6A Architects: Owen Watson

6A Architects: Owen Watson

Owen Watson is a director of 6a architects, London. He studied at the University of Cambridge and the Academia di Architettura Mendrisio, Switzerland. Since joining 6a in 2007 he has designed many of the practice’s projects in arts, culture and fashion and is now leading projects in the UK, USA and Australia. He has taught at Syracuse University and is currently a trustee of radical arts school, Open School East.

6a architects was founded by Tom Emerson and Stephanie Macdonald in 2001. The 30-strong practice is best known for its contemporary art galleries, educational buildings, artists’ studios and residential projects, often in sensitive historic environments.

Over the last decade, 6a architects have received critical acclaim for a series of public art galleries; Raven Row (2009), which won an RIBA Award in 2011, and the expanded South London Gallery (2010) which was followed by a collaboration with artist Gabriel Orozco on the Orozco Garden (2013) and the South London Gallery Fire Station (2018) which received an RIBA Award in 2019. The new MK Gallery (2019) opened earlier this year in Milton Keynes.

In 2016, the practice completed Cowan Court, a 68-room hall of residence at Churchill College, University of Cambridge (2016) and a new studio complex for photographer Juergen Teller which was winner of several RIBA awards and was shortlisted for the Stirling Prize 2017.

6a has recently completed Coastal House in Devon (2017) which was awarded an RIBA National Award 2018 and Black Stone Building (2017), a new apartment building in North London. Both were shortlisted for UK House of the Year. Other recent projects include arts and fashion centre Blue Mountain School (2018) and the Perimeter Gallery (2018), for the display of a contemporary art collection.

The practice is currently involved in major cultural projects internationally, including buildings in Melbourne, New York and Hamburg. 6a architects has received multiple nominations for the European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture – Mies Van der Rohe Award (2011, 2013 & 2015) and in 2012 was awarded the Erich Schelling Medal for Architecture.