Meet the team: Ryan Theobald

Updated: Jun 30, 2021

We’ve created a short blog series where we meet the team behind Uskuri Theobald Architects. Uskuri Theobald Architects are a new, young and innovative practice based in St Albans, Hertfordshire. This week we’re meeting architect Ryan Theobald.

Over to Ryan to answer our questions!

Have you met Ryan...?

What is something in architecture that your clients have to deal with that you want to fix?

Architects work every day on design and producing plans and elevations. Clients usually don’t have a design background and therefore they can’t always easily read plans or understand what the design is going to look like from flat 2D drawings. I actively work to overcome this, by using different design methods, such as 3D printing physical models to show our clients, or working up realistic 3D images of certain design aspects. We have found this to be a great way to encourage more interesting designs, as the client can really visualise the end product.

What’s your favourite part of the process?

I actually have two favourite parts of the architectural process. The first is meeting with the client to discuss the design proposal, whereby we get a chance put forward our ideas and to really find out what the client likes and dislikes. The second is when we are monitoring the project on site, and we are able to ensure the contractor is following the detailed drawings. This allows the end product to be the best that it can be.

Whats your favourite project your currently working on?

My current favourite project is Longland Drive, in Totteridge, London. The client wanted a large single-storey rear extension with an open plan kitchen, dining and living area, but without it feeling like just one big room.

The 3D printed model of our Longland Drive project in Totteridge, London.

We were able to use the sloping site characteristics to our advantage, by creating a split-level, lowered section, separated by internal steps. This enabled the space to be naturally divided, but still with the feel of an open plan area.

Exploring the split level internal spaces to work with a sloping site on our Longland Drive project

What do you like about working at Uskuri Theobald Architects?

First and foremost, being my own boss has been a great learning curve, and truly rewarding. Being empowered to make decisions on how best to drive Uskuri Theobald Architects forward is extremely exciting.

It is particularly enjoyable working with people that are not just your business partners, but also your long-term friends. We are a sociable bunch, so we make sure every Thursday we go out for dinner and drinks in St Albans. Mine’s a spiced rum and coke. Kraken to be precise.

What’s your background?

I grew up in Suffolk, where I had my first exposure to architecture. My father is an architect and he built his own house, so I lived on a construction site for a large part of my childhood. Having lived through this experience, I can really appreciate clients’ frustrations when they are living on site during the construction process. I personally always give the advice, that the best way to manage their level of stress through the build is to move out!

As an architect, my father has been a huge influence and inspiration to me. He has only just retired at the modest age of 90, and we have been lucky enough to work on a few projects together, two of which are in the process of completing now.

Before and after shots of a project Ryan worked on with his father

I have been with my partner Isabel for over 14 years now, and she has been by my side and supported me through my whole architectural progression. I am a particularly focused and single-minded person, which is not always a good thing -thankfully Isabel has always been able to show me another point of view, to the benefit of my career. We recently got engaged and being a designer, I decided to design the ring myself and had it made bespoke. I can now add ring designer to my resume!

Did you know Ryan can now add ring designer to his resume.... what a beautiful beautiful ring!

What are the values that drive you?

My values are in line with those of Oguz and Leoni, and I really believe that’s our key to working so successfully together. We are all driven by family, creativity, freedom, loyalty and fun. We’ve found our clients generally have similar core values.

When Ryan isn't stuck working with the two Uskuris you will find him with the lovely Isabel

What do you enjoy doing when you are not working?

I travel as much as I possibly can to different parts of the world. This enables me to experience different architectural styles, and the ways in which other people live their lives. A huge part of my life is my family and friends, so generally when I’m not working, you will find me socialising with them, or sailing with my father. You will often find me meeting in the Peahen beer garden, or eating cheese at the Bishop’s Cave in St Albans.

'Statue Isabel' - the latest addition to Mies van der Rohes Barcelona Pavilion.

Favourite Quote?

Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.

We hope you've enjoyed our blog series on meeting the team, for more updates and behind the scenes of Uskuri Theobald Architects then follow us on Instagram - @UskuriTheobald

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