About us

Malcolm Reading Consultants (MRC) is an expert consultancy specialising in achieving outstanding design for clients who are commissioning new buildings or refurbishing and conserving existing ones. We believe in the power of design to create new perceptions and act as an inspiration.

MRC is the leading independent organiser of design competitions based in the UK. We have over eighteen years’ experience running international open design competitions, as well as private invited competitions. Our international portfolio includes those for Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park’s Culture & Education Quarter, Mumbai City Museum, Guggenheim Helsinki, Glasgow School of Art and the Library of Foreign Literature in Moscow. MRC’s competitions have brought emerging designers to world attention over the past decade, including Thomas Heatherwick, Amanda Levete and Steven Holl.

We also offer a range of other services, notably, brief-writing, critical to the success of a project, and client representation. The latter encompasses advice on pre-project strategy, governance and helping clients manage the highly-complex teams now required for world-class projects.

MRC has been privileged to help organisations as diverse and high-profile as the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, New College, Oxford, Qatari Diar, the Cadogan Estate, Marlborough College, the Natural History Museum, White Cube, the National Media Museum, NATO, the Duchy of Lancaster and the Victoria & Albert Museum.

Malcolm Reading, MRC’s Founder and Chairman, trained as an architect and moved from designing to commissioning designers with his appointment as Director of Design at the British Council in the early nineties. He started MRC in 1996. From 2005-2014 he was a Trustee to Historic Royal Palaces and remains a Special Adviser as well as being Chair of the Tower of London UNESCO World Heritage Site Consultative Committee. He is also a Trustee of Edinburgh World Heritage, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.

Malcolm is the current President of the Prix W architectural prize and a judge of World Architecture News’ 21 for 21 Award and AIA (American Institute of Architects) UK Excellence in Design award.

He is supported by an energetic, professional team with varied backgrounds in architecture, urban design, graphic design, web design and journalism; and with both commercial and public sector experience.