An education

Amy
Thursday 31 Mar 2011

Emerging practice focus on the role that architecture plays in motivating its community

De Matos Ryan is a young, award-winning architectural practice headed by partners Angus Morrogh-Ryan and José Esteves de Matos, both graduates of Cambridge and Harvard University.

Founded in 1999 the practice first gained recognition in 2002 with the highly publicised multi award-winning Cowley Manor Hotel & Spa and has since established a strong reputation in the hospitality, education and private residential sectors, placed as a Finalist in The Architecture Foundation’s 2008 Next Generation Awards.

De Matos Ryan combines expertise in architecture, landscape and interiors to create imaginative and well-detailed modern environments. At the heart of each commission is an ambition to make detailed, tactile, immersive, characterful environments and a belief in the social and public role that architecture plays in motivating its community.

Each commission provides a blank canvas to enable the client’s specific ambitions, avoiding predetermined concepts. The practice is able to bridge the gap between artistic and technical innovation in design and the commercial realities of development, producing work on a variety of scales: from product design such as the Bird Boxes for the Durham World Heritage Site (2004) to the reappraisal of the environmental branding for the Strada restaurant chain, where the practice is acting as design ambassador for over 70 schemes nationwide (2011).

In the Residential sector recent projects include the award-winning Round House (2009), which entailed the model conversion of a dilapidated Grade II listed tower and creation of a semi-subterranean extension.

Basing Farm (2007) is a prototype for the sustainable and environmentally sensitive conversion of industrial chicken sheds to high quality modern family homes. In Education, the practice were one of 100 designers selected to contribute to the Sorrell Foundation’s JoinedUpDesignforSchools programme, which lead to the refurbishment of the refectory at Hockerill School in Bishops Stortford (2009).

At Charlotte Sharman Primary School in Southwark (2010), the practice developed a playground to promote ‘dramatic inquiry’. The scheme replaces uninspiring grey tarmac with a brightly coloured, fantastic seascape centred around two new timber pavilions.

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