Neil Thomas MBE

Neil Thomas is a British Structural Engineer. In 1989 he founded the renowned Atelier One, a creative studio based in London, United Kingdom. In his work, Neil believes in a holistic approach to structural design, with active engagement throughout the design process. Form must follow function, there can not be a disconnect between architecture and engineering. Neil encourages his team to consider the fundamental structural principles governing their design rather than being over-reliant on computer analysis. Neil has pioneered the use of a number of innovative materials, most recently advocating the use of Carbon Fibre to reduce weight of a touring structure. His broad expertise is reflected in the diverse nature of his completed projects. They include large scale roofs, tensile structures, touring structures, arts installations and staging structures, with materials including timber, steel, concrete, carbon fiber and even Lego. Neil holds a number of high profile posts in the UK and US educational service, most recently being a Visiting Professor to Yale and MIT.

Projects and Recognitions

Atelier One realised The Arc – Green School Gymnasium (2021, Bali). The school is a series of interdependent bamboo arches, stitched together by anticlastic grid shells – this complex construction system generates strength from curvature running in two different directions, while creating an organic shape. Neil was awarded the IABSE Milne Medal 2019. In 2014 he was elected Royal Designer for Industry (RDI), an Honorary RIBA Fellowship for both the excellence and the inventiveness of his contribution to Architecture over the past 25 years and in 2015 was awarded Fellow of the Institute of Structural Engineers. In 2016 Neil was honored with an MBE on the Queen’s 90th Birthday for contributions to Architecture, Design and Engineering.

The Arc – Green School Gymnasium (2021, Bali), Atelier One. Photo by Thomasso Riva.

Atelier One

Further keynote speakers will be announced weekly.