Less Plus is a collaborative and experimental practice operating in territories between architecture, urban planning and design. The studio was founded in 2021 by Nils Martens and Philipp Valente. The name Less Plus indicates the importance to balance void and content. Another main subject is the volition of reconciling theories with practise.

Exploring the boundaries of disciplines, the studio designs permanently, architectural scale projects and objects with new and imaginative purposes. Less Plus applies the same rigorous attention to context, process and detail to every project they undertake.


Nils Martens (Bottrop, Germany, 1987) is an architect and graduated from the Dortmund University of Applied Sciences in 2015. Since 2013 he has been gaining experience in all phases of architecture. He supervised the projects from the first sketch to the completion of the building.

After two years of qualification, he obtained the right to submit in 2017 and founded the office Nils Martens Architektur in Bottrop. Thanks to the collaboration with Less Plus and, numerous projects could be planned and implemented. As a result, the office quickly grew beyond the limits of Bottrop and led to the re-establishment together with Philipp Valente.

Philipp Valente (Dortmund, Germany, 1991) is an architect graduated with honours from the Technical University of Munich in 2019. In the same year he founded the architecture office Less Plus in Dortmund.

He collaborated with prestigious architecture studios such as Nikken Sekkei (Tokyo, Japan), RCR Arquitectes (Olot, Spain) and Peter Haimerl. Architecture (Munich, Germany).

He also studied at the University of Lisbon and did a research at the Tokyo University under Prof. Kengo Kuma in Kuma Lab.

He is awarded for the Hans Döllgast Prize, the JSPS scholarship and the scholarship of the Baumeister Akademie. He also won a funding for the establishment of a project office in Dortmund and is an Architect in Residence Fellow of the Junge Akademie in Berlin 2020.

Philipp Valente has been a member of the Association of German Architects (BDA) since 2023.
He is also a competition advisor and auditor on the competition advisory board of the NRW Chamber of Architects for the Ruhr Regional Association (RVR).

During her technical qualification in Gladbeck, Edona completed an internship at Less Plus and then decided to start training as a draftsman there.

Already in her childhood she had a strong fascination for the built environment and a talent for drawing, with which she now supports the team..

Educated at the Technical University of Dortmund, Iris gained a strong understanding of merging the technical and aesthetic requirements of a building during her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees.

She received an award from a well-known German architecture magazine for her bachelor’s thesis on the subject of “indoor swimming pools”. With her affinity for CAD programs, she also complements the team with sensible structures and optimized workflows.

Trained at the Technical University of Dortmund and the Politecnico di Milano, Leonie has a holistic approach to design and construction. During her master’s degree in architecture and urban development with a focus on resource-efficient building construction, she was awarded the Germany Scholarship.

At Less Plus she strives to create architectural spaces that both take up the context and address social interaction and yet develop a certain independence.

Trained at Bochum University of Applied Sciences Sara has built up an extensive knowledge of design and communication through architecture. During her bachelor studies, she won first prize in the Dachwelten competition and was awarded the Deutschlandstipendium.

The Less Plus team supports Sara in design and implementation planning to create architecture that is in harmony with its surroundings, yet develops its own language. In addition, Sara supports the Less Plus studio in public relations, deals with the creative concept developments of architecture, managing the homepage, as well as external communication.

Trained as a draftsman at the technical college Glockenspitz in Krefeld and through experience from various large projects in retail design, Saskia has gained a great understanding of branding through physical spaces, materiality and form.

At Less Plus, she uses these skills to support design projects and translate room programs into coherent functional processes.

Trained at the Bochum University of Applied Sciences, Tim supports Studio Less Plus in design and implementation planning, and he also deals with the implementation of our projects on the construction site, which means that he accompanies the entire architectural planning process.

During his bachelor’s degree, he was awarded first place in the urban development ideas competition “Agri-Urban Settlement Models”.

Due to her fascination with creative design and enthusiasm for the built space, Vivien decided to become a draftsman and successfully completed her training at Less Plus. In addition to her work in design and implementation planning, Vivien does accounting work

She supports the team with her precise drawings and her conviction that good design contributes to longevity of architecture.

With his untamed energy, Manni always ensures a good mood and playfully integrates smaller breaks into everyday office life. In addition, he is also responsible for the fitness of the team and therefore encourages people to take walks from time to time.

As office dog from Less Plus, Ruffy is an important player in acquisition and customer care. Thanks to his strong empathy, he contributes to the positive office atmosphere as a feel good manager and helps with his playful manner in coping with stress.

Cooperation (Lübecker Strasse 32, 44135 Dortmund) is a young office with a focus on architecture and communication. A large number of projects have already been designed and visualized together.