Timothy Richards Architectural Models Ltd

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Timothy Richards Architectural Models Ltd's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Timothy Richards Architectural Models Ltd is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles
Large plaster build, Robert A.M
Stern, West 80th and Broadway,
New York, including touch
screen technology
Lord Mayor Sir David Brewer
presenting the Mansion
House gift to a Chinese VIP
After 30 years and 200 commissions, Timothy Richards
remains at the forefront of a unique genre. He is the
sole owner, founder and managing director of an
architectural workshop which has employed over 160 people
over the past three decades. Recognised as a leader in his field,
Timothy has worked for highly prestigious events, decorated
individuals and five separate governments to deliver high-end
detailed plaster models. He tells
The Parliamentary Review
I create models ranging in size from 15 centimetres up to six metres, which can
cost anywhere between £1,000 and £200,000. While historically I have worked
mainly with plaster, I now work in bronze, white metal and other materials,
including etches of copper, nickel silver, pure silver, brass and occasionally
Relationship models
My models have a unique public relations role. It often isn’t about the plaster, the
bronze or even the model; what I do is about conveying a message and opening
a dialogue. Models communicate ideas, ambition and energy. They bring people
together. They celebrate, provoke and engage. My work delivers specific and
reliable outcomes, time and time again, in that most difficult of areas – building
The model builds the expectation that its quality is mirrored in the quality of the
structure in question. As a three-dimensional object, it remains a most effective
»Owner, Founder and
Managing Director:
Timothy Richards
»Established in 1988
»Based in Bath
»Services: Design and
manufacture of high-end
plaster architectural models
»Timothy creates models using
plaster, bronze, white metal,
copper, nickel, silver and brass
Timothy Richards
Architectural Models
Highlighting best practice
communication tool. When selling real
estate, it is the most powerful and
important part of the sales armoury for
one simple reason: our world is three-
dimensional, and all of us from the
earliest age understand the language
of objectsinstinctively.
Site models
In reality, very few people understand
architectural plans, including many of
the decision-makers involved with a
given project.
For this reason alone, all developments
of consequence should be expressed
in uncensored model form to allow
for true, informed commentary and
community dialogue. In many cases,
developers and councils make it their
business to control public perception
of a given structure.
Craftsmanship and quality are
of paramount importance
People understand quality; quality of
space, time, light, design and material.
For example, the word “gold” has its
own weight and imagery – something
we can feel in our minds. Today, more
individuals can afford the humanity
and expression that craftmanship
delivers. An item in today’s mass-
produced world that retains both
integrity and a genuine “wow” factor
is still a rarity.
William Morris’ Art Workers’ Guild,
of which I am a member, embodies
values which are both contemporary
and futuristic. Past lessons need to
be re-evaluated, carried forward and
assimilated into current thought.
By remaining informed by the past,
we can achieve a more sustainable
present and future. We should make
no mistake – this is becoming an
increasingly urgent and apparent issue,
and it demands a call to action.
Tradition is king
Inherent within craftsmanship is the
notion of tradition – by way of proven
skills and techniques over time. The
creative perspective of the craftsman
is, by its very nature, inclusive.
Our experience is future-proofed,
welcoming, communicable, necessary
and now more relevant than ever.
If we were to replace the word
“tradition” with the phrase “proven
technology” then the wisdom
of traditional guidance becomes
accessible for modern minds.
Of similar importance is the concept
of sustainability. It is one of the many
Left: Rupert Murdoch’s
gift of St Brides Fleet
Street to his mentor Sir
Edward Pickering upon his
Right: Heads of Daimler
Benz, Ford and Chrysler
Motor Companies,
American Embassy in Paris –
model in plaster of George
C. Marshall Center
It often isn’t
about the
plaster, the
bronze or
even the
model; what
Ido is about
conveying a
message and
opening a
characteristics that differentiate
craftsmen from technicians, the latter
of whom currently occupy a large
section of the industry.
Global warming
Global warming is becoming a critical
issue, and politicians can no longer
avoid engaging with it. We all need
to engage with it. In a country with
such expertise and innovation within
the renewable sector, there must be a
change of national philosophy.
It is very much the elephant in
the room. The issues of pollution,
depletion, population and environment
are no longer the concerns of just
specialised agencies; they have become
relevant to and the responsibility of
all of us. Sir David Attenborough’s
documentaries serve as a wake-up
call: this is something that demands
collective attention, political response,
strong leadership and immediate
Companies of today need to re-
examine their pathways, specifically
with regard to material sourcing and
energy. Industry is responsible for a key
part of the problem, and it may be able
to provide a key part of the answer,
but without political leadership, things
look bleak.
We need to support the momentum
towards sustainability – across
The lost art of the plaster
I have restored the lost art of the
plaster model and, in the meantime,
discovered new uses for its form. Now,
increasingly collected, my models –
initially just a means to make a living
– are seen as antiques of the future. I
have come to realise that the materials
I use control me, rather than the other
way around – they have educated me
and taught me a philosophy I now
share with others.
Within my workshop, plaster is king. It
has taught me its rules and its lessons.
I exploit it to the best of my abilities,
but in the end, its unique nature drives
what I can do. This understanding of
process and material as concepts is
something I have in common with all
other craftsmen.
As a leading model maker in plaster,
using gypsum mined in the heart
of England, I’ve learnt the lessons
inherent to my unique craft. I’m
convinced that, going forwards,
Britain has the wherewithal to lead
We need to
support the
– across all
Left: Prince Charles receiving
the Patronage Award for
Architecture from Richard
H. Driehaus
Right: Driehaus Award 2008
in Chicago; Tim with the
Tempietto at San Pietro in
plaster and the award in

This article was sponsored by Timothy Richards Architectural Models Ltd. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from The Rt Hon Theresa May MP.

The Rt Hon Theresa May MP's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By The Rt Hon Theresa May MP

This foreword from the then Prime Minister appeared in the 2018/19 Parliamentary Review.

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review. For Her Majesty’s Government, our task in the year ahead is clear: to achieve the best Brexit deal for Britain and to carry on our work to build a more prosperous and united country – one that truly works for everyone. 

The right Brexit deal will not be sufficient on its own to secure a more prosperous future for Britain. We also need to ensure that our economy is ready for what tomorrow will bring. Our Modern Industrial Strategy is our plan to do that. It means Government stepping up to secure the foundations of our productivity: providing an education system that delivers the skills our economy needs, improving school standards and transforming technical education; delivering infrastructure for growth; ensuring people have the homes they need in the places they want to live. It is all about taking action for the long-term that will pay dividends in the future.

But it also goes beyond that. Government, the private sector and academia working together as strategic partners achieve far more than we could separately. That is why we have set an ambitious goal of lifting UK public and private research and development investment to 2.4 per cent of GDP by 2027. It is why we are developing four Grand Challenges, the big drivers of social and economic change in the world today: harnessing artificial intelligence and the data revolution; leading in changes to the future of mobility; meeting the challenges of our ageing society; and driving ahead the revolution in clean growth. By focusing our efforts on making the most of these areas of enormous potential, we can develop new exports, grow new industries and create more good jobs in every part of our country.

Years of hard work and sacrifice from the British people have got our deficit down by over three quarters. We are building on this success by taking a balanced approach to public spending. We are continuing to deal with our debts, so that our economy can remain strong and we can protect people’s jobs, and at the same time we are investing in vital public services, like our NHS. We have set out plans to increase NHS funding annually by an average by 3.4 percent in real terms: that is £394 million a week more. In return, the NHS will produce a ten-year plan, led by doctors and nurses, to eliminate waste and improve patient care.

I believe that Britain can look to the future with confidence. We are leaving the EU and setting a new course for prosperity as a global trading nation. We have a Modern Industrial Strategy that is strengthening the foundations of our economy and helping us to seize the opportunities of the future. We are investing in the public services we all rely on and helping them to grow and improve. Building on our country’s great strengths – our world-class universities and researchers, our excellent services sector, our cutting edge manufacturers, our vibrant creative industries, our dedicated public servants – we can look towards a new decade that is ripe with possibility. The government I lead is doing all it can to make that brighter future a reality for everyone in our country. 

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review 
The Rt Hon Theresa May MP
Prime Minister