History of Grimshaw
Sir Nicholas Grimshaw established Grimshaw in 1980. The firm became a Partnership in 2007 and operates internationally with offices in Los Angeles, New York, London, Paris, Dubai, Melbourne, Sydney, and Auckland, employing over 650 people.
Grimshaw’s global leadership structure serves as the foundation for the practice’s ongoing development and success. Comprising Associates, Associate Principals, Principals, and Partners, the leadership structure guides the organization at every stage, from project design to the fundamental principles of the business.
Grimshaw’s global portfolio encompasses all significant industries, and the company has been recognized for its dedication to design excellence with over 200 international design awards. The company’s designs are distinguished by their strong conceptual legibility, inventiveness, and meticulous attention to detail, all of which are driven by the ideas of durable, sustainable, and humane design. The practice is committed to involving itself as much as possible in the building design process in order to create outstanding projects. Grimshaw received the AJ100 International Practice of the Year Award in both 2016 and 2018 for its global reach.
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The foundation of the Grimshaw studio is investigation and analysis. They enjoy the challenges that come with working on a variety of projects, applying their knowledge and adaptability to produce meaningful, long-lasting design that benefits clients and users. Their projects address the resources and needs of the modern world. The buildings they create are the result of a thorough comprehension of the roles they must play, the environments they have to establish, and the materials they are made of.
Everything that Grimshaw creates—including buildings, master plans, and industrial design—is the result of an evolutionary process that finds beauty in efficiency, economy, and form. With each project, they gain more knowledge about creating forms and places, serving processes and people, and respecting the planet’s fragility and limited resources.
This cumulative experience has led to the creation of cozy, healthy spaces that simultaneously address the functional, social, and aspirational needs of the people they serve and inspire wonder and delight.
Sir Nicholas Grimshaw, Founder
In 1965, Sir Nicholas Grimshaw graduated from the Architectural Association with Honors. He immediately established his own practice and received numerous awards for his buildings in the 1960s and 1970s. After founding Nicholas Grimshaw and Partners in 1980, the firm received widespread praise and more than 100 awards for its achievements in civic and architectural design.
Grimshaw has given lectures in 23 different countries and is a registered architect in England, France, Germany, and Spain. He is also licensed to practice architecture in the state of New York, having passed an examination in 2002.
Sir Nicholas was one of five architects profiled in the BBC4 documentary «The Brits Who Built the Modern World» in early 2014. The 2016 film «Some Kind of Joy: The Inside Story of Grimshaw in Twelve Buildings,» which is presently screening at international film festivals, was also produced by the same production company.
In 1994, Sir Nicholas was elected as both an Honorary Fellow of the AIA and a Royal Academician. In 2002, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II knighted him, and from 2004 to 2011, he served as President of the Royal Academy of Arts.
The UK’s highest architectural honor, the Royal Gold Medal, was awarded to Sir Nicholas in 2019 by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) in appreciation of his lifetime’s work. In that same year, Sir Nicholas announced his resignation as Chairman of the Practice, but he remained with the firm as Partner and Founder.
Company Culture at Grimshaw
As a practice, they are motivated by collaboration, which they understand can only be sustained by gifted, diverse, and dedicated workers—people who play a crucial role in determining the company’s destiny. Grimshaw welcomes individuals from all backgrounds to join their teams anywhere in the world and takes pride in its inclusive approach, sustainable leadership, and equal opportunities offer.
As an international organization, their clients value their shared knowledge, while their local presence ensures that they actively integrate into the cities and communities in which they operate. At Grimshaw, the employees are encouraged to be creative and innovative, as well as to push themselves as they advance in their careers.
People are at the heart of Grimshaw: in the projects we deliver, the opportunities we enable and the connections we make across global communities.
In order to give young people the skills and opportunities they need to achieve their potential, Grimshaw is also proud to support the Grimshaw Foundation. Through interactive seminars, studio visits, and architectural tours, they assist educational institutions and nearby communities in London, Sydney, Melbourne, and New York City.
Motivated by the goal of fostering connections between individuals and the wider world, Grimshaw is a hub for creativity and innovation. They understand the gravity of the issues facing the world and their responsibility to provide the best possible architecture and design for a prosperous future.
Delivering enduring, meaningful design that adds value and joy to clients and users has always been Grimshaw’s mission. Building on this history, the practice hopes to create buildings that are socially and environmentally regenerative by 2030 and net zero carbon ready by 2025.
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Architect-US is proud to work in close contact with Grimshaw and to be able to ensure the firm gets to know and work with amazing young architects like Catherine Henrietta Van Dorssen and Marta Morato Costa, whom we helped process their J1 Visa through our J1 Visa Program!
Catherine Henrietta Van Dorssen
British-Dutch Architect Catherine Van Dorssen studied at the University of Kent in the UK where she received her Bachelor of Architecture degree. Her thesis project ‘Temporary Architecture as a Process’ was awarded with First-Class Honours. She went on to get her Master of Architecture Degree from Manchester School of Architecture, UK from which she graduated with Distinction. During her time at MSA she also took a semester abroad through ERASMUS at Politecnico di Milano, Italy. On top of all that, Dorssen also started working towards her Post-Graduate Diploma in Architectural Practice in 2022 at Greenwich University, UK.
Besides her impressive education, Catherine’s work experience is also pretty extraordinary. She was an Architectural Assistant at JBKS Architects, Oxford, UK in 2016 where she independently modeled a complete SketchUp model of a village community hall and participated in the Practice’s additional cultural projects. After that, from 2017 to 2018, Catherine took an Architecture Internship with Sauerbruch Hutton Architekten, Berlin, DE where she worked on a 90.200 m2 mixed-use project in Alexanderplatz, Berlin at work phase 1. She was involved in altering drawings using MicroStation and producing clear diagrams. Dorssen also worked on physical and computer modelling on Rhine and produced V-Ray visualizations for various design options.
Marta Morato Costa
Spanish Architect Marta Morato graduated with a Bachelor of Architecture Degree from Madrid Technical School of Architecture, Spain. She also did an international program through ERASMUS at Chalmers University of Technology in Göteborg, Sweden.
Despite her young age, Marta has an extensive professional experience starting from 2017 at MACCREANOR LAVINGTON ARCHITECTS where she had a Student Internship. After that she went on gaining work experience with Conjuntos Empaticos, RISE (Research Institutes of Sweden), Obranueva.com, amid.cero9, and Suma Arquitectura where she was a Junior Architect.
She is doing her Trainee Program at Grimshaw through the Arquia Scholarship, which she won along with the Utokyo Scholarship.
Grimshaw‘s Selected Projects
Eden Project – Qingdao, China
A new addition to the Eden Project family, Eden Project Qingdao focuses on water and its essential role in life on Earth. Eden Project Qingdao will introduce a distinctive cultural experience to China that combines science, art, education, and entertainment with the goal of inspiring, educating, and entertaining a wide range of audiences from China and around the globe. Highlights will include the world’s largest indoor rainforest and top-notch indoor and outdoor water gardens.
Journeying through striking environments of extreme aridity and water abundance, visitors to Eden Project Qingdao will be encircled by interactive installations and theatrical performances. These will examine various facets of water, ranging from the microscopic organisms within a single drop to the violent explosions of a storm cloud.
Located on Jiaozhou Bay, Eden Project Qingdao is bounded by water and defined by rivers and the sea. It is located at the meeting point of two rivers on a sizable tract of reclaimed land that was formerly damaged by environmental degradation and was subsequently utilized for the production of salt and prawns.
As the cultural attraction is developed, the project will follow stringent guidelines for sustainability, energy management, and waste management. It will demonstrate the site’s regeneration and restore the land’s connection to the surrounding water.
Photos by Grimshaw
The Silva – Washington DC, USA
Grimshaw has seized the chance to build a residential community at the Silva that is supported by a strong sense of place. The design not only celebrates Washington, DC’s urban and natural landscapes, but also initiates a dialogue between this creative new development and the adjacent Scottish Rite Temple’s historic Adams-Morgan neighborhood setting. Silva provides a classic architectural expression in a neighborhood rich in heritage and character.
The Silva’s facade’s distinctive, rhythmic window placement cleverly gains more floor area at each projection while reorienting views toward the church spires that dominate the intersection of Columbia Road and 16th Street. Local artist MasPaz completed the image by creating a mosaic piece at the new residential entrance that mimics the Temple’s elaborate, vibrant front door details.
Inside, the 172-unit complex shares a network of interconnected public and outdoor areas. As they enter, residents pass the mail room, the gym, and the lounge before reaching the elevators. Floor to ceiling windows in the elevator lobby of each floor let in natural light and offer views of the nearby buildings and courtyard garden. All of the interior amenity spaces have views to the exterior courtyard, which connects residents to the outdoors and natural light. A beautifully landscaped rooftop makes the most of broad views of the US Capitol and the Washington Monument from the National Mall.
In order to maximize building performance, The Silva also incorporates passive housing principles. The systems in place increase residents’ comfort while taking environmental sustainability into consideration.
Photos by Grimshaw
Victorian Tunnelling Centre – Melbourne, Australia
Being the only facility of its kind in Australia, the Victorian Tunnelling Centre allows students to receive training inside of actual mined and bored tunnels. The new facility offers a cutting-edge learning environment where individuals can receive training in tunnel construction and underground construction. As well as the specialized skills needed for important city-shaping projects.
The center, which aims to replicate real-world situations, has a mined tunnel that exposes students to the general conditions of an underground tunnel as well as a perfect replica rail tunnel with segments that are exactly the same as those used on the Metro Tunnel. There are two multipurpose engineering workrooms, mixed reality experiences, and outdoor demonstration spaces to support this hands-on learning.
Lined with curved anodised aluminium panels, the tunnel section that forms the building’s entrance defines the arrival space while also heralding the significance of the centre’s learning offer and visitor engagement. The center’s expansive, airy interior without any columns enables it to effectively adjust to changes in the tunneling industry as well as in teaching methods and education. The façade design offers a straightforward, economical solution that makes use of translucent and insulated panel systems for quick construction and best possible building performance.
Photos by Grimshaw
We will be posting more projects by Grimshaw in the upcoming weeks and months, so keep an eye out for more of their incredible work! Every Friday we will be posting a new Featured Company, so join us again next week!