The Sainsbury Wellcome 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 is a shockingly good building to work in.” Adam Kampff, PI
2016 Winner BCI Major Building of the Year Award (over £50m)
2016 Winner LEAF Façade Design & Engineering Award
2016 Overall Winner LEAF Awards
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 Other Place is a fabulous achievement.” Erica Whyman, RSC Deputy Artistic Director
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.
This 3,000 m2 research office building was designed for the Prudential and Magdalen College JV. The building ‘floats’ above undercroft parking, the entrance sheltered and east and west facing windows shaded by horizontal veils of stainless steel mesh. The design provides adaptable accommodation for single or multiple occupancy, and the environmental controls permit natural ventilation through to full air conditioning.
Ian Ritchie Architects were commissioned by Stanhope to design, detail, supervise and deliver a multi-tenancy research-office building of 9,000m2 within 52 weeks to a fixed budget at the renowned Stockley Park. We developed the first double glazed Planar with Pilkington for the external walls. The finished building gave 92% nett rental area and received several awards.
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.
iRAL are delighted that the Sainsbury Wellcome Centre for Neural Circuits and Behaviour at UCL is the 2016 Overall Winner of the Leading European Architecture Forum (LEAF) Awards and also wins the LEAF Façade Design & Engineering Award.
The judges comment: “Poetic and pragmatic, a very worthy winner” –
iRAL is proud to celebrate the 2016 BCI Major Building of the Year Award (over £50m) with all those involved. A great team effort.
Commissioning Authority – University College London funded by the Gatsby Charitable Foundation & Wellcome Trust
Architect – Ian Ritchie Architects
Engineer – Arup
Principal Contractor – Kier
On 26th October Ian Ritchie will deliver the inaugural talk in a programme created by Edinburgh Architectural Association to look 25-50 years ahead into Edinburgh’s future. He will address the city as a manifestation of collective and individual memory and forgetting, from skyline to plinth, and explore the idea of designing the future within the context of a contemporary complex, intellectual and economically driven city. The talk will be followed by a public workshop.
Volkwin Marg, the founder of gmp architekten alongside Meinhard von Gerkan, is celebrating his 80th birthday with an exhibition at the Aedes Gallery in Berlin. Ian Ritchie is delighted to accept Marg’s invitation to give a talk about him and his work to colleagues and invited guests at the opening on 21st October.