Terry Farrell (architect)

Sir Terry Farrell

Sir Terry Farrell
Born (1938-05-12) 12 May 1938
Sale, Cheshire, England
Nationality British
Occupation Architect
Children 5
Practice Farrells
Buildings KK100
The MI6 building
Charing Cross Station
Edinburgh International Conference Centre
Incheon International Airport
Beijing South Railway Station
The Home Office building
Guangzhou South Railway Station
Charing Cross Station in London, 1990
The MI6 building in London, 1994
The Peak Tower in Hong Kong, 1995
The Deep Aquarium in Hull, 2002
KK100 in Shenzhen, 2011

Sir Terry Farrell, CBE, RIBA, FRSA, FCSD, MRTPI (born 12 May 1938) is a British architect and urban designer. In 1980, after working 15 years in partnership with Sir Nicholas Grimshaw, Farrell founded his own firm, Farrells. He garnered a strong reputation for contextual urban design schemes, as well as exuberant works of postmodernism such as the MI6 building. In 1991 his practice expanded internationally, opening an office in Hong Kong. In Asia his firm designed KK100 in Shenzhen, the tallest building ever designed by a British architect, as well as Guangzhou South Railway Station, once the largest railway station in Asia.

Farrell is a prominent voice in British architecture and planning. At the 2013 invitation of Ed Vaizey, the Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries, his firm commenced the Farrell Review of Architecture and the Built Environment meant to offer expert guidance on the direction of British architecture.[1]

Early life and education

Farrell was born in Sale, Cheshire.[2] As a youth he moved to Newcastle upon Tyne, where he attended St. Cuthbert's High School. He graduated with a degree from Newcastle University, followed by a Masters in urban planning at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.


In 1965, Farrell moved to London to form a partnership with Sir Nicholas Grimshaw. In 1980 he founded his own company, Terry Farrell & Partners. In addition, Farrell lectures at a number of different universities including Cambridge University, the University of London, the University of Pennsylvania, and the University of Sheffield.

In the early part of his career with Grimshaw, Farrell gave emphasis to housing projects. Later, after the break with Grimshaw, he became the UK's principal postmodernist and was best known for the TV-am headquarters in Camden Lock and the redevelopment of Comyn Ching Triangle in London's Covent Garden. In the 80s and 90s his projects included Charing Cross Station, the MI6 headquarters building, The Deep Aquarium in Hull and The International Centre for Life in Newcastle. More recent work includes the new headquarters for the Home Office, the conversion of the Grade 1 listed Royal Institution of Great Britain and the Great North Museum in Newcastle.[3]

Over the course of his career he has been responsible for regeneration projects in the UK including Newcastle Quayside, Brindleyplace in Birmingham, Edinburgh Exchange District, Greenwich Peninsula and Paddington Basin.[4] He has also designed his own iconic buildings within these projects, including the Edinburgh International Conference Centre and The Point in Paddington Basin. In May 2010 he was appointed to regenerate the 72-acre (290,000 m2) area around Earls Court exhibition centre.[5] In 2012 his practice was appointed as masterplanners for Wood Wharf – the next phase of Canary Wharf´s development.[6]

In East Asia, projects include Incheon International Airport in Seoul and Beijing South Railway Station – the largest in Asia. When completed in December 2010 Guangzhou South Railway Station was for a time the largest railway station in the world. Since setting up his practice in Hong Kong in 1990 he has designed the Peak Tower, Kowloon Station development[7] and the British Consulate-General, Hong Kong. His KK100 tower in Shenzhen is the tallest building ever by a British architect.[8]

Farrell has contributed to key strategic issues. He advises the Mayor of London[9] on his Design Advisory Committee and the Department for Transport on high-speed rail (HS2).[10] In 2008 he was appointed Design and Planning Leader for the Thames Gateway[11] – Europe’s largest regeneration project.

Farrell named CBE in 1996 and made a Knight Bachelor in 2001.

Personal life

Farrell has been married three times and has five children – one of them, Jo Farrell, is an award-winning photographer.[12]

Selected awards

Selected publications


  1. "The Farrell Review". Farrells. Retrieved 16 February 2015.
  2. "Terry Farrell is the man with the master plan". Retrieved 1 February 2016.
  3. "Building up to a role in the city's future?". The Scotsman. Edinburgh. Retrieved 12 November 2010.
  4. "A critique of Masterplanning as a technique for introducing urban design quality into British Cities" (PDF). Paper. Dr Bob Giddings. Retrieved 12 November 2010.
  5. "Farrell picked to draw up Earls Court masterplan". Article. Regeneration and Renewal. Retrieved 5 January 2011.
  6. "Canary Wharf hires Terry Farrell for Wood Wharf masterplan". Article. CoStar UK. Retrieved 27 January 2013.
  7. 1998 Kowloon Transport Super City Terry Farrell & Partners/Steven Smith, Hong Kong
  8. Glancey, Jonathan (31 January 2012). "The tower and the glory: Terry Farrell's KK100". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 27 January 2013.
  9. "The Mayor's Design Advisory Panel". Design for London. Retrieved 12 November 2010.
  10. "HS2 Command Paper published by the DfT". Command Paper. DfT. Retrieved 12 November 2010.
  11. "Thames Gateway". World Architecture News. Retrieved 12 November 2010.
  12. Jacob Riis Award."Worldwide Photography Gala Awards". The Gala Awards. Retrieved 11 January 2012.
  13. Architect’s Journal, 2 September, 2013: ‘’Farrell and Grimshaw's Bath factory listed’‘ Linked 21 February 2014
  14. Henley Royal Regatta: ‘’History of Henley Royal Regatta’‘ Linked 21 February 2014
  15. "British Council for Offices Awards". Article. British Council for Offices. Retrieved 5 January 2011.
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