Peter Mathias announces retirement

7 May 2013

Co-founder of Holder Mathias is to retire from the practice this summer after 44 years as part of a planned succession. Peter Mathias, who will be 70 this year, will step down in June 2013.

The seven remaining partners will continue to drive the business forward.

He founded Holder Mathias with Tim Holder in 1969 and it has since grown to become an award-winning practice, with studios in London, Cardiff and Munich, delivering projects worth more than £500m annually in the UK and internationally. It currently employs 70 staff with a turnover of £5.3 million (2012). He said: “It’s been a thoroughly rewarding journey from those early days of small projects to the current highly respected practice critically focussed on design quality and delivery. That it has been so enjoyable is down to the many friendships and working relationships inside and outside the business developed over the years for which I am eternally grateful.

The practice’s durability and continued contributions to the architectural scene is founded on the skills and commitment of the next generation already in place. Together we have a line of sight on the third generation – and the future is extremely exciting.”

Peter Mathias has delivered numerous high-profile projects during a remarkable career spanning four decades with Holder Mathias.

He was hugely influential in the remodelling of Cardiff Bay working on the master plan of Atlantic Wharf before the establishment of Cardiff Bay Development Corporation. On behalf of Associated British Ports he then went on to work alongside the Development Corporation master planning the eastern side of the inner harbour of Cardiff Bay in the early nineties, leading to the subsequent flow of buildings from the practice in Cardiff Bay, including Crickhowell House, the Atradius building and the Red Dragon Centre.

As part of Holder Mathias’ recovery from the early nineties recession, Peter Mathias secured the opportunity to work with the Rank Group laying the foundation for the practice to become one of the UK’s leading leisure architects.

From 2000 onwards, he mentored a new generation, whilst developing the practice’s work in retail-led town centre regeneration including St Stephen’s Centre in Hull which has just been awarded Retail Destination of the Year. This project paved the way for further town centre regeneration projects currently underway in Barnsley and York, together with Neath and Talbot Green in South Wales.

He was a member of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Council between 1981 and 1987, President of the Royal Society of Architects in Wales (RSAW) between 1985 and 1987 and was appointed as a director of the RIBA Board and a Trustees of the RIBA in 2010. He served on the Board of The Welsh National Opera between 1990 and 1995. As a Governor of The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama between 1996 and 2008, where he chaired its Estates Committee and laid the foundations for the College’s acclaimed campus redevelopment. Peter was awarded the prestigious ‘Life Time Achievement Award’ at Wales annual People in Property in 2009.

Peter Gamble, senior partner at Holder Mathias, said: “Peter and Tim created an excellent platform that the current partnership has built on. His outstanding achievement over two generations is to have inspired a unique culture within a sound business environment where good quality design can flourish.”

“The current partnership has built on this legacy, becoming an established national practice delivering projects at home and abroad in the retail, leisure and sport, urban residential and office sectors. This robust base of sectors and geographical spread of projects has provided Holder Mathias with a sound foundation for the future enabling the practice to work through and look beyond today’s challenging economic climate.”