Haworth Tompkins wins AJ100 Practice of the Year 23.06.22

Haworth Tompkins has been named AJ100 Practice of the Year 2022, for the second time in three years. Read the full story here from AJ's Emily Booth:

"Judges were fulsome in their praise of the practice, the overwhelming winner of this year’s AJ100 Practice of the Year accolade. ‘It’s a forward-thinking, genuine practice and a well-deserving winner – impressive on all fronts,’ they enthused.

Accountability was mentioned time and again: ‘It is aligning with all its principles to create an authentic environment where people prosper and thrive – and it is holding itself to account with its move to an Employee Ownership Trust,’ said one judge. ‘It has a comprehensive and accountable approach,’ said another.

No stranger to the Practice of the Year award (the studio won in 2020, when it was also named New Member of the Year), Haworth Tompkins has proclaimed a ‘bumper’ 30th anniversary year, with turnover increasing from £7 million to £10 million and its headcount of qualified architects rising from 53 to 62.

It has implemented a successful hybrid working model and an important strategic change has been to improve its gender split at leadership level with the appointment of two new female directors (Lucy Picardo and Joanna Sutherland) and a new female associate director. Forty-two per cent of its architects are women. Nearly 10 per cent are from a black or minority ethnic background. As a founding signatory of Architects Declare, it plays an active role in the organisation.

Project-wise, Haworth Tompkins has diversified its international work, with new commissions in Perth in Western Australia and Bergen in Norway, in addition to work in New Zealand, the USA and Sweden. It has won work in its core sectors of performing arts, housing and education – and, importantly, also in new sectors of masterplanning (Queen Mary University), industrial densification (Albert Island in the Royal Docks) and workplace.

Completed project highlights range from its Theatre Royal Drury Lane refurbishment right down to the small Punchdrunk temporary theatre in Woolwich. Projects currently on site are diverse, including housing (Wood Street and Blackwall Reach) and work for Pembroke College and Barking Industria (a stacked industrial brownfield development).

Addressing the climate emergency is central to the practice’s thinking. Its approaches are significant and include: a sustainability and regenerative design working group which produces and reviews its in-house toolkit; all projects being designed to meet net zero by 2030; and publishing its post-occupancy evaluation reports on its website. It assesses the whole-life carbon in projects and guides clients to use this is as part of the services engineering scope of work. It advocates that all clients appoint an ecologist on projects.

Haworth Tompkins has also firmly embedded equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) into its business plan. Among myriad initiatives, it monitors the demographics of applicants so it can tailor job adverts as required, proactively advertises via diverse networks, and has developed a transparent recruitment process. The studio carries out an annual diversity report with recommendations and targets, has established EDI groups, and has signed up to the NLA Diverse Leaders Pledge and the RIBA Inclusion Charter. It is an active member of the Architecture Race Forum.

Quite simply, as our judges said: ‘It’s a comprehensive approach to practice management and excellence.’"

More News

Haworth Tompkins is working on a Strategic Industrial Land (SIL) masterplan for Enfield Council at Meridian Water. Our project will test intensification options for the Hawley Yard site next to the north circular and help establish a land zoning strategy for industrial and co-location uses within the overall Meridian Water masterplan. The whole regeneration project seeks to deliver around 10,000 homes and 6,000 jobs over a 25-year period.

Haworth Tompkins has been announced as the lead on the multi-disciplinary team for the St George's Guildhall and Creative Hub project in King's Lynn. Led by the Borough Council of King's Lynn & West Norfolk, the redevelopment is set to transform the Guildhall and surrounding buildings into a nationally important cultural heritage site. Stakeholder and community engagement and consultation will take place throughout the project, which is due to be completed in 2026.

Haworth Tompkins has been shortlisted in the Innovation of the Year category at the AJ100 Awards, for the Modular Auditorium most recently used at @sohoplace. Originally developed with specialist stage engineers and manufacturers Tait Towers for the Bridge Theatre, the kit of parts can be assembled in numerous permutations to achieve different capacities, seating formats and staging options, each with dense capacity, excellent sightlines and clear acoustics.

HT Associate Director Dan Tassell is on the NLA Education Expert Panel this year. The panel is concentrating on three key themes which will result in outputs and recommendations that will inform the New London Agenda and beyond. This month he reports back on the themes being explored by the subgroups; Creative Curriculum, Reusing Space and Retrofit. To read the summary of their work click here. Haworth Tompkins have completed several Education projects around the country including Rockwood Academy, a school retrofit in Birmingham, shown here.

Theatre Royal Drury Lane has won a RIBA London award. Our major restoration of this Grade I listed building for LW Theatres opened in summer 2021. The RIBA Regional jury commented that "transformations are seamless and are deliberately integrated into the historic building to ensure that its heritage remains its predominant character. Haworth Tompkins has successfully unlocked the building’s history and simultaneously created a very modern theatre". National Award winners will be announced in June.

Ahead of the completion of Industria next month, we have produced a short film (watch here) with graphic designers DNCO, exploring the concept and construction process for the UK’s first multi-level light industrial estate. The project, for Be First, represents an innovative and ambitious approach to modern industrial design, with 45 light industrial units and maker spaces arranged around yards across three levels, accessed by a helical van ramp.

Director Lucy Picardo is taking part in the upcoming RSAW Spring Conference on ‘All Things Alternative’ at the Centre for Alternative Technology in Machynlleth, Wales.

Haworth Tompkins has been chosen to be part of the masterplanning design team, working with U+I and TOWN, on a mixed-use development in North East Cambridge. The team, led by Kjellander Sjöberg Architects, includes Bell Phillips, Alison Brooks Architects, Feilden Fowles, Nooma Studio and 5th Studio all working together on 5000 homes alongside shops, workplaces, schools and parks located within easy walking distance, based around the principle of the five-minute neighbourhood. Community engagement will take place throughout 2023 and a planning submission is anticipated in late 2024.