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Quinlan and Francis Terry go separate ways

Quinlan and Francis Terry in their Dedham office
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Prince Charles’ favourite architectural partnership, father-and-son practice Quinlan & Francis Terry Architects, has split after more than two decades

Francis Terry, who has worked with his father Quinlan since 1994, started his own practice this week.

His new eight-strong company, Francis Terry and Associates, describes itself as ‘designers of new classical buildings’ and says it ‘started business as an offshoot from Quinlan and Francis Terry LLP.’

Recent years have seen the award-wining duo become Britain’s leading practitioners of classical architecture, with Prince Charles one of their biggest supporters.

As well as the New Infirmary at the Royal Hospital Chelsea, London, the practice has delivered the Georgian-meets-Greco Howard Theatre at Downing College Cambridge, the Palladian Ionic/Corinthian mixed-used scheme at 264-267 Tottenham Court Road and the conversion of Tedworth House in Wiltshire.

When Quinlan Terry was made a Commander of the British Empire for services to classical architecture last April, the heir to the throne remarked: ’It’s about time.’

While Francis Terry has finally struck out on his own, he has not ventured too far. The two architects continue to be based in Colchester, Essex.

Quinlan Terry told the AJ: ‘We’re both carrying on much the same as before, it’s nothing really particularly spectacular. He’s been doing it for a long time and I think he feels he wants to be slightly more on his own, without his father on top of him. I’ve got lots to do and he’s got lots to do so we thought we’d do it on our own for a while.’

He added: ’Previously, inevitably, it tended to be “his job” and “my job” so in a way that’s much the same. You can’t really have two architects working full-time on the same job, or at least you can on a very large job, but generally speaking one person takes the lead.’

News of the separation began to emerge last month, when Francis Terry tweeted: ‘Quinlan and I have decided to run separate studios to pursue our differing architectural interests.’

Last Friday afternoon Francis Terry posted on Facebook: ‘Spending the weekend getting my office ready for start of business on Monday, so excited….Francis Terry and Associates is born!’

Hints of a future split emerged in November when Francis Terry won his first-ever competition – a proposed redevelopment of Twickenham riverside in south-west London - seeing off six other bids including a separate submission from his father Quinlan (see Francis Terry beats father to win first ever competition).

Francis Terry told the AJ: ’Due to my father’s eminence within the profession, I felt I needed to start my own practice so that I can forge my own reputation.

’Alhough coming from a classical base, my own architectural tastes are not the same as his’

’Though coming from a classical base, my own architectural taste, interest and way of working are not the same as his. I now look forward to developing my own style and architectural identity. This also allows my father to continue his work without my interference.’

Watercolour_View_from_Eel_Pie_Island

Francis Terry’s his first ever competition victory – a proposed redevelopment of Twickenham riverside in south-west London (November 2015)

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Readers' comments (1)

  • The Terry proposal for Twickeham Riverside has been universally scorned and derided since it was published last November. At a well-attended and lively public meeting this morning the clamour to ‘sack Terry’ was loud and clear enough to have been heard all the way to Colchester:

    ‘The Riverside Action Group represents residents and supporters – over 2,000 at the last count – who seek a more imaginative architectural solution for Twickenham’s Riverside reflecting its history, culture and function as a working waterfront. RAG’s supporters reject the architectural design proposed in 2015 by Francis Terry and look forward instead to participating in a creative solution that enhances our riverside rather than spoil it.‘

    Not an auspicious start for his independent practice: better to have stayed with Dad and let him take the blame.

    RAG is at http://www.riversideactiongroup.uk/

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