James Walsh has had an interesting and impressive architectural career date. Here are a few facts that you may not know about the founder of Studio Anyo.
James hails from Limerick, Ireland’s third-largest city, founded by the Vikings in 812. Limerick is one of Ireland’s oldest cities, with a Charter of Incorporation older than that of London’s, dating back to 1197! He is an Aikido enthusiast; he has been practising for 20 years now and even earned 2 brown belts! That is a remarkable achievement!
What are you working on now?
As founder James oversees all Studio Anyo’s projects. As one of the UK’s foremost modular design experts, James is currently working with a very high-profile client on the development of a new leisure concept which unfortunately we can’t say too much about at the moment. So lookout for the official announcement over the next months.
What do you love about architecture?
I love complex design challenges and I particularly enjoy solving them. I like the 3D elements because they are very stimulating and I love stories in architecture.
I always wanted to be an architect, my grandfather was a carpenter, and the love of building things didn’t seem to run in the family. I never wanted to be anything else but an architect. I liked building stuff as a kid – bridges, and houses. When I was a kid playing with train tracks I was always more interested in building the actual tracks than playing with the trains. I built these amazing bridges and structures over the train tracks.
What’s your favourite building?
Richard Meier and Partners – Church of 2000. I like stories – I am more interested in the narrative and how that affects the architecture. As you walk around the church, it tells you a story, it imparts a narrative.
The Church of 2000 is conceived as a composition of basic elements, clearly referred to the purity of the cube and the sphere, and the in-between spaces and connections. The goal was to show and highlight the basic role that architecture plays in holy and religious spaces and to demonstrate that the connection with contemporary architecture is the key to improve the quality of life in suburban areas.
What’s the best project you have worked on?
Malton Road. We refurbished the former Elderly Persons Integrated Care Services building into high-end office space for the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea to accommodate the staff of its Children and Adult Services unit.
A drop-in centre underneath the west way – we really pushed the story on what this building should look like, how it would engage and be part of the existing buildings. It’s a lot more fun. There’s a lot more colour and light – it takes the colours of the passing traffic and streaks them across the elevation.