11 July 2018
11 July 2018
Ryder, Hong Kong: Passionate, Pioneering, Collaborative.
The Culture of Practice
In 1953, two pioneering entrepreneurial young architects who had previously worked with Le Corbusier and Ove Arup formed Ryder and Yates in Newcastle upon Tyne. There is a rigour running throughout Ryder’s approach, whose core characteristic is a determination to make its architecture useful and functional, which has not changed in over 60 years.
Having grown from one office of a dozen or so people in 1994 under the current leadership, Ryder now operates out of four UK offices and has significant work overseas served from their Hong Kong and Vancouver offices.
“Our goal is simple – to improve the quality of the world around us and, in doing so, improve people’s lives,” states Partner Richard Dorkin, who is responsible for the growth of Ryder in Asia. “It’s an approach embedded in the origins of Ryder which remains a touchstone today.”
Winston Churchill famously said “We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us,” a belief that is echoed in Ryder’s ‘everything architecture’ company motto. “The places we are building have a huge impact on people’s ability to succeed or feel happy. The psychological impact of design is more important now than ever before,” says Dorkin.
The Hong Kong office, which operates out of a nine-story 1960s building, personifies what they’re about as a business. Open-plan and collegiate, the space has a tangible atmosphere with a strong sense of camaraderie that is born through a flat structure which is focussed on open communication. “Our culture is all about mutual respect and integrity,” says Dorkin.
Within the building there are several other architecture practices, which creates a sense of community, with a buzzing bar scene on the street below. The firm also has a sincere objective in giving back to the city it calls home with a number of charitable initiatives.
Ryder’s commitment to mentoring and nurturing is reflected in a low staff turnover that speaks to the firm’s ego-free approach. “We’re about solving problems together, rolling our sleeves up and just mucking in,” says Dorkin.
Author: Kat Allenby, Global Head of Communications, Bespoke Careers