Many architects start their career dreaming of their perfect commission – perhaps the chance of creating an iconic building that defines a city.
Few architects though get the opportunity to totally redefine and reshape whole swathes of a city.
Our guest this week is not an architect but a developer, having made his name at Argent through his acclaimed urban regeneration work, initially at Brindleyplace in Birmingham and then through the vast transformation of Kings Cross in London. Kings Cross has become a defining example of bold well-managed urban regeneration.
In the early 1980s Roger studied Building Management and Engineering at university before entering world of work in the midst of a deep recession.
In 1987 he joined the fledgling developer Argent. Two years later he became a director, and went on to become Chief Executive in 1997.
He was awarded a CBE for services to sustainable development in the 2007 Queen’s Honours List. In 2010 he became an Honorary Fellow of the RIBA
After finishing University, in 2003 Kate left her native Australia and moved to London. Following a brief stint temping in various roles including at the BBC, she started work as Architecture Programme Coordinator at the Royal Academy of Arts.
Over the intervening 14 years Kate rose steadily through the ranks going on to become both the Academy’s Drue Heinz Curator of Architecture, and Head of the Architecture programme.
We consider what London has gained from Sydney and what Sydney has learned from Melbourne. And we talk about the interplay between art and architecture.
Finally we discuss gender in the field of architecture. We consider how a better built environment requires a better gender balance, not just amongst those who create architecture but also amongst those who are responsible for its commissioning, financing and planning.
We speak to Kate in the imposing and slightly intimidating General Assembly Room at the Royal Academy.
On the programme this week is Hugh Broughton. Hugh is perhaps best known for his practice’s work designing the British Antarctic Survey’s Halley VI Research Station. Its bright red and blue modules set atop large hydraulic stilts loom large over the glistening white Antarctic landscape.
The research station’s iconic outline has entered the popular imagination, having featured both on the front of a Royal Mail Stamp and the back of a Two Pound coin. More recently the station featured on a BBC Horizon documentary, which covered the extraordinary process of moving the building.
After university in Edinburgh and a brief spell working with John McAslan, Hugh founded his own practice in 1996. Following their successful work for the British Antarctic Survey, the practice went on to forge an enviable track record for their other work in remote and polar regions – as well as work closer to home on a string of cultural and heritage projects.
In this week’s episode we talk about the chilly task of designing for the Antarctic, about working for NASA and the architects’ role as a marriage councillor.
We discuss the joy of winning competitions and the pain of losing them. And we consider the benefits and necessity of having many strings to your bow.
In 1976 Michael founded his eponymous practice from a basement studio in Pimlico. Over the intervening 41 years the practice has grown at a prodigious rate, now being ranked as the 9th largest architecture firm in the UK, according to the AJ100 rankings. The firm now employs more than 215 staff.
The practice has moved several times from those early days, first to South Kensington and then Kings Cross, but most recently to their stunning new building – The Department Store – in Brixton.
In this week’s episode we ask what it means to create ‘polite architecture’ and find out when you might get paid in traveller’s cheques.
We talk about succession planning and why you really can do without an HR department, but really shouldn’t go without buying your own building.
And finally we find out why it’s so important to still feel the fear.
In today’s episode we speak about Chris’s passion for drawing and his work for James Stirling. We talk about going to boarding school and walking the plank. And finally, about making grand plans – or perhaps plans to be grand.
On the podcast this week is architect Mary Duggan.
In 2004 Mary and her then partner Joe Morris founded Duggan Morris Architects which quickly went on to become one of the most critically acclaimed young practices of the early 2000s.
Over the intervening 12 years the practice grew from a team of two – to now employing more than 50 staff. The rapid success of the business also coincided with the practice winning a huge number of architectural awards.
Earlier this year the practice announced an amicable demerger, with Joe continuing to lead Duggan Morris whilst Mary – along with nine members of staff – went on to launch a new practice Mary Duggan Architects.
I joined Mary at her new practice in Shoreditch where I asked about the nature of creative partnerships; about convincing clients and dealing with business growing pains. We also spoke about their Alfriston School Swimming Pool and the PedElle cycling challenge.
My guest this week is Peter Rees, now Professor of Places and City Planning at The Bartlett School of Architecture at University College London.
Before returning to the Bartlett in 2014, Peter was, for nearly 30 years, the Chief Planning Officer in the City of London. Over this time he oversaw the architectural transformation of the Square Mile.
In this week’s episode we find out which architect used a model of a stealth bomber as his inspiration. We talk about egos and editing; Penarth and Powerpoint. We ask why London Mayors are obsessed with changing the design of buses.
We find out how James Stirling called meetings and discover which influential architect would like to sleep – or pretend to sleep – in meetings.
Architecture Masters is a new podcast series about the people shaping our cities – a series of short conversations with some of architecture’s leading lights.
For the pilot episode we speak to RIBA Manser Medal-winning architect Carl Turner about what it’s like to build, then sell your dream home.
We talk about gentrification in Brixton, the threat from Brexit and why architects are always moving offices. From a brutalist carpark in Peckham to temporary buildings in Tokyo, we talk about how long buildings should last and why architects have to take risks to get ahead.