Collection TF - Farrell (Sir Terry) Archive

Identity area

Reference code



Farrell (Sir Terry) Archive


  • 1949-2018 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

1825 boxes and 61 models (605 metres of shelving)

Context area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Sir Terrance Farrell CBE FRIBA FRSA FCSD MRTPI (born 12 May 1938), known as Terry Farrell, is a British architect and urban designer. Sir Terrance Farrell CBE FRIBA FRSA FCSD MRTPI (born 12 May 1938), known as Terry Farrell, is a British architect and urban designer. Sir Terry initially lived in Sale, Greater Manchester and considered it to be his ‘first home’. His family moved to Newcastle-upon-Tyne in 1946 and Sir Terry lived on the newly formed, Grange Estate, just north of Gosforth. This location provided him with opportunities to explore the countryside to the north of Newcastle, developing a fondness for rivers, woods and wildlife. The Ouse Burn and Seaton Sluice became favourite childhood places to frequent. Sir Terry attended St Cuthbert’s grammar school in west Newcastle and claims to have underachieved academically, deciding to become an architect when he won a drawing competition run by the Northern Architectural Association, in 1954, at the age of 16. During this period he became familiar with the history of development within the city of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and these ideas matured during his professional career.

Sir Terry studied architecture at Newcastle University, Kings College (at the time part of Durham University). After a motorbike accident in his second year he was able to use the compensation to get on the property ladder, and so began a career in property whilst still studying to be an architect. Sir Terry was inspired by the works of Le Corbusier and Buckminster Fuller, which influenced his final year thesis project, the Climatron, an imagined leisure complex off the coast of Blackpool, Lancashire.

In 1961, Terry Farrell had some exposure of working in an architect’s office with the London County Council, before studying planning and design at the University of Philadelphia, USA under the direction of Louis Kahn. Whilst at graduate school he took the opportunity to travel the USA with his wife, Rosemarie and young family, touring the experimental building designs of Frank-Lloyd Wright and venturing further afield to Tokyo and Delhi, experiencing many different building styles and urban planning priorities.

Sir Terry Farrell set up his first architecture business as a partnership venture with Nicholas Grimshaw in 1965. With virtually no business experience the two developed an architectural practice, The Farrell Grimshaw Partnership, which specialised in eclectic and experimental building projects, known as ‘private sector urban regeneration.’ Examples of these projects include; The Student Hostel Conversion, Paddington; Park Road Flats, Regents Park and The Colonnades/Porchester Square.

In the late 1970’s, the Farrell Grimshaw Partnership experienced a division of architectural direction, and Sir Terry Farrell set up his own company, The Terry Farrell Partnership (1980-1991). This organisation was integral to developing the ‘Terry Farrell Brand,’ and encompassed a small architectural office of no more than 25 staff, many of whom gained experience within the organisation before forming successful architectural practices of their own. The Terry Farrell Partnership were involved in designing buildings across London synonymous with ‘Post-Modernism’, such as Vauxhall Cross (MI6) and Charing Cross/Embankment Place’ although Sir Terry has always steered clear from fully aligning himself with that style. Other iconic development projects attributed to the Terry Farrell Partnership include Alban Gate/London Wall, Tobacco Dock and Comyn Ching Triangle.

In time, The Terry Farrell Partnership would also be known as Terry Farrell and Company (1991-1995), Terry Farrell and Partners (1995-2013), along with Farrells, circa 2013 (which is still in operation under this name today). During the 1990’s, the practice expanded internationally, opening offices in both Edinburgh and Hong-Kong and has been responsible for major urban design projects, such as the Kowloon Transit Interchange Terminal, Hong Kong; Inchon International Airport, South Korea; and The Deep Aquarium, Hull.
Sir Terry Farrell received a CBE in 1996, and a knighthood in 2001 for services to architecture and urban design. He has currently a Design and Planning Leader for the Thames Gateway Project, and is on the Design Advisory Committee for the Mayor of London.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

This archive was placed on permanent loan at Newcastle University Special Collections. Ownership is retained by the Terry Farrell Foundation.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

This extensive collection contains 60 years of professional practice material created by the renowned architect and urban planner, Sir Terry Farrell, from his architectural education, international business operations and urban planning advocacy work. The archive features pieces from his schooldays in Newcastle and his time studying architecture at the University in the 1950s. A large proportion of the collection consists of thousands of items relating to his creation of iconic designs such as the MI6 Building in London, the Embankment Place development above Charing Cross station and Beijing South Station in China, along with a large supporting visuals library and marketing materials. Additionally, the collection also contains items relating to Sir Terry Farrell's involvement in numerous committees and advisory groups for urban development.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


System of arrangement

Original order of these files at transfer from the Farrells archive to Newcastle University has been maintained.

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Open with some restrictions: data protection researcher interview may be required. Special Collections staff will provide researchers with further details of these restrictions.

Conditions governing reproduction

Copyright law applies

Language of material

  • Chinese
  • Czech
  • Danish
  • English
  • French
  • German
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Polish
  • Russian
  • Spanish
  • Swedish
  • Turkish

Script of material

Language and script notes

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Documents (paper and digital); rolled drawings and plans; objects

Finding aids

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

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Description control area

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Level of detail


Dates of creation revision deletion

This description created by Ruth Sheret and Jemma Singleton 2023


  • English



Accession area

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