John McElgunn - Partner

John McElgunn - Partner

John has played a seminal role, not just on the designs and planning process but also in leading and motivating the team.

Andrew Burnett, Director of Projects and Planning, British Museum


John joined the practice in 2001, and was made a partner in 2016. He has a client-facing role and is involved in expediting the company’s expressions of interest and bids for new work. John has led a large team through all stages of working on the British Museum World Conservation and Exhibitions Centre (WCEC). Following a controversial planning process, extensive detailed design and the complex tendering procedures of the OJEU process, the building was completed in 2014, and was on the shortlist for the RIBA Stirling Prize in 2017.

He has extensive experience as a project architect working on public buildings and responding to highly complex briefs, as well as collaborating with clients made up of a number of stakeholders. Birmingham Library competition involved a client body which not only included the heads of library services but also the local council, whilst the British Museum project involved collaborating with the end users, museum management, the project committee, the Board of Trustees and project sponsors who all played a pivotal role in the design and consultation process. Both of these projects required extensive consultation with the client group and the public as part of the design development process and John is particularly well suited to navigating these complex processes.

Working with both public clients and private developers, John has been consistently successful in gaining planning permission for sometimes controversial planning applications. Some of those projects include: three private residences in Wimbledon; Grand Union Building, Paddington; One Hyde Park in London’s Knightsbridge; NEO Bankside, a residential development adjacent to the Tate Modern; and The British Museum WCEC. John led the design for a conservation and storage facility for the Musée du Louvre in Liévin in northern France (Hauts-de-France), and is currently working on the extension to the British Library.

John also oversees the RSHP Communications team and is a member of the recruitment team. He takes part in the annual ‘year out’ programme involving visiting universities, recruiting students and monitoring their progress in the practice throughout the year and acts as a Part III coordinator for architectural assistants in the office who are studying for their Professional Studies & Management in Architecture.