Ritchie Studio

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Ian Ritchie Architects’ Social Commitment

Ian Ritchie Architects’ ethos is that we serve society, and it is central to the way we design and practice our art of architecture. For nearly 40 years we have collaborated with like-minded fellow professionals and others across the arts and sciences to deliver socially beneficial and ecologically sustainable public and private projects in a responsible and ethical manner.

We are not purely profit- or growth-driven: quality has always taken precedence over quantity. We seek to be a practice that keeps growing in intellectual and in design capability to enable us to produce better and more relevant architecture. To achieve this, it is vital for us to work with clients who are also motivated by benefitting the public and society as a whole.

Our commitment to research, innovation and open collaboration with others beyond the normal frame of architecture has resulted in an unusually large number of new materials, product and technical developments for a practice of our size. These are referenced in the list of World Firsts on this website. Research is not limited to our own studio and workshop. Ian Ritchie Architects has collaborated on R & D internationally with major companies in the world of construction, including Pilkington, British Steel, EdF, Seele, Brochier Aerospatiale, Locker Wire, Lamberts, and France Gabion. Also, individual members of our practice have helped lead community-build school projects in rural S America and SE Asia.

Ian Ritchie has sat on the European Construction Technology Platform and UK National Technology Platform, and the National Maritime Museum Research Advisory Committee. He has been advisor to the Natural History Museum, British Museum, UK Govt. IBIS Research Programme, the Foresight Construction Panel, Ministry of Justice, Royal Shakespeare Company, GLA Spatial Development Strategy Policy Commission, The Ove Arup Foundation, Royal Commission for the Exhibition 1851: Built Environment + Design Research Programme and currently Backstage Trust. Ian was a founder member of CABE – the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment, and is CABE Emeritus Commissioner. He has chaired the RIBA Stirling Prize, Scotlands’ Doolan Award, Czech Architecture Grand Prix, Berlin Art Prize, Les Jeunes Albums France, and Compasso Volante – Italy, Korea, France, China.

As a practice we have sponsored Professors in Building Physics alongside The Ove Arup Foundation and the Royal Academy of Engineering; supported the Interdisciplinary Design for The Built Environment at Cambridge University; the Manhattanville Project at Columbia University; and the Centre for Urban Science and Progress at NYU. We currently sponsor Project Compass, which seeks to make competitions and procurement fairer in the UK; Voight-Kampff R&D; and the Architectural Association Haiti Project. We support Mountview, Article 25, Think Space at UCL, Crisis and Shelter, and Blueprint for all (formerly The Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust).

Individuals in Ian Ritchie Architects are members of Scientists for Global Responsibility, International Association of Bridge and Structural Engineering, and the Society of Façade Engineering. We have a strong and ongoing commitment to education. Members of our practice have had professorial, tutor and senior teaching roles at UK and European schools of architecture and the Royal Academy of Arts. We are supporting the new UCL Bartlett 4-year MSCi in architecture, and collectively we continue to provide teaching support at Liverpool University, the Architecture Association and University College London. They support student R&D projects through the London Doctoral Design Consortium (LDoc programme – Kingston, RCA and University of the Arts); the Cognitive Neuroscience Group, which is part of the Royal Institute of Navigation, and the Young Academicians programme at The Akademie der Künste, Berlin.

We give talks across the world at universities and international conferences on Art, Science, Education, Urbanism, Lighting, Glass, Landscape and Architectural Design.

We have an esteemed reputation as a ‘finishing school’ for new graduates and engage year-out students every year, introducing them to Ian Ritchie Architects’ ethos, rigorous design quality and cooperative pan-disciplinary working methodologies.