Clare Wright

Clare Wright

Practice: Wright & Wright Architects
Established: 1994
City: London
Country: United Kingdom
[email protected]

Clare Wright was born in Glasgow in 1955 and trained at the Mackintosh School of Architecture. In 1978 she and her husband Sandy moved to London where she worked for Rock Townsend and Howell Killick, Partridge & Amis. She left professional practice when her children were born and combined caring for her children with part-time tutoring. When her children started school she sought work in a architectural practice, without success. Instead she took up a post at Circle 33 Housing Trust. In 1994 she left to establish her own practice with Sandy. They won a competition to design a new library for the Royal College of Art. Other clients include the Women's Library, the National Gallery, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, Hull Truck Theatre, The V&A and Corpus Christi College. Clare is currently working on housing for the elderly and SEN school projects.

Wright & Wright Architects

Main auditorium
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Hull Truck Theatre

A major new theatre provides a cultural keynote to the transformation of Hull city centre. The main auditorium seats 450 and a flexible studio seats 150; they are supported by rehearsal spaces, workshops, dressing rooms and educational spaces. The external black skin wraps inside to create the foyer that holds the well-lit bar and café. The theatre has an innovative sustainability strategy using borehole technology and passive ventilation. The scheme won the Civic Trust Special Award for Inclusive Design.

Main auditorium
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Who are your role models who inspire you? Education and having a career were my family norm, for women and men, at least as far back as my grandparents. My father was very comfortable with women and he inspired me. Influenced by experience as a GP in Gorbals, Glasgow, he said to me: 'It is more important for you to get a qualification and to be able to stand on your own two feet than it is for the boys [my brothers]'.
If you could change one thing in our profession, what would it be? I would bring back all the terms of the Professional Code of Conduct and Scale Fees. They were thrown away in the days when we had 'no society' and money not humanity was rated top dog. The standard of architecture and quality of working life has been eroded because many architects do not understand money and try to work for too little, effectively providing poor-quality buildings. They set a tune that we must all dance to or perish.
What do you find most rewarding in your area of work? I enjoy the first unlocking of a design; the meetings with an inspired client who works with me on the design evolution; the turning of the first sod of soil when there is no turning back; and the delight in the eyes of my clients when we first go round the completed building and they like it.