About Us

A specialist engineering team based in Cape Town, we work on iconic projects around the world and cutting-edge structural product design.

Our business is largely based on sub-consulting to leading, international engineering firms – with us slotting in seamlessly as part of their design teams on specific projects. These long-term partnerships have allowed us the opportunity to work on a huge range of complex projects, from the design of numerous tall and super tall buildings to long-span and tensile structures – giving us a far greater depth of experience than would ever be expected from a small practice. In South Africa, we have a portfolio of work ranging from specialist seismic input or finite element analysis for other consultants to full structural engineering services on large commercial buildings.

Our skill-set and software setup has developed in line with top global consultancies, and so we are well placed to tackle or review almost any building project – big, small or never-been-achieved before.

Both founders developed their skills abroad working with renowned engineers and architects and have brought this mindset with them into the practice.

Our Approach

We believe in using the most appropriate, advanced tools for the job and we're well versed in a number of analysis and geometry packages. We constantly evaluate our choice of software tools, and cross-check results across packages.

A sizeable portion of our work consists of conceptual input during the early stages of design or during procurement competitions. We have the skills and tools to understand how a structure is working, perform efficient design reviews and quickly produce graphical material supporting submissions; something our clients find invaluable.

Whether we're working on a concept or a detailed design at the latter stages of the design process, we believe in highly visual, 3D representations that can be presented to, and immediately understood by clients and contractors.

Creative at our core, we far prefer to be part of the conceptual process rather than simply ‘making it work’ and feel this is where we can add most value.

Our flexible company setup allows us to mobilise quickly onto a project, sometimes within hours, or change our approach, team and software in a short space of time to suit any project needs.

The Team

Matthew Grey

Matthew is a highly motivated engineer passionate about creative, architectural engineering. To further his understanding of advanced structural behaviour he completed an MSc at Oxford University and has since developed his skills at Buro Happold in London, one of the world’s leading engineering consultancies; ZAA in Cape Town, a small and highly technical marine engineering practice; and Tension Structures, South Africa’s leading engineers in the specialist field of tensile architecture.

He has been involved with numerous challenging projects ranging from more traditional reinforced concrete and steel buildings, to tensile, high rise and marine structures. He aspires to work with creative architects and engineers on projects at the forefront of design.


  • Shape Structures, Cape Town, South Africa (2013 - present)
  • Tension Structures, Cape Town (2012 – 2013)
  • ZAA Engineering Projects & Naval Architecture, Cape Town (2011 – 2012)
  • Buro Happold, London, (2006 – 2010)
  • Campbell Reith Hill, London (2003 – 2004)

 Qualifications and education

  • MSAICE, Member of South African Institute of Civil Engineers (2012)
  • PrEng, Engineering Council of South Africa (2012)
  • MSc in Seismic Analysis of Masts, University of Oxford, St. Cross College (2005)
  • BScEng in Civil Engineering, University of Cape Town (2002)

Mark Mallin

An imaginative Structural Engineer with a strong interest in architecture and over 19 years consulting experience across a broad range of projects from initial concept to overview of construction works.

Communicating ideas clearly & concisely Mark aims to work with the design team & client to produce constructible solutions which enhance the aesthetics, economy & environmental performance of the built environment.

Recent projects have varied from heavy marine works in reinforced concrete to freeform steel gridshells. Numerous current projects include all aspects of analysis of a large & complex reinforced-concrete cultural building in Qatar.


  • Shape Structures, Cape Town, South Africa (October 2013 - present)
  • Henry Fagan & Partners, Cape Town, South Africa (Jul 2004 - Dec 2013)
  • Building Design Partnership, London, UK (Jun 2012 - Dec 2012)
  • Buro Happold, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (Jun 2003 - Jun 2004)
  • Buro Happold, London, UK (Jul 2001 - Jun 2003)
  • Henry Fagan & Partners, Cape Town, South Africa (Jan - Jul 2001)
  • Alan Baxter & Associates, London, UK (Sep 1996 - Apr 2000)

Qualifications & education

  • MIStructE, Chartered Structural Engineer, United Kingdom (2004)
  • School of Architecture & Civil Engineering, University of Bath (1992-1996)
  • BEng Building Engineering (specialising in Civil/Structural Engineering) (1996)