Working with history


Spencer de Grey (Foster + Partners)

Spencer de Grey shares design responsibility for all Foster + Partners’ projects as joint Head of Design. He studied architecture at Cambridge University under Sir Leslie Martin. On graduating in 1969 he worked for the London Borough of Merton, being responsible for one of the first Middle schools in the country.

He joined Foster Associates in 1973, continuing his work in education on the Palmerston Special School. In 1979 he set up Foster Associates’ Hong Kong office to work on the Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank. He returned to London in 1981, becoming the Director in charge of Stansted Airport, which he saw through to completion in 1991. During this period, he also worked on the BBC Radio Centre and the Sackler Galleries at the Royal Academy of Arts, both in London. Since becoming a Partner in 1991, he has overseen a broad range of projects, including the Commerzbank Headquarters in Frankfurt, the Law Faculty at Cambridge University, the Great Court at the British Museum, The Sage Gateshead, HM Treasury in Whitehall, and nine City Academy schools in the UK. He has been responsible for a number of cultural projects in the USA, including the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, the Winspear Opera House in Dallas and the courtyard at the Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC. Recent projects include masterplans for the West Kowloon Cultural District in Hong Kong and Slussen in Stockholm, now under construction and the Museum of Roman Antiquities in Narbonne.

He is visiting Professor of Design at the University of Cambridge, and President of the Building Centre Trust. He also lectures widely. In 1997 he was made a CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List and in 2008 was elected a Royal Academician of the Royal Academy of Arts.