Dynamic, extensive and thoroughly diverse, Ian Lomas’s inimitable career continues as he joins Woods Bagot as a principal and Sydney design leader.
Lomas brings with him more than 30 years in the architecture profession and a wealth of experience spanning workplace, retail, residential, leisure and masterplanning.
His scope also incorporates urban design, interior design and art.
In announcing the appointment, global design leader Domenic Alvaro described Lomas as an exceptional addition to the practice.
“Ian’s experience is a tremendous asset and we will see that infuse through the Sydney studio, and globally,” Alvaro says.
Lomas, who has held partnership and design leader roles at MAKE Architects (in the UK, US and Australia), Kohn Pedersen Fox (UK and Germany) and Foster + Partners (UK and Germany), described his appointment at Woods Bagot as an exciting opportunity to join the “biggest to best” team committed to designing the world’s best buildings.
“At Woods Bagot, it’s common to walk into a room filled with a rapid firing exchange of ideas, questions and opinions. In an industry that has seen too much repetition, architects and designers at all levels are encouraged to be confident and strive for excellence – each project is taken on with a vigorous commitment to originality that involves an open review process with space for healthy debate,” he says.
“There is a steadfast sense of dedication to designing buildings that we would gladly live, work and play in, without exception. There is a prerequisite for pride in every project,” says Alvaro.
For his part, Lomas says he is excited to share his multi-disciplinary knowledge with the Woods Bagot team.
“Rather than specialising, I’ve been fortunate to develop a portfolio that spans many sectors. The breadth of projects I’ve been able to contribute to has fostered an evergreen sense of curiosity and a healthy exposure to new challenges,” he says.
“Every new project brings with it a chance to really live the space and see how it works. Previous experience across different sectors often weaves itself in, naturally expanding the anticipated parameters of the work to include unexpected and complementary layers.”
Since relocating to Australia two years ago, Lomas has significantly contributed to the architectural landscape of Sydney, with competition-winning designs for a new commercial tower and transit hall at Wynyard Station and the transformation of two historic buildings in the Sandstone Precinct into a flagship luxury hotel.
On joining Woods Bagot, Lomas is asserting his personal commitment to the development of architecture’s future best and brightest, speaking to members of the Sydney studio individually to get a sense of the next steps.
“I’m interested in helping young architects and designers to be healthily self-critical and absolutely passionate. Unfortunately, there are new buildings that are unloved in every city – it’s important that we foster a sense of personal integrity that will refresh the industry in new and exciting ways,” he says.
Lomas’s commitment to the next generation extends to formal education and he has imparted his knowledge at some of the world’s most prestigious institutions including Yale School of Architecture, Bartlett UCL University of London, TU Berlin, Universidad de Madrid, University of Melbourne and UTS Sydney.
With a particular interest in the integration of materials and detailing with broader architectural space, Lomas is drawn to projects that involve heritage aspects, sensitive contexts and consultation with local craftspeople.
“For me, quality detailing from a micro through to macro scale is of the utmost importance. Holistic designs that consider form and function down to the finest detail are how we can make people’s experience of a space so much better,” notes Lomas.