Peter Buchan and Mark Thompson at Blueprint 2017

November marks the 40th anniversary of senior partner Peter Buchan and 30th anniversary of managing partner Mark Thompson at Ryder.

Peter Buchan joined Ryder & Yates in Newcastle on 6 November 1977. The death of Peter Yates in 1982 resulted in the formation of Ryder Nicklin Partnership, with Ted Nicklin becoming a mentor to Peter, moulding the collaborative outlook which remains at the heart of the practice’s culture today.

In October 1988, Mark was made redundant from British Shipbuilders where he was a trainee engineer. With six years’ experience of AutoCAD, he responded to an advert for architects and engineers.  A week or so later, he was invited to an interview with Gordon Ryder and Ted Nicklin.  Another week or so passed before he was invited to meet Peter, who at that time was the director with responsibility for moving the practice into the IT age. On 22 November, Mark joined Ryder and the rest, as they say, is history.

Gordon Ryder retired in 1990 and following the sudden death of Ted in 1994 it was left to Peter and Mark to take the practice forward, forming Ryder Architecture. They have since shaped and driven Ryder’s approach to design and business, inspiring countless people at Ryder and beyond through their work in the construction industry, local community and for charity.

Reflecting on his career to date, Peter said, “I learned much of my craft as an architect from the original partners but the process of developing a successful business was something Mark and I had to work out together. We developed a deep bond which has kept us on the same path through thick and thin.  When I reflect on the great people we have and the great work we are doing, I feel immensely proud. What is particularly satisfying is that the principles and values we set at the beginning remain just as strong, if not stronger, today.”

Mark added, “For me, the past 30 years have been great fun, with many more ups than downs. Fantastic people, projects, friendships and for all those memories and opportunities, there are many people to thank. From Gordon, Ted and most of all to Peter, to all of the current partners and everyone at Ryder helping us realise our ambition.”

During November, alongside marking their anniversaries - Peter with the team in Hong Kong and Mark in Vancouver - Ryder was celebrated as a finalist in Building’s Architectural Practice of the Year for the fourth time in six years.

Peter commented, “Of course we’d love to win but being recognised amongst some of the best practices in the UK is a significant achievement and can only be realised through the ongoing commitment of all our people.”

In the same week, Mark was incredibly proud and humbled to be awarded the North East Business Executive of the Year award. Mark said, “Whilst nurturing teams across seven locations, we are proud to have held on to our northern heritage and this was an amazing way to celebrate my 30th anniversary and testimony to everyone at Ryder.”