The Sainsbury Welcome Centre for Neural Circuits and Behaviour at University College London is one of the first buildings ever designed incorporating latest neuroscientific knowledge into its fabric from inception, and in open collaboration with its prospective neuroscientist users.
“This building is shockingly good.”
The Royal Academy of Music’s adaptable new Theatre and Recital Hall provides state-of-the-art stage and recording facilities suitable for opera and musical theatre productions. Our scheme was unanimously granted planning permission and listed building consent by Westminster City Council, and is scheduled for completion in 2017.
The RIBA national award-winning, now iconic Courtyard Theatre designed by Ian Ritchie Architects has been transformed into a vibrant, naturally lit collection of dramatic theatre performance spaces over five floors within the original, naturally weathered folded Corten steel sheet envelope.
The Spire Monument in Dublin’s centre was inspired by and reflects the ever-changing light and composition of the Irish skies. The elegant and remarkably slender form continues the tradition of standing stones and obelisks and was designed to embody an optimistic and far reaching spirit of contemporary Ireland.
All theatre production activities in Plymouth Theatre Royal’s TR2 are centralised and integrated with educational and rehearsal spaces. The design’s most striking elements are rehearsal pods, clad in a unique woven phosphor-bronze cloth, soft to eye and hand, ‘randomly’ placed on the rock riverbank.
Ian Ritchie Architects’ design for a permanent Concert Platform in Corten steel in London’s Crystal Palace Park is sculptural without being sculpture, bold yet reinforcing the surrounding rich and beautiful Paxton landscape. Nevertheless, its simplicity belies the complex acoustic performance required of it.
Ian Ritchie Architects led the design and realisation of the world’s largest glass hall for the new Leipzig International Exhibition Centre in collaboration with gmp. Combining simplicity of concept and construction with elegance and economy, it appears as a filigree shell within the site’s central landscape.
Ian Ritchie Architects designed the three iconic 35m high glass circulation towers giving the new Reina Sofia Museum of Modern Art in Madrid its architectural image. It was the world’s first glass installation which transferred wind load through the corner glass panels.
Ian Ritchie Architects helped conceive and develop the structure and glazing designs of the 6,000m2 roofs covering the three internal courtyards of the Louvre’s Richelieu wing, creating the Museum’s new Sculpture Courts proposed by I. M. Pei & Michel Macary.
In 1981 Ian Ritchie established his own architectural practice – Ian Ritchie Architects Ltd. (iRAL) and co-founded Rice Francis Ritchie (RFR) a design engineering practice in Paris – with Peter Rice and Martin Francis.
RFR did seminal work during the 80s on the Museum of Science, Technology and Industry at La Villette, and the Louvre – pyramids and sculpture courts.
By the 1990s IRAL had became world-renowned for their glass structures, material-technical innovation and intelligent environmental and sustainable design – of which iRAL’s most recent major project, the Sainsbury Wellcome Centre for Neural Circuits and Behaviour, in London, completed in 2016, is an evolution.
Ian Ritchie Architects has won over 60 competitions in Europe and the UK and received over 60 national and international awards.
In this book extract Ian Ritchie RA reveals the deeper meaning of his life as an architect
A career in architecture engages with so many disciplines and aspects of life it is impossible not to enjoy it. The cyclical phenomena of nature – day following night following day, the life-regenerating cycle of the seasons – provide evidence for the Taoist paradigm. Successes and failures in architecture are part of the duality of being alive – happy and sad, good and bad, life and death. I am reminded that no amount of darkness can extinguish a candle’s flame. This is why, for me, optimism always prevails.
Ian Ritchie Architects’ design philosophy is informed by an investigative and creative approach to each unique project.
Our architecture aims to create - through space and surface defined by light and texture – buildings and environments designed to enhance the physical and mental well-being of the people who inhabit the spaces we create.
We seek to achieve this by means of open, pan-disciplinary collaboration between the client, industry and the design team, and the exchange of ideas and information beyond the normal frame of architecture.
As a result of our philosophy and methodology, two identifiable strengths of the practice have been its material-technical innovation and ability to find elegant solutions to the challenges of each project.
Our conceptual thinking integrates art, science, technology and economy with architecture and landscape.
Two iRAL architects will be hosting a Q&A session at the Sainsbury Wellcome Centre for Open House on Saturday 17 September, 1-5pm in the lecture theatre.
Booking is not required.
Access to the building is limited to: reception, lecture theatre and south courtyard.
Ian Ritchie Architects are pleased to have two projects shortlisted in this year’s LEAF awards:
RSC The Other Place – Refurbishment of the year
Sainsbury Wellcome Centre – Best Façade Design & Engineering