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Garbers & James is a London, UK architectural and design practice, set up in 2005 by partners Thore Garbers and Wendy James. Garbers and James have worked together for over 12 years since they met whilst working as Associates within Daniel Libeskind’s Studio (SDL), originally based in Berlin and subsequently New York and Zurich. Garbers & James is currently working in the UK as well as France and Germany, Italy and China.

Garbers & James’s most significant experience throughout their individual careers to date has been in public cultural, social and educational buildings, having worked extensively all over the world on projects from major International City Masterplanning, to large Architectural commissions and smaller projects, as well as in Product and Opera Design. They are equally at home working with contemporary form and building technologies, as well as with the most precious historic fabric.

Since forming, Garbers & James’s work has continued with major Public Institutions, including Tate Modern in London; Salisbury Cathedral, UK; the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, Canada and Maggie’s Cancer Caring Centres UK. In these cases their wide experience is being used to assist the institutions in a range of services.  These include producing detailed coordinated architectural and engineering briefing; establishing strategies for development;  creating designs and realising projects using their wide ranging expertise in the procurement and construction process. This all adds up to ensure that detailing and specification is of the highest quality, and that projects are thoroughly sustainable.

Garbers & James are at ease leading design teams to produce coordinated design, building and administrative documentation for consumption by Clients, central government and regional public office as well as for private sponsors and major contractors. The partners are closely involved in all stages and can assist in all forms of private and public presentation, as well as cost control and project management.

Garbers & James’s client base includes the following:

Public Clients:

Private Clients:

GJ have recently received 2 honorable mentions in international design competitions both for a Residential Development and a Sustainable Business Centre.


Wendy James, Partner

Architectural Career:

2005 - Partner, Garbers & James

1996 - 2005 Senior Associate Architect, Studio Daniel Libeskind, Berlin, New York, & Architekt Daniel Libeskind AG, Zürich, Switzerland

2005 - Unawatuna, Sri Lanka : tsunami relief programme of housing & community buildings
2005 - Residential and retail, high-rise project in Warsaw, Poland
2003 - 2005 Multi Media Faculty building, City University, Hong Kong
2001 - 2005 Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, Canada
2005 - Jewish War Veterans Memorial, Toronto, Canada
2001 - 2003 London Metropolitan University, Postgraduate Centre, London, UK
2002 - 2003 Danish Jewish Museum, Copenhagen, Denmark
2002 - 2003 Bar Ilan University, Tel Aviv, Israel
1998 - 2001 Imperial War Museum North, Trafford, Manchester, UK
1996 - 2004 The Spiral Project, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK

Consultancy (constructional detailing; value engineering; project management)
University Development, Guadalajara, Mexico
Residential high-rise, Covington, Kentucky, USA
Residential high-rise, Sacramento, USA
Masterplanning and Planning Theatre and mixed commercial development, Dublin, Eire
Mailboat Pier, mixed residential, cultural and commercial development, Dun Laoghaire, Dublin, Eire
Westside, Bruennen, urban design / mixed development, Switzerland
Specification writing
Specifications within the Studio for jobs in UK, Denmark, Italy, Canada, USA
Appointment Contract Negotiations
Within the Studio for jobs in UK, USA, Spain, Israel, Mexico, Germany, Denmark, Japan, Canada, Hong Kong, China, Singapore, Korea
International Quilt Study Centre, Lincoln, Nebraska, USA (finalists)
Masterplanning Marina Bay, urban design /mixed development, Singapore (finalists)
National Palace Museum, Taiwan (finalists)
Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington DC, USA (finalists)
Masterplanning Millennium Community, Allerton Bywater, Leeds, UK (finalists)
Magna Carta Project at Salisbury Cathedral, UK (finalists)

1990 - 1996 Principal Architect, Building Design Group, Shropshire C.C., UK
Responsible for design and realisation of public projects in County, including schools, museums, libraries, community facilities, courts, housing, sports facilities

1987 - 1990 Associate Partner, Leonard Baart & Nicholas James, Shrewsbury, UK (now Baart, Harries, Newall)
Private and church educational buildings, social housing, industrial and research projects, diocesan architects to Hereford and Lichfield Dioceses

1977 - 1987 extensive experience in architectural practices throughout UK, including:
York University Design Unit, Institute of Advanced Architectural Studies, York
Allen Tod, Architects, Leeds (now Ian Tod and Company Limited)
Partner in Nicholas and Wendy James, Architects, Shropshire
Sandy Brown associates, Architects and Acousticians, S.Queensferry
Taylor Bown and Miller, Architects, Harrogate (now Darby, Bown & Miller)

Academic / Training: Past teaching experience Honorable Visiting Fellow, UWIST, Cardiff; King’s College London; UCE, Birmingham; LMU, Leeds; University of Cambridge ; UMIST, Manchester

1980 Edinburgh University, Diploma in Architecture
1977 University of Wales, BSc. (Hons.) Architectural Studies

Professional: ARB: 048320F RIBA: 5829797


Thore Garbers, Partner

Architectural Career:

2005 - Partner, Garbers & James

1999 - 2005 Associate and Design Team Leader, Studio Daniel Libeskind, Berlin, New York

2001 - 2005 Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, Canada
2005 - High-rise development for Hamburg, Germany
2005 - Masterplanning and Planning Residential development at Keppel Bay, Singapore
2004 - Façade consultancy design, The Spiral Project, V&A, London, UK
2004 - Façade consultancy design and value engineering, Multi-Media Building for City University, Hong Kong
2001 - Serpentine Gallery, Summer Pavilion, London, UK, 2001
2000 - Studio Barbara Weil, Port Andraix, Majorca, Spain
2000 - Denver Art Museum, Denver, Colorado, USA
2000 - 2001 University for Advanced Studies, Guadalajara, Mexico

Opera design and co-directing:
2004 Intolleranza, Luigi Nono, Staats Theater, Saarbruecken, Germany
2002 St. Francois d’Assise, Olivier Messiaen, for the Deutsche Oper, Berlin, Germany
2000 - 2001 Tristan and Isolde, Richard Wagner, for Staatstheater, Saarbruecken, Germany

Furniture design:
2004 Grand Piano for Schimmel Pianos, Braunschweig, Germany
2004 Chair for Wilde + Spieth, Germany

2005 Masterplanning Integrated Resort at Marina Bay, Singapore
2005 National Palace Museum, Taiwan, 2005 (final 3)
2001 The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), Los Angeles, California, USA
2000 Carnegie Science Centre, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
1999 Masterplanning Competition, Johannishof, Tacheles , Berlin, Germany

Other: Competitions
2001 Eyebeam Museum of Art and Technology, with Reiser + Umemoto, New York, USA
1998 Weinhaus Hut, Potsdamer Platz, Berlin, Germany with Matthias Reese

Other: Film
2007 Freelance Cameraman, feature film, China
1997 - 2000 Freelance Cameraman, Berlin, Germany, internationally recognized feature films, commercials and documentaries, with work for directors including Oskar Roehler and Rosa von Praunheim
1997 - 1998 Camera Assistant for feature films, Germany and Italy
1996 - 1997 Film lighting technician – Berlin and European films
1995 Documentary cameraman, Bremen, Germany

Academic / Training:
2005 Teaching position at Hochschule St. Gallen
1997 Technical University, Berlin, Germany, Architecture, Professor M. Sauerbruch
1992 Freie University, Berlin, Germany, Art History, Literature and Philosophy