We work with a variety of clients from land owners, developers and local authorities.

Our focus is on protecting and generating economic, social and environmental value for our clients by identifying the existing assets and inherent potential of their sites. The task of design is to the develop a vision that adds to the assets and fully realises the potential of the place.

Bath and North East Somerset Council

Stratford-on-Avon District Council

CABE / Design Council

Oxford Diocesan Board of Finance

Arnold White Estates Ltd

Hanson Building Products Ltd

Nimbus Property Developments Ltd

R. G. Williams Ltd

The Foll at Woburn Sands Trust

A.Rosen Invest ApS

Bower Mapson Homes Ltd

Bluebird Engineering


We take our inspiration and technical knowledge from urban morphology, the detailed study of urban form seen as the product of an ongoing social process of transformation. Design, even while it creates a new vision, is necessarily an adaptation of what exists, that will in time itself be transformed and adapted.

As a practice we are committed to both contributing to and applying the broader body of knowledge about urban form and detailed methods of analysis. We are unique in putting into practice a broad range of methods and principles and feeding that experience back into research and teaching. The result is better theory and better practice.

The motor for integrating research and practice is Director and principal Karl Kropf, who has combined the two over more than thirty years.

His professional experience includes working for Geller Associates, landscape architects in Boston Massachusetts; Shankland Cox architects, and planners in London; the urban design team at Skidmore Owings and Merrill in San Francisco; consultancy with Ivor Samuels and Droites de Cités in Paris, Stratford-on-Avon District Council; and studio | REAL in Oxford.

His research in urban morphology has had a significant impact on the field, building a common basis for integrating the work of different schools and developing tools for the translation of morphological analysis into design codes, guidance and masterplans. He has been actively involved in the International Seminar on Urban Form and is currently Associate Editor of its official journal Urban Morphology.

Karl is a part time Senior Lecturer in Urban Design and Historic Conservation at Oxford Brookes University and has also given lectures at the Department of Landscape Architecture and Spatial Planning at NMBU, Norway, The Bartlett School of Planning, University College London and the Martin Centre for Architectural and Urban Studies, Cambridge.

Built Form Resource is based at the Oxford Centre for Innovation in central Oxford.