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Jonathan Adams

Jonathan Adams Architect

The basics
Quick Facts
Intro Architect
Is Architect
From England
Type Engineering
Gender male
Birth 1961, Bristol, City of Bristol, South West England, England
Age: 59 years
Jonathan Adams
The details

Jonathan Adams (born Caerleon, Newport) is a Welsh architect particularly known for his landmark buildings in Cardiff.


Adams was born in Caerleon, South Wales and was educated at the Welsh School of Architecture in Cardiff and the Architectural Association in London. He spent 15 years working in the practice of Will Alsop in London, before returning to Wales in 1998. He later claimed he returned to Wales because London was "very inward-looking and self-regarding", while Wales was facing the "exciting time" of devolution during the late '90s. Adams joined Percy Thomas Architects and began work on the Wales Millennium Centre project.

He is best known as designer of the £106 million Wales Millennum Centre in Cardiff Bay, which opened in November 2004. Adams says the design was inspired by the architect of Cardiff Castle, William Burges and the layered cliffs of the South Wales coast. The building was designed to create a modern Welsh identity, using North Wales slate and Welsh timber cladding.

In June 2004 Percy Thomas Architects were taken over by outsourcing company Capita. Adams agreed to remain with the company, though many of his colleagues left.

Adams was President of the Royal Society of Architects in Wales (RSAW) from 2005 to 2007. During his tenure, he expressed concern that the public often didn't understand good architecture.

In 2005 he began work on a major refurbishment and reorganisation of Cardiff's Sherman Theatre. The building re-opened in February 2012. Its facade used a distinctive metal cladding and the new entrance was relocated under a dramatic "eyelid".

In February 2010 Adams' new headquarters building for the Welsh Joint Education Committee (WJEC) was opened. It received criticism from the Wales branch of the Victorian Society, which likened it to an "upturned sandcastle". Adams had designed it to be contemporary, clad in steel and eye-catching from the main road.

Notable projects

  • Sherman Theatre refurbishment, Cardiff (2012)
  • Welsh Joint Education Committee headquarters, Llandaff (2010)
  • Tremough Campus, Falmouth University, Penryn, Cornwall (2004)
  • Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff Bay (2004)

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