The Practice

Adam Richards Architects is an award-winning architectural practice founded in 2000. Based in our design studios in London and Sussex, ARA has developed a reputation for a wide range of arts, cultural, heritage and residential projects.

From its inception, ARA’s approach has been to transform the deeper cultural themes within its projects into engaging critical, spatial, social and structural propositions. Often our clients have unique objects and unusual sites. We work collaboratively with them to find inspiring, inventive and affordable ways of making their environment better.

The practice has built a reputation for the quality of its designs, winning a range of national and international awards. In 2015 a book, ‘Designing for Ditchling’, was published about ARA’s work.
Current projects include houses, museums and a lido. The practice was recently nominated for the European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture - Mies van der Rohe Award.  

Adam Richards Architects gained international recognition for the critically acclaimed Ditchling Museum of Art + Crafts, which was chosen by the Sunday Times as the architectural highlight of the year.

“The museum tells this story with aplomb… in the spirited setting of Adam Richards’s architecture.”
New York Times

Adam Richards

Adam Richards BA(Hons) BSc(Hons) DipArch(Cantab) RIBA is a British architect whose work has encompassed architecture, interior design, furniture and landscape design.

Adam studied architecture at Cambridge University under Peter Carl & Dalibor Vesely, after a degree in international relations and politics. He worked in Dublin and London for Niall McLaughlin, MacCormac Jamieson Prichard and O’Donnell & Tuomey on projects ranging from national museums to private houses, before establishing Adam Richards Architects in 2000.

Adam has taught architecture at Cambridge University and Kingston University, and has been a guest critic at a range of architecture schools. Adam has been a judge for a number of architectural awards, and is a member of the South Downs National Park Design Review Panel.


Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft:
European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture, Mies van der Rohe Award – Nominated
Lighting Design Awards, Heritage Category – Highly Commended
Museums + Heritage Awards, Permanent Exhibition Award - Shortlisted

Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft:
Architects’ Journal Retrofit Awards, Cultural Buildings – Winner
Art Fund Prize for Museum of the Year – Shortlist
Building Design Architect of the Year Awards, Public Building Architect of the Year – Finalist
Council for the Protection of Rural England Awards, New Sussex Landscape category – Full Award
Royal Institute of British Architects South East Building of the Year
Royal Institute of British Architects National Award
Royal Institute of British Architects Regional Award
Sussex Heritage Trust Awards, Public & Community Award - Winner;
South Downs Society Special Commendation
Wood Awards, Existing Building Category – Winner
Wood Awards, Arnold Laver Gold Award - Winner

Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft:
Apollo Awards, Museum Opening of the Year - Shortlisted
World Architecture News Awards, Adaptive Re-use Award - Winner

Mission Hall:
Architectural Review AR House Award – Commended
Building Design Architect of the Year Awards, One-off House Architect of the Year - Finalist
Daily Telegraph British Homes Awards - Commended
Royal Institute of British Architects National Award
Royal Institute of British Architects Manser Medal – Shortlisted
Sussex Heritage Trust Awards, Small Scale Residential Award - Winner
World Architecture News Awards, Home of the Year Award - Shortlisted

Quinta da Serra:
Grand Designs Awards, International category - Finalist

Architects’ Journal 40 under 40 Award
Georgian Group Awards, New Building in a Georgian Context Category – Runner-up


BOOK: New Design for Old Buildings, by Roger Hunt & Ian Boyd - RIBA Publications

BOOK: Designing for Ditchling, by Hilary Williams, Adam Richards & Phil Baines - Orthostat Editions
Timber Case Study: Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft - In Touch with Timber magazine, Issue 17, 2015
VIDEO: Adam Richards Architects' Ditchling Museum, by Michaila Hancock - Architects’ Journal, 26 March, 2015

Wood Awards Winner: Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft, by Hugh Pearman - RIBA Journal, December 2014
And Britain’s Best Museum Is…, by Max Egremont - The Times, 28th April 2014
Retrofit of the Year, by Laura Mark - Architects’ Journal, 17 September 2014
Retrofit Awards 2014 shortlist announced, by Laura Mark - Architects’ Journal, 27 June, 2014 

Museum Opening of the Year Shortlist, by David Eskerdjian - Apollo, The International Art Magazine, December 2013
Guiding Dream, by Andrew Lambirth - The Spectator, 23rd November 2013
Rural Idyll, by Hugh Pearman - RIBA Journal, November 2013
Building: Ditchling Museum, Adam Richards Architects, by Peter Newby - Architecture Today, October 2013
Craftwork/Cult Fictions, by Jay Merrick - Architects’ Journal, 18th October 2013
Crafts in Context, by Michael Hall - Country Life, 16th October 2013
An unmissable stop on the Sussex art trail, by Rupert Christiansen - Daily Telegraph, 16th September 2013
A Community of Craftsmen in England, by Alice Rawsthorn - The New York Times, September 15, 2013

Cracking opportunity, by Dominic Bradbury - House & Garden, December 2012
New Mission Hall, by Susanne Ulrik - Tegl Magazine, March 2012

BOOK: Architecture 11: RIBA Buildings of the Year, by Tony Chapman - Merrel
BOOK: Apartment Living: 21st Century Architecture - Images Publishing
Three Houses, by Simon Knox - Architecture Today, November 2011
Manser Medal, by James Pallister - Architects’ Journal, 17th November 2011
Mission Statement, by Hugh Pearman - RIBA Journal, October 2011
Preview: Ditchling Museum, Ed. Catherine Slessor - Architectural Review, September 2011
Top of the Form, by Emma Wells - Sunday Times, 11th September 2011
AR House 2011, Ed. Catherine Slessor/Rob Gregory/Silvana Taher - Architectural Review, August 2011
RIBA Awards 2011, Ed. Rory Olcyato - Architects’ Journal, 16th June 2011
Bright Young Things, by Claire Barrett - Elle Decoration Space Plus, March 2011

BOOK: 21st Century Houses: 150 of the World’s Best, Ed. Robyn Beaver - Images Publishing

BOOK: Build-On: Converted Architecture & Transformed  Buildings, Ed. Robert Klanten & Lukas Feireiss - Gestalten 2009
BOOK: Interactive Architecture Design, by Dr Carlos Calderon - Harvard Design & Technology Series 2009-2
Sculpted by the Mountain, by Mariana Monteiro - House Traders (Portugal), September 2009
Outdoor Pursuits, by Jonathan Self - Country Life, 24th June 2009
Address Book, Ed. Sally Wade - AJ Specification, February 2009
First Look: Cart Lodge conversion will create new front for Ditchling Museum - Building Design magazine, 20th February 2011

A selection of the best Next Generation Architects, by Henrietta Thompson - The Architecture Foundation, 2008

A selection of the best Next Generation Architects - The Architecture Foundation, 2007

BOOK: How to Live in Small Spaces, by Terence Conran - Conran Octopus Ltd.
BOOK: Compendium, The work of the University of Cambridge Department of Architecture, Ed. Tom Holbrook - Cambridge University Press
How we cracked it, Ed. Amanda Birch - Building Design magazine, 15th December 2006

40 Under 40, Ed. Isobel Allen - Architects’ Journal, 16th June 2005
Flint House – Housing in Life - INEX magazine (S Korea), 2005, No.2, Vol.6