Ian Ritchie Architects

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Royal Academy of Music

‘The spaces are stunningly beautiful and inspiring. They will raise the bar and challenge the students and staff in every possible form of music to reach higher and search further.’

Jonathan Freeman-Attwood, Principal, Royal Academy of Music

2018 RIBA National Award – Winner
2018 RIBA Award (London) Building of the Year – Winner
2018 RIBA Award (London) – Winner
2018 RICS Award (London) – Winner
2018 NLA Award – Winner
2018 WAF Awards – Finalist (2)
2018 AJ Retrofit Awards – Finalist

Mercers Walk

The scheme designed by Ian Ritchie Architects works with the historic context and architectural grain of this formerly neglected part of Covent Garden to create a vibrant, elegant new area of public space.
A contemporary central piazza forms the focal point of the development, which contains residential apartments, shops and restaurants.

2018 RICS Awards (London) – Finalist
2017 Constructing Excellence Awards – Winner
2017 Building Magazine Awards – Finalist
2017 WAF Awards – Finalist




Sainsbury Wellcome Centre

The Sainsbury Wellcome Centre for Neural Circuits and Behaviour at UCL 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

2018 German Design Award – Winner
2017 RICS Project of the Year Award (London) – Winner
2017 RICS Design through Innovation Award (London) – Winner
2017 Galvanising Awards Duplex Award – Winner
2016 BCI Award Major Building Project of the Year (over £50m) – Winner

RSC The Other Place

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

2018 Civic Trust Awards – Finalist
2017 WAF Awards – Finalist

The Spire - An Túr Solais

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.

Plymouth Theatre Royal Production Centre - TR2

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.

Crystal Palace Concert Platform

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.

Oxford Science Park

This 3,000m2 research office building was designed for the Prudential and Magdalen College JV. The building ‘floats’ above undercroft parking, the entrance is sheltered and east and west facing windows are 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.

Stockley Park Building B8

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% net rental area and received several awards.


Leipzig Neue Messe Glass Hall

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.

Reina Sofia Museum of Modern Art

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.

The Louvre Sculpture Courts, Paris

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.

About us

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.

iRAL has won over 60 competitions in Europe and the UK and received over 70 national and international awards.

Being: An Architect

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.

Zak World of Façades, London

Gordon Talbot is a panelist at the Zak World of Façades Conference.

Licht2018, Davos

On the 11th of September, Ian Ritchie and Ulrike Brandi of Ulrike Brandi Licht will present their approach to architectural lighting.

Cairo Theatre

Ian Ritchie Architects has been commissioned by El Badr to lead a design team for a new 1000-seat theatre as part of their Arkan Expansion which is located on the 26th of July corridor connecting the west Cairo cities of Sheikh Zayed and 6th of October with central Cairo.

Royal Academy of Music RIBA National Award Winner

Another award for the Royal Academy of Music Susie Sainsbury Theatre and Angela Burgess Recital Hall which has won a RIBA National Award 2018, announced 21st June.

World Architecture Festival 2018

The Royal Academy of Music has been selected as one of 17 finalists.

Royal Academy of Music RIBA London Award Winner

iRAL are delighted that the Royal Academy of Music Susie Sainsbury Theatre and Angela Burgess Recital Hall won a RIBA London Award 2018 and was named RIBA London Building of the Year 2018 at the awards ceremony on the 15th of May.

Trident Park, Malta

Construction has begun on the €40 million Trident Park business development.

Royal Academy of Music

The Royal Academy of Music’s new Opera-Musical Theatre and new Recital Hall have received rapturous reviews.

‘The spaces are stunningly beautiful, acoustically brilliant and inspiring. They will raise the bar and challenge the students and staff in every possible form of music to reach higher and search further.’

Jonathan Freeman-Attwood, Principal, Royal Academy of Music

Tune into the Principal and Ian Ritchie in conversation with Sean Rafferty on BBC Radio 3
25’25” to 36’44”