At Corstorphine & Wright, we pride ourselves on putting our people at the heart of the practice. Our team is incredibly talented and finely attuned to our clients’ needs, because we spend a significant portion of our resources curating the best team we possibly can and nurturing talent from within.
With architectural experience in the higher education sector and student living, Spencer John’s background saw him working with several high-profile universities for ten years prior to joining Corstorphine & Wright.
Spencer’s key talents lie in promoting new and innovative approaches to design – bringing new ideas and perspectives to projects and finding solutions that work for both client and end user.
Having worked for Corstorphine & Wright for six years, Spencer has worked with clients such as McLaren Properties, Fusion Students and Aberdeen Standard, as well as leading on key projects such as St Mark’s Lincoln, The Oaks Coventry and Fitzwilliam Street Sheffield.
Working with client Aberdeen Standard, Spencer led on the design of the St. Mark’s Student Village in Lincoln. Housing up to 1300 university students, the series of ten buildings introduced a residential scale missing in this part of the city and responded to the historic setting with both materiality and form. The stepped building heights preserve views of the cathedral and city to the North and make a subtle connection between heritage, and today’s student city.
This prominently located development has a keen eye on sustainability, with a large number of eco-friendly materials and techniques incorporated into the construction, including prefabrication, recycled materials and biodiversity roofs. Alongside the environmental responsibility, the design focussed upon creating an inspiring and engaging place to live, supporting students’ social and academic lives.
Spencer said: “We’re taking the quality of student living to the next level. We’ve put a huge amount of consideration into amenities and social spaces, with our key goal being the wellbeing of students who will be living in these spaces for years to come. We wanted the buildings to stitch into surroundings, and show awareness of the climate crisis – as well as being a functional, high quality and most importantly an enjoyable space to be in.
I’ve spent the best part of my career focussing on the student experience and have learned how to create spaces that are more than just bedrooms and kitchens – they’re productive, they’re inviting and they’re comfortable. That’s what I wanted for this project.
“I’m thrilled to be moving into this new role. Corstorphine & Wright has been an incredible place to work for the past six years, with the senior team offering support and development opportunities at all levels of the practice. It’s not surprising the business has continued to grow in the way that it has – the people are any organisation’s strongest asset, and Corstorphine & Wright are an exemplar in how to nurture your staff.
I’m so excited to be a part of developing the practice culture, maintaining Corstorphine & Wright as a creative place to work, and promoting good design as a key component of the business.”
Ian Wilson will move from Associate Director into his new role, after six years at the practice, working with clients such as Aberdeen Standard, L&G, New River and Canada Life. Notably, Ian has focused on town centre regeneration and masterplanning projects, including Beckton Riverside and Grays Town Centre.
With a well-honed talent for conceptual planning and strategic oversight of large-scale regenerations and urban development projects, Ian is an enormous asset to the practice.
Working with client New River, Ian has been working on a masterplan regeneration of Grays Town Centre in Essex. Where many town centres are no longer fit for purpose, Grays is undergoing an overhaul to meet the needs of the modern resident. The town will see the removal of its outdated shopping centre to create a new development with a diverse range of residential and commercial uses.
Currently in the strategic pre-planning stages, Ian is focussing on an outline for this traditional market town, re-introducing urban historic nature and creating new streets, new parks and new recreational spaces.
Similarly, Ian has been working on a masterplan for Beckton Riverside alongside Aberdeen Standard. Currently focussing on, and inputting into, the emerging overall area planning framework for the region. The proposals bring forward a new major town centre for the area, creating a brand new neighbourhood as a great place for people to live and work.
This involves not just creating retail and residential spaces, but the planning of infrastructure and transport links.
Ian said: “Having often been involved in projects where we are challenged to create new neighbourhoods, I’m excited to continue answering difficult questions about how we provide settings for daily life and what our town centres should be.
Moving into this new role, I aspire to promote good design at all levels of what we do, in every aspect of a project. I’m looking forward to promoting greater collaboration between our Studios across the UK, fostering working relationships with like-minded consultants and helping to promote mentoring relationships and skill sharing.”
Group Director, Mike Lampard said: “Our heavy investment in our people has allowed us to create a shared vision among our colleagues for the future of the business. Our team members very much enjoy working here, and are offered a really tangible benefit in terms of growth and progression opportunities. It also means that we develop a deep trust for the talent available within the organisation – we know that our people are the best, because we give them the tools they need to become the best.
“Both Spencer and Ian are incredibly talented architects and excellent at sharing their craft. These two new directorial roles are an internal change that will help drive Corstorphine & Wright to even greater success, with two team members who understand our business proposition – and how to make us even better at what we do.”