Paula Willmore



As one of the founding directors at Willmore Iles Architects, I have spent the last 19 years working with our clients to develop student accommodation and residential schemes around the UK. I am an architect and have an MBA.

My role includes the overview  of all issues relating to the practice management.


We started working on student accommodation projects when the sector didn’t exist. I was Project Director on the first UK Design, Build, Finance and Operate student halls, at the University of Plymouth. Since then I have continued to work with that first client, and many others, to develop schemes across the UK in the sector.

As a practice, we recognised at an early stage we needed to run an effective, sustainable organisation and that we needed to understand how a business works. So, I went back to university and in 2013 I gained an MBA. In 2016 we worked to become an employee owned company, offering a neat succession solution, giving all staff a meaningful stake in the company and securing its sustainable development for the future.

Professional interests:

Beyond working in architecture, I have a particular interest in the development of architectural practices.  I lecture on practice management on the Part 3 course at University of the West of England (UWE). I also work as a Part 3 Examiner at UWE, Oxford Brookes and Westminster universities. It’s really useful to be talking to the next generation of architectural students, to be part of the discussion of the future direction of the profession.  And of course, it’s invaluable CPD.

Until recently, I held a post as a Non-Executive Director on the board of RIBA Enterprises NBS, and latterly as chair of the board. NBS is the knowledge management business of the RIBA and delivers expert knowledge, specialist software and services to support the construction industry. It provides a fascinating insight into the future direction of the profession.

And in the rest of life …

I come from a wider family of architects, with one of my three grown up children following in the family footsteps.  When travelling we spend a lot of time visiting buildings and places of architectural interest. Our travels also include an annual motorbike trip around Europe. We are currently designing our own house on a plot in rural Wales.

Latest content from Paula