Daniella Johnson

14th February 2018

Keith Brewster Retires

Leading Leeds Architect Announces His Retirement

Well-known Leeds architect Keith Brewster, from leading architecture practice Brewster Bye, is retiring following an illustrious 40-year career that has seen him involved in the design of more than 10,000 homes, as well as a wide range of prominent community projects.

Mr Brewster, who grew up in Keswick, Cumbria studied architecture at Kingston University and after graduating in 1979, he joined The Culpin Partnership in Richmond, Surrey where he was involved in designing a variety of government and public sector buildings.

Seven years later he returned to the north, moving to Leeds with his young family, and joining The John Brunton Partnership where he became a director and spearheaded the social housing team, completing a number of key projects including Ladybeck Hostel, which won a Leeds Architecture Award.

One of his colleagues at the firm was renowned architect David Bye, and the pair left in1992 to launch Brewster Bye Architects. The company quickly established a strong reputation for its work in the residential sector, as well as designing several notable commercial and community projects.

Chris Austin joined the firm in 1993 and became managing director in 2015, with fellow directors Mark Henderson and Nathan Wilkinson joining in 1994 and 2007 respectively. David Bye retired from the practice in 2008 and sadly passed away in 2014 following a battle with cancer. Today, the company employs a 25 strong team at its Headingley offices.

In recent years, Mr Brewster has also worked closely with a number of local charitable organisations including St George’s Crypt, Leeds Community Foundation, LCVS Enterprises and Business in the Community.

Mr Brewster, who will retire at the end of February 2018, says: “I’d originally decided to pursue a career in town planning, but when I visited a university for an interview, the Architecture course caught my eye and I knew it was for me.

“I’ve been fortunate to have had a fantastic career designing and project managing complex residential schemes, such as Abbeyfield’s developments at Fern House in Bingley and The Beeches in Menston. It’s always satisfying to design projects that are occupied by clients, where you get to know the people who work there and can revisit them and see the buildings in use, as well as contributing to their local communities. It’s often been the community projects that I’ve enjoyed the most. Headingley’s Heart Centre, The Old Fire Station at Gipton, Tiger 11 in Holbeck and Bradford’s Park Lane Centre, all stand out as being particularly rewarding projects to have been involved with.

“I’ll certainly miss working, but I’m planning to travel extensively with my wife Viv, I’m also looking forward to doing more fell-running and spending more time with friends and family. It’s great to be able to leave Brewster Bye in the capable hands of Chris, Mark and Nathan. Because we have all worked together for such a long time, it means the management teami s in a really solid position, and I’m looking forward to watching the business continue to develop in the future.”

Brewster Bye’s Managing Director, Chris Austin, says: “When Keith and David launched Brewster Bye, the ethos was about offering a quality, personal service and always going the extra mile for clients. The success of the company is still based around these attributes today and there’s no doubt the high standards that Keith has set over the last 26 years will be maintained as the company embarks on a new chapter in its history. It’s been a pleasure working with Keith, he’s always been an innovator as well as a very generous and astute professional, and our entire team wishes him well for the future.”