Sir Nicholas Grimshaw exhibition at the Royal Academy in London

Sketches on paper in blue pen
Herman Miller Distribution Centre, Chippenham, 1983
(Image credit: TBC)

What with the heady range of iconic projects lining his portfolio – from the Eden project’s low-lying domes, to the Grand Union Walk housing pods and the snaking former International Terminal at Waterloo Station – Sir Nicholas Grimshaw has a busy practice on his hands.

President of the Royal Academy of Arts since 2004, Sir Grimshaw is undoubtedly one of Britain’s most prominent and iconic architects, and for those of us who have long craved a sneaky peak into the mind – and the drawing board – of this world-renowned creator, the Royal Academy will for the next three months play host to an exhibition showcasing samples from some of Sir Grimshaw’s most interesting sketchbooks.

Featuring sixty-two preliminary drawings, a range of conceptual sketches and several hand-drawn studies, the show will be on display in the RA’s Tennant Room, which houses a whole host of insider information regarding work dating from 1982 – including some of Sir Grimshaw's unrealised work, along with more recent projects – including the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Centre which opened just last year in Troy, USA.

A stunning, high-gloss catalogue of all Sir Grimshaw's sketches (which will be donated to the Academy at the end of the show) will also be available during the exhibition as a constant source of coffee-table based, architectural inspiration.

Two blue pen sketches of oval object

Copenhagen Bridge (unbuilt), May 2002%A%A

(Image credit: TBC)

Three blue pen sketches of spiral object

Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center, Troy, New York State, June 2001%A%A

(Image credit: TBC)

Sketches on paper with blue pen

Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center, Troy, New York State, June 2001%A%A

(Image credit: TBC)

Two sketches resembling a mechanism and human

Ludwig Erhard Haus, Berlin,1993

(Image credit: TBC)


Royal Academy of Arts
Burlington House


Ellie Stathaki is the Architecture & Environment Director at Wallpaper*. She trained as an architect at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece and studied architectural history at the Bartlett in London. Now an established journalist, she has been a member of the Wallpaper* team since 2006, visiting buildings across the globe and interviewing leading architects such as Tadao Ando and Rem Koolhaas. Ellie has also taken part in judging panels, moderated events, curated shows and contributed in books, such as The Contemporary House (Thames & Hudson, 2018), Glenn Sestig Architecture Diary (2020) and House London (2022).