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 are working with The Old Vic, to design a new build annex to the rear of the Grade II* listed theatre. The new facility will include a; Clore Learning Centre, a script library with a café/bar, a new green room and back of house spaces. The works will also involve remodelling of the existing back of house spaces enabling a fully accessible stage door, improved dressing rooms and staff offices and the refurbishment of the existing rehearsal room to include a studio theatre space.

Haworth Tompkins is working with Newham Council to design a residential led scheme in the east London borough. The commission, won through an invited competition on the Notting Hill Genesis Framework, will transform The Greenhill Centre in Manor Park into over 100 new mixed tenure and 100% tenure blind homes. We will help Newham to achieve their target of becoming a low carbon borough by delivering a Certified Passivhaus scheme. Alongside the homes, there will be a local community space and a commitment to improve the natural landscape and biodiversity of the site, with the retention of existing trees, new planting and open space. Planning will be submitted this summer.

Haworth Tompkins are working with The Architecture Centre, English Heritage and Bristol City Council on plans for Temple Church and Gardens. We are developing proposals with the design team, and the local community, that will unlock the heritage value of both the church ruins and the gardens. By applying the principles of regenerative design to respond sensitively to the context, and using sustainable materials, a vision is beginning to form that will transform the site it into a thriving space for those who work and live nearby.

Bristol Old Vic has been recognised by the Civic Trust Awards in two categories. The theatre is a winner in the main awards and also the Selwyn Goldsmith Awards for Universal Design. The level of award received will be revealed at the ceremony in early March.

Signstrokes is a linguistic project for the deaf community founded by Christopher Laing of Haworth Tompkins and Adolfs Kristapsons. Through their online resource they seek to inform British Sign Language (BSL) interpreters and users of BSL about architectural terms. Deaf people are not new to architecture, however they face significant barriers because the sign language vocabulary of the profession is not standardised, and lacks breadth and complexity. Signstrokes seeks to break the cycle of making new signs by finding common ones and communicating these throughout the community. For more information please follow them on Instagram @signstrokes

2020 has been a year unlike any other; but amidst the turmoil and hardship there have been some welcome highlights for our studio.

We have won a number of high profile awards, not least of which was being named the AJ100 Practice of the Year. Fish Island Village won in two categories at the Evening Standard New Homes Awards - Best Large Development and the prestigious Grand Prix; at the New London Awards, Battersea Arts Centre was named overall winner as well as winning the Experiencing Culture and Community Prizes while our project for Kingston School of Art was highly commended in both the Mayor's Prize for Circular Design and the Environmental Prize. In US awards, the Peter Hall Performing Arts Centre won an International Chicago Athenaeum Award, while Battersea Arts Centre won a USITT Architecture Award.

Haworth Tompkins is working with King's Cross Church (KXC) on a feasibility study to convert the now vacant Pauline Quirke Academy into a home for KXC. In addition to an auditorium space and community facilities, the building would have a number of multi-use rooms for various community outreach charities which work closely with the Church.

Haworth Tompkins has completed the concept design for a new theatre in Christchurch, New Zealand. The project, for The Court Theatre and Christchurch City Council includes a 360-seat main playhouse auditorium, a 130-seat studio space and front-of-house facilities. All aspects of a working theatre, including set-building, costume-making and rehearsals, will be based on site, with plans to make these activities visible to the public. The design thus far has been in collaboration with New Zealand based Athfield Architects who will also be leading on the next stage. Construction is expected to begin in early 2022 and the theatre is due to open in late 2023.