Spencer de Grey becomes visiting Professor of Design

Spencer de Grey becomes visiting Professor of Design
Spencer de Grey becomes visiting Professor of Design


The eminent architect Spencer de Grey, CBE, is to take up a five year visiting Professorship in the Department of Architecture at the University of Cambridge.

De Grey (pictured) is a senior partner and head of design at the leading London architecture firm, Foster and Partners, and is also a Royal Academician in the field.

In more than 40 years as a practising architect, he has overseen projects including Stansted Airport, the Great Court at the British Museum, and the Law Faculty at the University of Cambridge itself.

He has already been working since October 2009 as a distinguished visiting architect within the Department, from which he also graduated in 1969. As the Department’s first Visiting Professor of Design he will work with students in a series of workshops and bring his international experience to bear on current design research issues through a number of special lectures.

As a student at Cambridge, de Grey studied under Sir Leslie Martin, a leading purveyor of the International Style that defined architecture in the early to mid 20th century.

His own early career involved a number of projects in the education sector. Working for the London Borough of Merton, he took responsibility for designing one of the first Middle Schools in England. After he joined Foster Associates in 1973, he also worked on the Palmerston Special School in Liverpool.

In 1979, de Grey set up the Foster Associates Hong Kong office, to work on the Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank. He returned to London two years later, becoming the director in charge of Stansted Airport’s development, which he saw through to completion in 1991.

During the same period he worked on the BBC Radio Centre, Langham Place, and the Sackler Galleries at the Royal Academy of Arts in London. He became a partner in 1991, and oversaw a series of other projects in the years that followed, including the Commerzbank Headquarters in Frankfurt, the Great Glasshouse at the National Botanic Garden of Wales, the redevelopment of Dresden Station, the Sage (Music Centre), Gateshead, nine new City Academy schools in the UK and Wallbrook Square in the City of London.

He is currently responsible for a number of projects in the United States, including the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, the new Winspear Opera House in Dallas and the competition-winning scheme for the National Portrait Gallery courtyard at the Smithsonian in Washington, DC.

De Grey is also the architectural advisor for the Royal Botanical Gardens in Kew, Chairman of the Building Centre Trust and Chairman of the Cambridge University School of Architecture Advisory Board. He was made a CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours of 1997 and elected a Royal Academician in December 2008.