Studio Without Walls
Architect Garry Thomas, former design director at RRA Architects for 14 years, launched Thomas Studio in 2016: a new design studio now his own label.
Garry Thomas RIBA is recognised as a master architect of his generation. Garry was born in Herefordshire and is the son of a long lineage of farrier blacksmiths. His design influences range from the arts and crafts, shaping and making in metals, to modernism and the civic-life of cities. Garry studied architecture at the Architectural Association, where a studio approach to architecture enabled him to study with Alejandro Zeara-Polo and Farshid Mousavi of FOA.
In London his design for the headquarters of Overbury Plc. pioneered a new approach to the refurbishment and upgrade of a 1950’s concrete framed office building (completed in 1997) adjacent to Oxford Street. Later projects included: Journey Zone for Ford UK as part of the Dome 2000 celebrations, with exhibition and interpretation spaces capturing the imagination at Greenwich during the millennium; Dartford Crossing, a 150k sqft warehouse and office development complex for Lendlease; and, Virgin megastores in Greece.
Having spent nine years in London, working for some of the countries leading practices, such as Imagination, Scott Brownrigg and Barr Gazetas, in 2002 he joined RRA architects. Becoming design director to the practice where his abilities soon established a 'contemporary history' with award-winning attention to detail.
He moved to RRA to oversee the design and construction of The Watersworks Museum, a Heritage Lottery Funded project wihtin a Grade 1 Listed Scheduled Ancient monument. He proceeded to build a remarkable portfolio of experience, including an all-time top-25 Grand Design house, filmed by Channel 4's Kevin McCloud; the refurbishment of three 18th century townhouses in London; a house that was awarded a Wood Award; a contemporary art gallery to house notable works by Carl Andre; a sustainable ticket pavilion for Hay Festival; a 21st century creation of Skylon for the Herefordshire Enterprise Zone; the creation of several stunning contemporary houses in open countryside; and, a sublime tree-like steel and glass building set within a Grade 2 Listed ale house, located on the banks of the river Wye.
Garry helped grow the RRA practice from a staff of 7 to 23, with offices in Hereford, Cheltenham and London, and projects throughout the UK. Working with clients such as the Crown Estate and Regents University London in Regents Park, The Magic Circle at Euston, a sports complex for the Sikh community of Ealing, a new £25m FE masterplan for Herefordshire and Ludlow College, and a traditional Oak garage to house the car collection for 'Hampster' the diminutive one on Top Gear.Thomas Studio
is founded on the principles of good client service, a professional approach, and of course: creating and making buildings.
Aside from practice Garry is also a Governor of Herefordshire and Ludlow College, a Freeman of the City of London, a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Constructors, and the Worshipful Company of Farriers. He has also mentored students at Cardiff, Bristol and is currently providing tutoring for an RIBA part ii student at Oxford Brookes University.
Garry is currently collaborating with construction professionals on projects in Herefordshire, Gloucestershire, the South West and London.
Historic collaborations carried on while at RRA include: a ticket pavilion with Hay Festival and Oakrights and the Future Vision symposium with CABE, English Heritage, the RIBA and local Councils in Herefordshire to sow the seeds for a £900m regeneration of Hereford city centre.
Garry was formerly chairman of Hereford Civic Society, where he held office for five years. Whilst chairman of the society Garry’s research into London’s Skylon, at the 1951 Festival of Britain, enabled him to discover new video material lost in the archive, which lead to the City of Hereford naming it’s new Enterprise Zone as: Skylon Park – the city where the original Skylon was manufactured, in 1951.Thomas Studio is a: 'studio without walls'
‘This is an important time in the evolution of my career, and I believe that the creation of my own studio will help support clients in a more professional way delivering better quality design. The new studio will allow the many talented industry contacts and partners I work with to focus on what they do best, providing excellent design, and delivering projects on time and on budget.’
Garry Thomas RIBA 2017
If you are interested in collaborating with the practise, on current or future projects, and you work in the construction industry at any level, register your interest below. SaveSaveSaveSaveSave