Christopher Hartiss

Chris Hartiss, middle-aged man in sunglasses, casual attire, architecture social platform.

From holding zero on the measuring tape, to the hero of Chelsea Barracks. I was lucky enough to spend an hour having a great chat to Chris about his career, thoughts on architecture as well as advice for those in the industry.

Chris has had key leadership roles on major redevelopment projects including Chelsea Barracks, The Shell Centre and One Tower Bridge. If only Chris took Tracy’s tat back in the book shop it may have been a different story!



Christopher Hartiss: Architectural Narratives Beyond the Blueprint

Discovering the Architectural Muse: A Child’s Fascination with Drawings

Christopher Hartiss’s architectural saga began not with grand structures, but with the allure of architectural drawings at eight years old. The blueprints for his grandparents’ new house laid the foundation for his lifelong fascination. Here, a child’s curiosity was not fixated on the physical construct of a house but on the narrative potential of architectural drawings, marking the genesis of a journey deeply rooted in the power of visual communication.

From Humble Beginnings to Architectural Eminence

Christopher’s unconventional career path paints a vivid picture of resilience and exploration. His early post-graduation years were marked by a quest for practical understanding, leading him from a modest role in an architect’s office to a pivotal experience in civil engineering. These formative years, far from the archetypal architectural journey, were instrumental in shaping his comprehensive understanding of the field.

Mentorship and Education: Parallel Vectors of Influence

Parallel to his professional trajectory, Christopher’s passion for teaching and mentoring has been a constant. His involvement with esteemed institutions like Westminster and UEL, coupled with his role in the Wandsworth Council Design Review Panel, underscores his commitment to shaping the future of the profession. His approach to teaching is not merely academic; it is a blend of real-world experience and theoretical knowledge, enriching the learning landscape for future architects.

A Rich Tapestry of Experiences: From Squire and Partners to Beyond

The journey through Squire and Partners marks a significant phase in Christopher’s career, highlighting his evolution from a project architect to a director. This tenure was more than just a professional engagement; it was a period of deep learning and growth, where his design sensibility harmonized with commercial insight. Later, transitioning to a client-side role, he expanded his architectural canvas, exploring the nuanced dynamics between architect and client.

Chelsea Barracks: A Symphony of Collaborative Architecture

The Chelsea Barracks project emerges as a magnum opus in Christopher’s career, embodying the essence of collaboration and vision. His pride in this project extends beyond architectural achievement to the celebration of collective endeavor. It stands as a testament to the power of teamwork and shared vision in transforming a once-restricted military site into a living, breathing part of London’s urban tapestry.

Guidance for Aspiring Architects: Valuing Every Step

Christopher’s narrative offers invaluable insights for emerging architects. He advocates embracing diverse experiences, each contributing uniquely to one’s professional growth. His emphasis on honesty, professionalism, and self-awareness guides aspiring architects to navigate the profession confidently. He encourages them to articulate their vision and value, not only within the architectural community but to the world at large.

Epilogue: The Resonance of a Varied Architectural Career

Christopher Hartiss’s journey through the realms of architecture is a compelling narrative of diversity, resilience, and growth. It illustrates that an architect’s path need not be linear but can be an enriching mosaic of experiences. His story is a beacon for current and future architects, emphasizing the importance of adaptability, lifelong learning, and embracing a holistic view of the profession.