John Lonsdale Architecture

Trying a footing out for Mud Ways_03 in a tilted tray of clay, sand and mud (04/2011)



John Lonsdale, BA (Hons.) Arch., AA Dipl.

John Lonsdale (1965) studied Architecture at the Architectural Association in London. In 2001 he was awarded the Prix de Rome for Landscape Architecture and Urbanism for his work called Shifting Horizons before founding his practice John Lonsdale Architect in 2004. He explores the relationship between architecture and landscape using buildings, or architecture, as the means through which to shape and draw out meaning in his art. He has been given Architecture Foundation awards for design and research most recently for the work ‘Mud Ways, Towards a Shifting Architecture’.

He has taught as a guest lecturer in Architecture and Landscape Architecture at several schools including the Ecole Nationale Supérieure du Paysage, Versailles & Marseille, the Universities of Eindhoven and Delft and the Academies of Architecture in The Netherlands as well as in the Immediate Spaces programme at the Sandberg Institute. He is now teaching at Northumbria University.

Since 2014 his practice has shifted to Northumberland where he now lives for much of the year. He is working on the restoration of a farmstead with new outbuildings as well as on an extension to a house in Emsworth, Hampshire.


In the last years I have striven for new ways to understand architecture in terms framed by the study of land and the things that live in and are of the land.

I am not interested in a nostalgic approach. My work is of the present. I want it to resonate with rather than merely repeat what was there - using the language that is already inscribed in a place but in a way that speaks of today.



John Lonsdale thanks David and Elizabeth Lonsdale for their kind and generous support.

The words are partly borrowed from and inspired by reading Andy Goldsworthy’s book called ‘Enclosure’ pp92-103 ‘Coleridge’s Walk - Buttermere, Ennerdale and Wastwater’.

Leaf table is a design by John Lonsdale assisted by Gabor Disberg.

Bantpolder Observatorium is a design by John Lonsdale assisted by Stephanie Vermeulen and Johan Rooijackers.

Neeltje Jans Tidal Pools is a design by John Lonsdale assisted by Christina Holona and Mark Veltman.

Landscape of Memory is a work made by John Lonsdale and Volker Ulrich with the support of Steve Reid and Nynke Joustra.

Unfinishable Markermeer, The Markermeer Plan is a design by John Palmesino, Ann-Sofi Rönnskog, and John Lonsdale with the support of Jan Wouter Bruggenkamp, Menno Bart van Eerden and Ronald Roosjen. It was commissioned by the 'Ministrie van Verkeer & Waterstaat/WINN' for the International Architecture Bienale Rotterdam 2005.

Whilst living in the Netherlands his work was supported by the Netherlands Architecture Foundation, the Department of Landscape Architecture of the Technical University of Delft and the Dutch Water Authority.

Web consultancy Niels-Peter Foppen

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