Sir David Chipperfield was born in London in 1953, and studied architecture at Kingston School of Art and at the Architectural Association (AA). He worked variously for Douglas Stephen, Norman Foster and Richard Rogers, and then founded David Chipperfield Architects in 1985.


He started by designing shops, notably one for the fashion designer Issey Miyake in 1983 in Knightsbridge, as well as others abroad. This led to him designing a museum in Japan, and a design store for Toyota there: he went to live in Japan, and opened an office there in 1989. In London he designed the Gallery of Botany at the Museum of Natural History in Cromwell Road, and a Wagamama restaurant in 1993. In Germany he completed an office building in Dusseldorf in 1997.

His first major project in the UK was the River and Rowing Museum in Henley-on-Thames in 1989, while he continued to design shops and restaurants here, such as the Joseph Menswear Shop in 1997. In that year he also began work on the

restoration of the Neues Museum in Berlin, which was ongoing for 12 years, finally opening in 2012, during which time he completed several other museums in Germany.

He also built an enormous “City of Justice” in Barcelona which was completed in 2011, and an extension to the Museum of Ethnology and Natural History in Anchorage, Alaska, completed in 2009.In the UK he designed two important art galleries, The Turner Contemporary in Margate (completed in 2011) and the Hepworth Wakefield in Wakefield, also finished in 2011.


In 2013 he opened the Jumex Museum in Mexico City, and the extension of the Saint Louis Art Museum in the USA, where he won a competition to redesign the wing of the Metropolitan Museum in New York. He continued to build in Europe and in the Far East, while in Glasgow he designed the new BBC Scotland building at Pacific Quay in 2007. Here in Edinburgh in 2017 he has won the limited competition to build a new concert hall for the Scottish Chamber Orchestra.

He has taught all over the world, including Stuttgart in Germany, Yale in the USA, and in Austria, Italy and Switzerland. In 2012 he curated the 13th International Architecture Exhibition at the Venice Biennale, entitled “Common Ground”. He is an Honorary Fellow of the American Institute of Architects and the Bund Deutscher Architekten, a past winner of the Heinrich Tessenow Gold Medal, the Wolf Foundation Prize in the Arts, and the Grand DAI (Verband Deutscher Architekten und Imgenieurverein) Award for Building Culture.


He was appointed Commander of the British Empire in 2004, appointed a Royal Designer for Industry in 2006, and elected to the Royal Academy in 2008. In 2009 he was awarded the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany. He was knighted for services to architecture in the UK in 2010. He was also recognised for his lifetime achievements in 2011, when he received the RIBA Gold Medal for Architecture, and in 2013 the Praemium Imperiale from the Japan Art Association.