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He was educated at Kingston Grammar School before studying architecture at Kingston and then Greenwich Schools of Architecture. He was elected to the Royal Institute of British Architects in 1983, co-founded Pawson Williams Architects in 1987, and in January 2001 formed Keith Williams Architects . He was elected to the Royal Institute of Architects in Ireland in 2005, became a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in 2007 and a member of the National Design Review Panel for the Commission of Architecture and the Built Environment (now Design Council CABE) in 2009. In 2010 he was made Distinguished Honorary Visiting Professor of Architecture at Zhengzhou University, China and in 2011, he was elected to the National Awards Panel of the Civic Trust. He is also currently an External Examiner at the University of Strathclyde School of Architecture in Glasgow.
The winner of 35 awards for architecture and design, he has delivered a considerable number of lectures on architecture and the work of his firm and his projects have been published worldwide. The first monograph on the firm's work Keith Williams: Architecture of the Specific, is published by Images Publishing Group, Mulgrave, Australia.
Williams works internationally on projects in many locations across the globe. He has devoted much of his career to designing projects which include Theatres, Concert Halls and Opera Houses, Civic Buildings, Museums, Art Galleries and Libraries, Private Houses, Residential Towers, Commercial Office projects and and City Masterplans. His starting premise is that great architecture is created from the arrangement of simple elements such as light, form, space, scale, and material overlain on each building's primary functional purpose. Coupled with due consideration for scale history and context, Williams' buildings achieve a careful balance between his contemporary designs and the often historic settings of many of his projects.
2013 Civic Trust Special Award : Michael Middleton Prize, Civic Trust Award for the Novium Chichester, Civic Trust Award for the Marlowe Theatre Canterbury, RIAI Best Cultural Building Award, RICS South East Awards Project of the Year, RICS South East Awards Community Benefit Award
2012 RIBA Downland Award, Kent Cultural Landscape Award, BCI Award (Shortlisted), Prime Minister's Better Building Award (Shortlisted),Building Design (UK) Public Building Architect of the Year-Finalist
2010 Civic Trust Award, AIA UK Excellence in Design Award, Prague Quadrennial Award for Practical Excellence in Design, LAMA National Impact Award, RIAI Highly Commended Project
2009 RIBA European Award, RIAI Best Cultural Building Award, Irish Times Special Jury Award, Irish Times Special Jury Award for Wexford Opera House
2008 Building Design (UK) Public Building Architect of the Year, Chicago Athenaeum International Architecture Prize, OPUS Architecture and Construction Award, RIBA Award
2007 USITT Award, Copper in Architecture Award, RIAI Award Best House
2006 Building Design (UK) Public Building Architect of the Year' RIBA Award : Unicorn Theatre, Chicago Athenaeum International Architecture Prize, RIAI Overseas Award, RIBA Award, Irish Concrete Society Overall Winner