The English quartet of Richard Rogers, Norman Foster, Nicholas Grimshaw, and Michael Hopkins have led, even defined, a modernist strain of postwar British architecture since the late 1970s. They have all been knighted, two have won Pritzker prizes, two RIBA and AIA gold medals, and all are still active in practice, building in every major city in the world. They were all born in the 1930s: Foster (1935), Rogers (1933), Michael Hopkins (1935) and Grimshaw (1939), and it had been unclear if any of these figures had succession plans.
But now, one of the group, Nicholas Grimshaw, has announced he is stepping away from the daily management of the firm and handing the reins of the company over to a younger generation. Andrew Whalley, FAIA, who has worked with Grimshaw for 33 years and helped establish the firm’s New York studio in 2001, was voted chairman by the Grimshaw partners.
Whalley has worked on projects ranging from the Waterloo International railway station, the Eden Project in Cornwall, the redevelopment of Paddington Station in London, the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center in Troy, New York, and is currently overseeing the design of the Sustainability Pavilion for the World Expo 2020 Dubai. Whalley will serve as chairman from New York where he lives with his family.
And as for Grimshaw, he said: “I will continue to make available my experience from the last fifty years in practice,” and will remain a voting partner in the firm.
Whalley was elevated in 2019 to the American Institute of Architects College of Fellows for his design work. He is being awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Letters on June 14 at his alma mater, the Glasgow School of Art and the University of Glasgow, in recognition for his contribution to the fields of architecture and design.
An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that Nicholas Grimshaw is retiring, and the text has since been updated.