* indicates required

Forward-thinking and innovative practice

GSSArchitecture is celebrating its 140th anniversary as an architectural practice throughout 2019. This month, Senior Partner Tom Lyons takes the opportunity to reflect on his time at the practice since he joined 31 years ago.


The Nursery, Infants, Juniors and Middle Schools I went to in Corby were all GSS-designed buildings, so it seems as if I was always destined to work with GSS.

I was always passionate about art and design, and I became interested in architecture thanks to my grandfather, who would take me on visits to buildings around Glasgow as a child. These included many Charles Rennie Mackintosh buildings, long before most people even knew who he was.

I began working in architecture at 18 in Northampton whilst studying at De Montfort University, Leicester, where I gained my degree, along with two post graduate diplomas. I was one of a dozen people to be the first to qualify on a part-time basis in the UK, which gave me some great experience whilst studying, before qualifying as an architect.

After working in Northampton and whilst still studying part-time, I joined GSS in May 1988, working at the Kettering head office. Being one of the largest, most forward thinking practices in the region, working at GSS gave me the opportunity to work on a range of larger exciting projects, which gave me the skills and experience I needed to be successful in my career.

I became a partner of the practice in 1997, progressing again to Senior Partner in 2018, which shows how GSS are willing to invest in their staff over time and give them opportunities to progress their skills and role within the business.

As Senior Partner I am now lucky enough to have an investment in most projects within the practice, ensuring continuity and quality of delivery and product across all five offices. This ranges from large scale masterplanning, commercial, industrial, education, residential, health, retail and sports/leisure projects.

I am very proud of the service and projects that all of our talented and dedicated staff are able to deliver, and I am lucky enough (and old enough) to have had the opportunity to work on a very wide range of exciting buildings in my time at GSS. I like to think that I have made some small impact on the world of education and the lives of some young people throughout my career. This has included being part of different international research programmes, resulting in a range of innovative and award-winning learning spaces.

One of the reasons for the success and longevity of GSS is it is always looking to invest and prepare for the future of the industry. We have always invested in our staff, technologies and service, keeping us at the forefront of design and delivery, staying relevant, adaptable and well placed for the next 140 years. On top of this, it is the quality of service, design and delivery, as well as the talent and dedication of the GSS staff that sets the practice apart from others.

This forward-thinking and innovative approach is an integral part of the GSS philosophy, and one of the reasons why it is a privilege to be part of the 140-year GSS story and history, and to be the custodian of this important local and national business.”

For more information about GSSArchitecture and to keep up to date with its latest projects and activities visit www.gssarchitecture.com

Companies mentioned in this article

More news articles: