Office Profile


Garbers & James is a London UK based architectural practice, set up in 2006 by partners Thore Garbers and Wendy James. Garbers and James have worked together since 1999 when they met whilst working as Senior 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, Germany, Italy, the Middle East and China.

Garbers’ and James’ most significant experience in their earlier careers was in public cultural, social and educational buildings. They worked all over the world on projects from major International City Masterplanning and Strategic Planning to large public Architectural commissions, as well as Exhibition, Product and Opera Design. Garbers and James both led teams to win significant international competitions, coordinating the work of architectural and engineering teams all over the world.

Garbers & James have subsequently developed their practice, specialising in Museum work and consultancy, Educational projects and offering all manner of Construction Services, as below.

Garbers & James produce design, management, building and administrative documentation for consumption by 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 public presentation, cost control and project management, as required.


GJ offer the following specialist Museum Consultancy Services

  • Strategic Planning and Masterplanning : GJ’s understanding across differing scales of operation, from whole museum complexes to individual programme components and functions, ensures they are well placed to advise on all manner of Strategic and Masterplanning issues. These include long term Capital Schemes and Programmatic planning, as well as short term realisation
  • “Brief and to the Point” : specialist architectural, engineering, fit-out and programmatic museum brief writing
  • Design Management and Peer Review: ensuring that projects are technically and functionally delivered in fully compliant and best practice manner. GJ have the expertise to lead and coordinate multi-disciplinary teams of consultants and contractors to realise exemplary schemes
  • Exhibition Design and Interpretation : GJ have both designed and delivered elements of Exhibitions, and worked closely alongside dedicated Exhibition designers to ensure best visitor experience outcomes that sit with integrity within the architectural whole
  • Future proofing and Sustainability : GJ have delivered future proofing analytical reports, and routinely work to the highest best practice standards in measurable sustainability
  • Specification writing : GJ can advise upon and deliver specifications from a number of perspectives
    • performance
    • outline overall scope
    • detailed, to cover all aspects of construction specifications
  • Accessibility and Diversity – analysis and programme planning (refer also Education below)
  • Research (refer Education below)


Education lies at the heart of many of GJ’s projects, including facilities for pre-school and families; primary; secondary, higher education and third age sectors. Learning is a vital component in GJ’s museum, health-care and dedicated educational projects.

  • Executive Architects (EA) and Construction/Contract Administrators (CA) : GJ are currently involved in delivering University development, have recently undertaken campus school masterplanning and have designed and delivered award winning healthcare support facilities,where learning was also at the core of the programme
  • Accessibility and Diversity : GJ”s experience extends to all aspects of physical, cultural and intellectual accessibility in both the built fabric, as well as programmatic content
  • Specification Writing : GJ’s knowledge of the sector allows comprehensive specification production, as for museums above.
  • Research : WJ is currently developing an Action Research project with the Cultural Institute at King’s College London, aimed at bringing Primary Education more actively and closely into UK Museums, with mutual benefits for pupils and museums, as well as their wider families and communities.


GJ’s extensive experience in the european and international design and construction industry offers Clients the following range of services including Full Design and Delivery Services Design Management, Brief and Legislation Compliance Project Management Executive Project Delivery Specification Writing.


Garbers & James’s Client base includes the following:

  • Tate Modern, UK
  • Maggie’s – Cancer Caring Centres, UK
  • Durham University, UK
  • National Palace Museum, Taiwan, ROC
  • Confidential : 2 museum related projects, Middle East
  • Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, USA
  • Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, Canada
  • Salisbury Cathedral, UK
  • a number of smaller Peer Review projects for regional museums
  • Nexus, Animations Studio, UK
  • Various private house clients in UK, France, Italy and China
  • Gulf Warehouse Company, Qatar