Born in Ravello, Apicella studied architecture at the University of Nottingham, Canterbury College of Art and the Royal College of Art in London. On graduating in 1981 he joined Skidmore, Owings & Merrill as assistant designer for the 70-storey Allied Bank Plaza Building in Houston, Texas. He subsequently worked with CZWG architects on alternatives to Ludwig Mies van der Rohe's Mansion House Square, London, and on international architecture, design and exhibition projects for communications agency Imagination.
In 1989 he established his own practice in London, Apicella Associates. In 1998, after completing a wide range of projects ranging from buildings and interiors, to exhibitions, events environments, and mobile structures, he merged his studio with Pentagram, becoming a partner in the London office and subsequently in Pentagram San Francisco.
His published projects include the award winning Research and Design Centre for Adshel; ongoing projects worldwide for Citibank; a comprehensive interior design programme for Virgin Upper, Premium and Economy Class cabins, for the entire Virgin fleet (including award-winning redesign of Virgin’s Upper Class aircraft cabins); new branch interiors for Rabobank, Holland’s second largest high-street bank, 2 buildings in London for Clear Channel International; business-to-business showrooms in New York for shoe designers Jimlar; an award-winning exhibition launch environment in Denver for architectural audio company Sonance; and six buildings for M&T Bank, including a new regional flagship branch in Buffalo, New York, and the AIA Award-winning central branch building in Brooklyn, New York.
Apicella has chaired numerous Royal Institute of British Architects, Civic Trust awards and design competitions juries, including the AIA awards for Southern California in San Diego, and the World Architecture Festival Awards, and the Inside Festival Awards in Barcelona. He has presented his work at lectures and conferences internationally, has been a visiting lecturer at schools of architecture in the UK and US, and has acted as an External Examiner for the Department of Architecture, Oxford Brookes University, the School of Design at UCE Birmingham and the Royal College of Art in the UK.
- "Leading by Example". Architects Journal. 15 October 2010.
- "In Practice". Architects Journal. 30 June 2005.
- "Pentagram San Francisco Swells Its Ranks with Move of London Partner". Dexigner. 13 May 2006.
- "Virgin Red Hot Design Talks: Lorenzo Apicella". Gleeds. 2009.
- "Jimlar Showroom". World Interior Design Network. 13 May 2009.
- "Amplified Design". Exhibitor Magazine. 2007.
- "M&T Bank Opens Signature Branch in West Seneca". PR Newswire. 24 March 2010.
- "New Work: M&T Bank Central Branch, Brooklyn". New at Pentagram. 15 August 2011.
- "Lorenzo Apicella". World Architecture Festival. 2009.
- Yelavich, Susan, ed. (2004) Profile: Pentagram Design. New York: Phaidon Press, ISBN 978-0714843773