WHO WE ARE
Austin-Smith:Lord is a creative collective of design professionals with decades of experience and an impressive track record. From design concept to project completion we provide complete solutions which are informed by innovation, creativity and responsibility.
We believe in the power of good design to raise the spirit by transforming and enhancing environments. We are driven by a passion for creating exciting, contextual and life-affirming buildings, places and spaces. Our philosophy is underpinned by a commitment to listen to our clients and, through collaboration, surpass their expectations.
Every logistical difficulty represents a chance to be creative. There is an art to being practical.
Inette and Mike Austin-Smith met in 1946 as they resumed architectural studies that had been interrupted by the war. Two years later they were married, and in 1949 JM Austin-Smith and Partner was founded. Later Mike Austin-Smith would cite how teamworking and esprit de corps were an integral part of his war experience with the Royal Horse Artillery (he was awarded the Military Cross), and how he had learned the meaning of professional responsibility the hard way. The ethos of teamwork and professional responsibility became engrained in the practice that bore his name, and have remained ever since.
The other key tenet of the Practice from the start was the insistence on the attention given to the client. The couple quickly learned the importance of involving clients closely throughout the process. Learning to access and understand what clients wanted meant they were able to provide it. This generated repeat business. The Practice grew on the back of it. Here is a chronological timeline of our development as one of the leading architecture firms.
Moved from LLP to Ltd
Relaunch of our London studio
Opening of our Bristol studio
Manchester studio combined with, and relocated to, the Liverpool studio
AJ practice of the Year
Studio set up in Abu Dhabi to service a major project. This studio closed on completion of our involvement
Partnership becomes LLP
Warrington office relocates to Liverpool
New office opens in Manchester
Dixon Hughes, a London-based Practice with experience in retail and commercial development, become part of Austin-Smith:Lord
Wren Rutherford A-S:L and TPS Dangerfield become fully integrated into the Practice and now offer their services as Austin-Smith:Lord
Wren Rutherford A-S:L becomes Austin-Smith:Lord (Glasgow office)
TPS Dangerfield (museum and exhibition design specialists), who had been responsible for major projects in the UK and overseas, join the practice. The combined skills and widened client base have enable the Practice to further develop this specialist area
Joint venture between Austin-Smith:Lord and former members of the Irvine Development Corporation Technical Department in 1998 at 222 Bath Street, Glasgow to form Wren Rutherford A-S:L
New office opens in Cardiff (Mold office is closed three years later)
Series of mergers takes place, including Chamberlin Powell Bon and Woods in 1989 and North-West Water in 1992
Practice merges with Chamberlin Powell Bon and Woods (CPBW) who had been responsible for the Barbican Arts Centre in London, Chelsea Harbour and the Japanese Embassy
First major application of CAD system in designs for Barclays Bank’s public areas upgrade in 1987
One of the first practices to invest in a CAD system with workstations installed in London and Warrington and connected by a kilostream telephone line
Mike and Inette Austin-Smith retire
Practice moves London office to 40-42 Lexington Street, Soho as part of expansion
New studio opens in Mold, Wales
New studio opens in Warrington, Cheshire
Practice is renamed Austin-Smith:Lord. Peter Lord made President of the Society of Industrial Artists and Designers (now the Chartered Society of Designers)
Mike Austin-Smith awarded CBE for services to architecture
Practice is renamed Austin-Smith/Salmon/Lord
Mike Austin-Smith co-writes industry-changing survey: The Architect and his Office
Mike Austin-Smith is President of the Architectural Association
Peter Lord and Geoffrey Salmon become partners
Nominated Architects of the Year by Architects’ Journal
1953 – Peter Lord joined the practice, becoming a Partner in 1956
Austin Smith:Lord is established as a professional architectural practice in London and operated as a partnership by J M Austin Smith (Mike) and I L E Austin Smith
JM Austin-Smith is established by Mike and Inette Austin-Smith in London