the London Festival of Architecture





The work of the practice has been featured in various exhibitions with sketches, models and digital prints.  Furthermore, it was part of the London Architecture festival in the show 25 select 25  as a young international emerging practice.

I Biennale dello Stretto 2022 - Calabria, IT
Colle degli Agrumi- Citrus Hill, Catania Italy

Gingerbread City 2019, Somerset House - London, UK
Fee-Fi-Fo-Fum Park - Landscape and park project

III Architecture Pisa Biennale 2019 - Pisa, IT
Sant’Antonio Musicale, Trieste Italy
Birnbeck Island, Weston Super Mare, UK 

Royal Academy of Arts 2019 Summer Exhibition - London, UK
1/50 model of La Forêt Urbaine- Paris, France

Spazio Campo - Rome, IT
Digital Print - Brutal Beauty - Architecture is Everything 1968-2018

“DIAGRAMME(S)” Salon du Dessin - Paris, FR
Sketch of United Colors of Tehran - Teheran, Iran
Sketches Camellian Opera House - Busan, South Korea

Boards and model of MOCAPE Museum - Shenzhen, China

25 select 25, Festival of Architecture - London, UK
Boards and model - MOCAPE, Mesh, Teheran, Three stone performing Arts Center