Haworth Tompkins wins Practice of the Year 18.09.20

Haworth Tompkins have won Practice of the Year in the AJ100 Awards for 2020. We were also named New Member of the Year for our "business success and the quality of [our] work."

From the AJ - Why Haworth Tompkins was named AJ100 Practice of the year - Will Hurst
"The AJ100 judges were bowled over by the achievements of Haworth Tompkins in a competitive field of nominees. The Stirling Prize-winning practice itself began its presentation by describing 2019 as the ‘most significant year’ of its 30-year history and it quickly became clear this was no exaggeration.

As well as achieving steady growth in profit and turnover (architecture fees totalled £7 million in 2019), Haworth Tompkins diversified into new sectors, such as retirement living and industrial buildings and gained 16 significant new clients over the course of the year.

It also completed a string of significant projects, including a major retrofit for Kingston University, the Fish Island project for Peabody, and The Den theatre auditorium in Manchester.

Co-founder Steve Tompkins was named the most influential person in British theatre by The Stage magazine and the practice won 19 awards, including the most RIBA National Awards for any architect that year. It underlined its forward-thinking attitude by investing 12 per cent of its turnover in R&D.

Haworth Tompkins also found time to spearhead the globally influential Architects Declare movement, putting its money where its mouth is by placing social and climate justice at the heart of its purpose as a company. It did this by transforming itself into an Employee Ownership Trust, signing up to the RIBA 2030 Challenge and upping its game on things such as in-house embodied carbon assessments and post-occupancy evaluation and focusing further on retrofitting.

When Covid-19 hit, the studio helped the hard-hit world of theatre by offering its services to a number of theatre organisations pro bono.

‘Haworth Tompkins is setting the standard for architectural practice in today’s world,’ one judge said. ‘They are challenging themselves to improve on every front and succeeding, working incredibly hard to promote architecture and create diversity within the profession and their own leadership team. While universally applying new, higher sustainability standards on all projects, they also share vast amounts of knowledge through open-source publications.’

Other judges admired the practice’s ‘truly democratic studio environment’ as well as its commitment to environmental sustainability. One remarked: ‘They have gone through a series of deep reflections, which have engaged the whole studio. They have redefined their leadership structure by rebalancing age, gender and ethnicity among the group and laying out a clear path to succession. That is so rare.’

In 2020, Haworth Tompkins has set the bar for AJ100 Practice of the Year very high indeed."

Read the full piece here

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Haworth Tompkins have been running online work experience for a group of year 10 and 11 students from around the country this week, organised through Speakers for Schools. As well as discussions based around portfolios and potential university work, and a Routes to Architecture session, the 28 students have been modelling and making collages based on their local landmarks and found objects within their homes. Our architectural assistants have been on hand through the week to offer support, and answer any questions.

The London Borough of Newham has granted planning permission to London + Regional for their Albert Island Masterplan, designed by Haworth Tompkins with Industrial Architect Ashton Smith. HT have been working with L+R and the GLA since 2016 to bring forward a comprehensive redevelopment masterplan for the site. The scheme will create a well-connected, sustainable hub with a mix of uses, good cycling and walking links, and an enhanced river frontage with improved public realm establishing much needed employment uses in an integrated piece of the City. Technical design work for the first buildings is now underway, with an anticipated start on site in 2022.

Our retrofit of Kingston School of Art for Kingston University has won the 2021 BREEAM award for the best Public Sector Project post-construction. The judges commented that they were "impressed with the take on overall wellbeing, as well as embracing the challenges of refurbishing an existing building. The efforts made on solar shading, biodiversity and accessibility were also highly rated".

Diana Dina, our Head of Sustainability & Regenerative Design, and Architect Danny Lane will be taking part in the AJ Summit on 25 March. They will be discussing their recent post-occupancy evaluation of the Liverpool Everyman Theatre, and explaining what prompted the revisit, the process, and practicalities of what they did, their key findings and how these will be shared within the practice and inform the design process.

Haworth Tompkins are working with Eden District Council, on a Feasibility Study for the redevelopment of Penrith Town Hall. The Grade II listed building is a highly regarded local landmark. Whereas there will be a continuation of elected members using part of the building to hold specific council meetings, there is a strong desire to imagine a new life for this important civic building as a multi-purpose facility with a core focus on Arts and Culture.

Kingston School of Art, our project for Kingston University, has won the Higher and Further Education category at the AJ Retrofit Awards. These celebrate the design expertise behind the vital renewal and repurposing of existing building. The judging panel commented on the "lovely juxtaposition between existing and new" and how by retrofitting instead of rebuilding there is "the preservation of atmosphere". Overall "this scheme embodies what these awards are celebrating – it stood out from the beginning".

Our stacked, light industrial project for BeFirst in Barking and Dagenham has received planning permission. Peter Murray, NLA Chairman commented that “this innovative mixed use space… sets new standards for efficient use of industrial land in London”. The development, which will house tenants in flexible units arranged around a vehicle accessible multi-storey hub, will begin on site this summer.

Kingston School of Art, our project for Kingston University, has been shortlisted in the Higher Education category at the AJ Retrofit awards. These recognise well-designed sustainable project,s and promote structural reuse in the built environment. The winner will be announced at an online ceremony on 24 February.