Sir Nicholas Grimshaw, CBE (born 9 October 1939) is a prominent English architect, particularly noted for several modernist buildings, including London‘s Waterloo International railway station and the Eden Project in Cornwall. In late 2004, he was elected President of the Royal Academy.
Born in Hove, East Sussex, Grimshaw inherited an interest in engineering (one of his great-grandfathers was responsible for overseeing the installation of Dublin‘s drainage and sanitation system, while another built dams in Egypt). He is also reputed to have displayed an early interest in construction; his boyhood interests included Meccano, building tree houses and boats.
He was educated at Wellington College. From 1959 to 1962, he studied at theEdinburgh College of Art before winning a scholarship to attend the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London, where he won further scholarships to travel to Sweden in 1963 and the United States in 1964. He graduated from the AA in 1965 with an honours degree, and having entered into a partnership with Terry Farrell, he joined the Royal Institute of British Architects two years later in 1967.
He worked with Farrell for 15 years before establishing his own firm, Nicholas Grimshaw & Partners, in 1980. In 1989, he won a RIBA national award for his design of theFinancial Times printworks in east London. After designing Britain’s pavilion for theSeville Expo in 1992, he was appointed a CBE in 1993, and the following year saw his Waterloo railway terminal awarded the accolade of ‘Building of the Year’. That same year (1994) also saw him elected a vice-chairman of the Architectural Association, a member of the Royal Academy and a member of the American Institute of Architects.
Grimshaw’s architecture practice continues to grow; it has a global profile, with offices in London, New York and Melbourne. The work of Nicholas Grimshaw and Partners is the subject of a series of monographs published by Phaidon Press: Architecture, Industry and Innovation deals with the years 1965–1988; Structure Space and Skin covers 1988–1993; and Equilibrium looks at work up until 2000.
Grimshaw is behind the National institute for research into aquatic habitats (NIRAH) design. Upon completion, this will become the world’s largest aquarium.