Ian designs buildings, advises on working with historic buildings and promotes practice based research.
He has been a guest lecturer, critic and mentor to architecture students at the University of Bath.
If you weren’t in this career, what would you be?
I always wanted to be a museum curator or archivist. Something to do with learning and bringing order to the world.
What’s your favourite project you’ve worked on to date?
325 Fishponds Road. It was for the Bristol Community Land Trust and was Bristol’s first self-finish scheme. The project wrapped a new build terrace and a reused redundant school building around a shared garden on a tight site. I got into architecture wanting to deliver work with a strong social agenda and this was by far the most interesting of my social housing projects.
What’s the greatest invention ever?
The Blackwing Palomino 602 pencil is a pleasure to draw and write with. It is as close to perfection as a thing could be.
Biggest career influence?
Astley Castle by Witherford Watson Mann. The ruin was “restored” in 2012 for The Landmark Trust. The architects noted that the building had grown organically over the past 700 years with each generation adding a wing or layer to the building’s history. No era was more or less important in determining the character of the building. So rather than repair the ruination and put the building back to a previous state, they treated their intervention as yet another layer. It is sensitive and self-aware. It pays respect to the total history of the place without being slave to it.
Best book you’ve read?
The Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon. I have read this more than any other book and find some new and perfect detail with every reading. It is beautiful and ridiculous.
An RIBA member and conservation registrant, working towards conservation architect accreditation.