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Connecting young people to the world of art and architecture

“We want to enable young people to experience the art of making and the making of art, and introduce more opportunities and different career paths - opening up the world of creative industries.”



We are a global community of artists, architects and designers who want to support and inspire young people to discover the value of creativity.

The Grimshaw Foundation wants to give young people the skills and opportunities they need to fulfil their creative potential.

We support schools and local communities in London, Sydney, Melbourne and New York via hands-on workshops, architecture tours and studio visits.

Students from Stratford School Academy measuring the width of Here East at the Olympic Park in East London

Our Values

The Grimshaw Foundation is formed on the creative principles of the award-winning international architecture practice, Grimshaw, which focuses on the delivery of humane, enduring, sustainable design through exploration, research and innovation.

The practice is responsible for projects which have shaped the future of our cities, infrastructure, places and spaces and integrated the practice of architecture into the wider challenges we face today across our planet.

The Foundation is a partnership between Nick Grimshaw (who founded the Grimshaw practice in 1980) and the Grimshaw partners.

“The Foundation reflects the values of Grimshaw where everyone’s input and opinion is valued, listened to and rewarded and people’s creativity is encouraged and celebrated.”

— KIRSTEN LEES, Grimshaw Managing Partner, Paris

Who We Are

The Grimshaw Foundation board is made up of architects, educators and people in the creative industries

Chloe Grimshaw

Chloe co-founded Plinth in 2016 to collaborate with renowned contemporary artists and designers to create limited edition prints, homeware, clothing and products. She also curated a new programme for Plinth of free talks, events, performances and exhibitions. Chloe is the creative director of the Grimshaw Foundation, exploring the relationship between art and architecture – and is the author of four books on art, design and interiors.

Lavinia Grimshaw

Lavinia studied Chinese in Paris in 1968 and went onto pursue studies in Spanish and Italian; working alongside the Grimshaw London studio since 1980, to help communications between architects, clients and contractors. She believes passionately in a creative education – working with GCSE and French A-Level students for the past thirty years – and encouraging the new generation (and her four grandchildren) to learn about art and design through hands-on-making and drawing.

Sir Nicholas Grimshaw

With an artist mother and sisters, and a family history of engineers, Nick experimented with all of these different paths before arriving as an architecture student at the AA in 1965. When he founded Grimshaw in 1980 it was intended to be a place of ideas, experimentation and invention. Working at the Royal Academy (as President from 2004-2011) was another chance to explore how artists and architects could collaborate and work together. He keeps a daily sketchbook and drew from nature during lockdown.

Kirsten Lees

Kirsten is the Managing Partner of Grimshaw’s Paris studio; she is highly experienced in architecture, strategic planning, urban design and regeneration of sensitive environments within the arts, sports and master planning sectors.

Jon Snow

Jon Snow joined ITN in 1976 reporting from Africa, the Middle East and Europe. He served as Washington Correspondent 1983/1987; Diplomatic correspondent 1987/1989, and main anchor of Channel 4 News from 1989.

Jerry Tate

Jerry founded Tate+Co Architects in 2007, and prior to this had a lovely time working at Grimshaw, where he was mainly involved in the Eden Project. Tate+Co specialise in education, leisure and residential projects for clients who have sustainability at their heart; so work for a number of leading schools and universities. As well as this, Jerry teaches at UCL and Kansas State University; is deeply involved in a number of education initiatives for young people with organisations such as The Architect’s Livery, Open City and the RIBA; and is a governor at Cranleigh School.

Andrew Whalley OBE

Andrew Whalley has been an instrumental part of Grimshaw since the earliest days of the practice and has been Partner in Charge of projects in diverse sectors including education, performing arts, transportation, and workplace.


Our Special Advisory Group is made up of architects, educators and people in the creative industries


Honorary RIBA Fellow, LionHeart is an Associate Artist at the Royal Albert Hall and was the first Poet in Residence at Grimshaw Architects (working with their global studios). An award-winning poet, artist and BBC Radio London presenter, with a devoted interest in paving the way for diverse creative representation for the youth of today. Using poetry, he is particularly interested in expressing the influence an architect’s design can have on mental health and exploring how the application of materials, form and lighting within the built environment impacts us.

Natasha Graham

Senior Policy Officer, Diversity in the creative workforce, within the Mayor of London’s Culture and Creative Industries unit, Natasha campaigns for diversity in the creative industries and works with people from diverse backgrounds to encourage them to explore a wide range of creative careers. She also works with key creative institutions to embed diversity within the organisation.

Ian Munro

Ian is the Rector of Dollar Academy and founder of FIDA, which tackles three fundamental challenges in education – providing equitable access and closing the poverty related attainment gap; finding compelling alternatives to traditional teaching and exam systems; and addressing sustainability. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology, Ian is passionate about encouraging students to design meaningful responses to the challenges and opportunities that we face in light of the climate crisis.

Neil Pinder

Neil is the founder of Home Grown Plus, a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to accelerating access to architecture for those from non-traditional backgrounds. He was awarded the lifetime achievement award ‘Contribution to the Profession’ from the Architect’s Journal and became an RIBA Fellow in 2022. Head of Architecture at Graveney School in South London, Neil introduced architecture to the curriculum and invited architects into schools in an effort to encourage pupils to take a greater interest in the built environment.

Charlie Welch

Charlie Welch is an Assistant Head Teacher and former Head of the Art and Design Technology at Regent High School; which spans four art studios, with 3 additional design technology studios. She has already inspired a new generation of students to study art, design and architecture at prestigious colleges such as Central St Martins. Regent High School opened in Euston in Central London in 2016 and was recognised with RIBA awards for Sustainability and Design.

Venetia Wolfenden

Venetia is an architect and educator who delivers architectural educational resources that inspire young people to explore architecture and equip them with creative skills that support learning in and out of the classroom. She led Open City’s education team from 2012-17, and is the Founding Director for Urban Learners - providing creative education for Sculpture in the City, The Camden Highline and Grimshaw Foundation. Working alongside Neil Pinder, she was co-leader of Celebrating Architecture, which launched at the RCA in 2018. Venetia’s aim is to bring diversity into the profession, so that future built environments reflect the societies that they are designed for, and to encourage ALL students to engage with creativity at school.

Graphic Design:

Patrick Fry Studio


Elise Nwokedi

Workshop Leaders:

Urban Learners

Foundation Administrator:

Emma Pearson