Gary Hornsby

Attended WHS

1969 - 1974

Current occupation

Architect - Director at SALT Architects and Head of Architecture at the Hull School of Art and Design

Industry sector



SALT Architects and Hull College

Current location

Halsham, East Yorkshire

Blast from the past

Gary pictured in a school football team photo in 1974

Alumni spotlight: Gary Hornsby

From aspirations of following in his father's footsteps to become a Joiner, through to considering a career as a Customs Officer on the basis that he 'liked the look of the uniform', it's safe to say that at the age of 14 Gary Hornsby wasn't sure what the future would hold for him, or what career he would definitely like to embark on. Fast forward 41 years, and as a Director and co-founder of SALT Architects, one of the regions leading architectural companies, and as a successful lecturer in his subject, Gary's future panned out well. Very well. 

At school he was one of the top 6 pupils in his year, a placing which meant his teachers strongly suggested to him that he should study a foreign language. Despite arguing against this suggestion, he gave it his best shot but unfortunately went on to fail French 5 times. These failures sadly cost him his place studying Woodwork (the link between French and Woodwork in the 1970s education system evidently being stronger than it is in 21st century learning!)

Gary left Withernsea High School in 1974 with 6 O-Levels and a wealth of happy memories of his time here. This week (w/c 2nd March 2015) he returned to his old school to speak to a group of Year 9 students as part of National Careers Week. He shared with them his memories of his time at school; his path through education / employment and his words of advice for their futures. In his words: "Whatever you do, and whatever you'd like to do, just do it with great energy and

Gary recently signed up to our Alumni and his entry can be found below. We'd like to take this opportunity to thank him for visiting the school and for speaking to some of our students.


What memories do you have of your time at Withernsea High School?

"Great ones! Staff included Mr Beal, Mr Kellet, Mr Ward, Mr Longmate, Mr Burns, Mr Grazier, Mr Coates, Mr Baines, Miss Woods, Miss Henderson, Mr Croft and Mr Bailey.
I really enjoyed the sports, especially house matches. I was junior house captain in Kent (House) and won the Hull Schools cup with the 1st XI in 1974."

Who or what inspired you at school; who or what was the greatest influence?

"The staff were enthusiastic and the facilities great. All of the above teachers influenced me and instilled the importance of discipline and commitment."

What part did Withernsea High School play in getting you where you are today?

"I think the school allowed me to develop and mature. I enjoyed the enthusiastic support the staff offered. I think the biggest lesson was that of respect for others and feeling part of a community, something I now try to implement in my role as Head of Architecture at the Hull School of Art and Design, and as a founding director of SALT Architects in Beverley."

Please tell us about your education since leaving Withernsea High School

"I left the school in 1974 and spent four years at Hull College gaining both an ONC and HNC in Building Construction before working as an architectural technician until 1983. In 1983 I returned to education, enrolling on the Architecture Degree at the Hull School of Architecture. I received my degree in Architecture in 1986, my Post Graduate Diploma in Architecture in 1988, and my Post Qualification Certificate in Architectural Practice in 1989. I registered with the Architects Registration Board in 1989 and joined the Hull Practice of GD Frankish as a Partner in 1989.

In 1990 I was asked to teach part time at the Hull School of Architecture and enjoyed the experience so much I decided to take a full time teaching post later that year. I was appointed Post Graduate Course Leader in 1991, a post I held until the school moved with the University to Lincoln in the year 2000. I disagreed with the move and left the school to set up SALT Architects with a colleague, Bridget Hansford, in the September of that year. The practice is now established as one of the leading design practices in the region. In 2004 I was asked to teach part time at the Leeds School of Architecture, helping them to rewrite their degree course in 2007. In 2008 I was approached by Hull College to see if I was interested in re-establishing architectural education in Hull. I accepted the role on a part time basis and am pleased to say that we have established a new Honours Degree in Architecture, and Masters Degree in Architecture in Hull, both courses are validated by the Open University and the degree has been recognised by ARB and RIBA. We aim to get the Masters Degree recognised by both professional bodies which will mean that architects will once again graduate from Hull. I still enjoy both roles and would like to see more opportunities for local schools to benefit from the opportunities I have been given."

Please tell us any interesting facts about yourself. Any claims to fame? Any personal achievements that you’re particularly proud of?

"I have been very fortunate to enjoy my work in practice and education. The biggest reward for me is that I am still in contact with hundreds of students who have graduated from the Hull School. It's reputation as an exemplar school in the development of community architecture reached a height in 1986 when Prince Charles visited the school. Its international reputation has allowed me to teach as a visiting tutor in Malaysia, Italy and Germany. I have written courses for schools in Kuala Lumpar, Leeds and Hull and have been really fortunate to be involved with developing the new school in Hull.
The practice (SALT Architects) is now established, having survived the recession and employs some of the students from the new school. We have a number of very exciting projects which include visitor centres at Bempton, Spurn Point and Styal for the RSPB, YWT and the National Trust respectively. Our Practice won the Business in the Community Firm of the year (Yorkshire Region) in 2010. We have recently enjoyed having one of your pupils, Olivia, with us for a week long work experience. She did very well and was a credit to the school."


What advice would you pass on to our students today?

"I think the best advice I could give is to work with enthusiasm, be positive and help others. Embrace opportunity and work inclusively. Individuals benefit by belonging to a community and the strongest communities are those which have a strong ethos of support. I would encourage all students to have ambition, to aim high but be humble."


We wish Gary the very best of luck for everything the future brings and we look forward to keeping you updated with his
career progress.
For more information about Gary and SALT architects, please follow the link below: - SALT Architects, located in Beverley, are an expert Architectural Company which specialise in private & commercial Architect Design.

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