About Ian Banks

Ian Banks is both a chartered architect, public art consultant and built environment journalist. He is the sole Director of Atoll Ltd, his micro architecture + art collaborative, that partners with a network of artists, designers, landscape architects, engineers, curators and other creative industries.

The (predominantly) residential design service offered by Atoll Architecture is the key part of his bigger limited company portfolio. Ian takes great pride in the integrity of this work, and always strives to deliver great design, customer service and professionalism in equal measure. Up until recently, his architectural work has relied almost entirely on gaining new commissions via word-of-mouth recommendations and referral – rather than be the result of advertising and marketing. However, in an attempt to broaden opportunities, Atoll Architecture now also advertise their services via affiliation to a number of vetted architect portals, such as Houzz Pro, Love Renovate, Checkatrade , Design For Me and Local Architects Direct .

Through other Atoll strands, Ian also pursues other artistic, non-profit and voluntary interests, working in the wider public realm. In doing this, he informally ploughs back the profits gained from his more commercial commissions to help sustain other cultural and community ‘placemaking’ affiliations. This includes volunteering and other negotiated pro bono work.

At any one time, Atoll’s work is split to varying degrees between the four main working strands of:

  • Architecture – Private Housing & Leisure
  • Public Art – Collaborations and Curatorial Consultancy in Arts-Led Regeneration
  • Writing – Articles, Journalism & Blogs
  • Affiliations – Associations, Memberships & Volunteering

Ian qualified as a Chartered Architect over 30-years ago in 1990, following a 2-year VSO posting as Head Architect working for the Republic of Maldives’ Ministry of Education. After qualification he also worked for 2 further years in the tourist island design sector there. This spell overseas was then followed by 8-years working in the UK in both the community architecture and commercial sectors. For 4 years between 2000 and 2004, in a mid-career sabbatical, he began to expand on his parallel interests in the arts whilst on a temporary secondment as the Public Art & Architecture Officer for Arts Council England, North West. Following this, Ian launched Atoll, his self-styled ‘architecture and art collaborative’ in January 2005. This practice has now been running for over 15 years (and 13 years as a limited company).

Check out and download the RIBA’s PDF guide Working with an Architect for your Home and refer online for any planning or building regulation guidance on the Planning Portal (i.e. the national planning and building regulations information service).

For other advice and information more bespoke to your project, feel free to contact Atoll Architecture Director and architect Ian Banks on 07717710014 or ian.banks@atoll-uk.com.

Other project information and guides are also accessible off the new Houzz Pro website for Atoll Architecture.

As part of the mandatory obligations under his architect Code of Conduct, Ian Banks undertakes at least 35 hours of ‘relevant learning’ each year as part of his ongoing CPD (Continuing Professional Development) commitment.

Linked to this, Atoll also is obliged to carry Professional Indemnity Insurance. His current annual cover is £1m – with no professional claims against either Ian or company in over 30 years of practice under Royal Institute of British Architects charter. As such, Ian is automatically duty bound by all the relative professional Codes of Conduct of the Architects Registration Board, RIBA, and the Association of Consultant Architects as well.

Ian is also 1 of only 400 UK registered ‘Specialist Experts’ recently re-appointed by Design Council and is now listed on the Green Register of consultants.

Most recently (May 2021), Ian has just received preliminary confirmation he is being accepted onto the Trafford Metropolitan Borough Council ‘Planning Agents Accreditation Scheme’ . As such he will be happy to also be bound by that schemes Code of Conduct too.

All of the above adds up to the fact that in employing someone to design your home or home extension, potential customers need to ensure they are comparing like-for-like when negotiating architectural design services.

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