Nicholas Thompson

2012 winner


Nicholas Thompson is an architectural stone carver from Canada and currently the assistant to the Dominion Sculptor in Ottawa, Canada. He studied the History of Architecture and Town Planning before working in historic building conservation. A graduate in architectural stone carving from the City & Guilds Art School, London, (2010) he has completed stone restoration work in the UK and Canada, including on the Parliament Buildings in Ottawa (2015). In 2016 he won a competition to design and carve a large sculpture on the east tower of Guildford Cathedral in Surrey.

While at the City & Guilds Art School he heard about the ADAM Architecture Travel Scholarship and proposed a research project on Valletta, Malta, a city renowned for both its carved limestone and its unique town planning. Valletta, a UNESCO world heritage site, is the capital of this small island nation and much of its building stock dates back to the Renaissance. He spent two weeks in 2012 exploring the town, sketching, taking photographs, and making notes on its architecture and built form. As well as visiting various archives, he spoke to several local architectural historians and stonemasons and visited a stone quarry, making drawings of architectural details and carved ornaments on the buildings. The visit has had a strong impact on his practice both as a town planner and stone carver, enriching his understanding and appreciation for sound planning and design principles and opening his eyes to new possibilities for elaborate sculptural programmes in soft limestone. On his return he produced a hand-carved stone scallop as a symbolic souvenir of Valletta.




Nicholas Thompson




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