Photographer: David Grandorge


Tony Fretton Architects was founded in 1982 and is now headed by partners Tony Fretton and James McKinney. The buildings completed by the practice in London for the Lisson Gallery in 1986 and 1992 continue to be internationally recognised as exemplary spaces for art, for the architectural experiences they offer and for their social engagement with the surrounding city. These three aspects - exemplary functioning, rewarding experience and productive engagement with the locale -are the underlying motifs in all the subsequent work.

Following the Lisson Gallery came a number of regional arts buildings that combine international quality art spaces with a strong social programme: ArtSway centre for visual Arts in Sway Hampshire 1996; Quay Arts Centre for visual and performing arts in Newport Isle of Wight in 1998; Faith House for artists with disabilities in rural Dorset 2002; the gallery and store for the Arts Council Collection of Sculpture collection at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park in 2003; and the Camden Arts Centre in London 2004, where the café and garden are established as places for sociability in the neighbourhood and London as a whole. Fuglsang Kunstmuseum in Southern Denmark, the practice’s most significant building for the display of art, opened in January 2008 and was a finalist in the Stirling Prize Building of the Year 2009.

The practice’s work in the arts also extends beyond gallery buildings. Studios for artists have been realised at ArtSway and at Holton Lee Centre, House and Studio for Two Artists in Clerkenwell (2005) and the studio for Brad Lochore in Shoreditch (2009). Houses for collectors and artists comprise the Red House (2001) and the House for Anish and Susanne Kapoor (2008), both in Chelsea London.

The practice has consistently been short-listed for international competitions, culminating in commissions for the New British Embassy Warsaw which completed in 2009, Fuglsang Kunstmuseum, Denmark which opened in 2008 and was a Finalist in the 2009 Stirling Prize, and the appointment to design a new £15 million city hall in the historic Belgian town of Deinze in 2009.

Now an extensive practice, Tony Fretton Architects is building across Europe. De Prinsendam, Overhoeks and the first phase of Andreas Ensemble housing projects completed in summer 2010. Tietgens Ærgrelse,, a commercial building in the historic quarter of Copenhagen opposite the Marble Church, also completed in 2010.

An active writer and lecturer, Fretton is Professor, Chair of Architectural Design & Interiors at Technical University of Delft in the Netherlands and was Visiting Professor at EPFL Lausanne in 1996, the Berlage Institute Amsterdam 1997 and the Graduate School of Design, Harvard USA from 2004-5. In 2010-11 he is visiting professor at ETH Zurich on sabbatical from TU Delft.