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

More News

Haworth Tompkins' model maker Ellie Sampson has been selected by the Architects' Journal as part of the AJ100 New Talent list, their celebration of 14 exceptional Part II architectural assistants. Ellie initially joined the practice as a Part I in 2015, and rejoined in 2018, becoming our full-time model maker and workshop manager in 2019. Her style often combines varied processes, from detailed paper and laser cutting to 3D printing and casting. Ellie also runs model making workshops at schools and universities including The Bartlett, LSA and Oxford Brookes, and Oslo and Manchester Schools of Architecture.

Theatr Clwyd has received listed building and planning consent for the major redevelopment of their base in Mold, north Wales. The theatre, built in 1976 and Grade II listed in 2019, will be reconfigured and updated by repurposing the existing fabric and demolishing and replacing only what is necessary. The Inspector of Historic Buildings concluded that our proposals are ‘very much in the spirit and vision of the original concept’ representing ‘an attractive and well-designed scheme which will allow the building to function in a more modern and efficient way to allow for its preservation and continued use’.

The Old Vic is holding a public consultation this Saturday on their plans for The Annex, a social and creative arts hub, adjacent and connected to the theatre. In addition to The Annex, the scheme includes significant upgrades to Back of House areas: improving Stage Door, dressing room and stage access, making the theatre accessible and inclusive to all for the first time in its 203-year history. Plans for the new build Annex include a triple height cafe-bar and script library, a new Clore Learning Centre and a flexible Studio space, providing facilities for increased and more diverse artistic output, community outreach, education, and hospitality events.

Work is starting on site this week on the new home for theatre company Punchdrunk. The company’s first permanent base is in south east London - part of the Royal Borough of Greenwich’s new creative district, Woolwich Works. Our project involves internal works to three Grade II Listed Buildings and also the construction of a temporary entrance pavilion. Tickets for their first production in the space, The Burnt City, are now on sale with the show opening next Spring.

Battersea Arts Centre has been awarded the Roof Slating and Tiling Award from The Worshipful Company of Tylers and Bricklayers, one of the historic Livery Companies in the City Of London. The awards, given every three years, recognise craftspeople in the construction industry and their specialist knowledge and skills.

Kingston School of Art, our project for Kingston University has won a RIBA London Award. RIBA praised the ‘vibrant and imaginative exemplar of conservation in its truest sense’ as ‘a call to arms to love our existing buildings in all their shapes and sizes, and make them beautiful and functional once again.’ The project, already the recipient of AJ Retrofit and BREEAM awards, ‘should set a new standard in architecture today’.

Two of our projects have been shortlisted for the Open City Stewardship Awards. The awards, in conjunction with Construction Declares, acknowledge explicitly that the answers cannot lie only in the design and construction of new things, but in the maintenance, care and adaptation of existing places. Kingston School of Art is recognised in the Materials and Resource Management category, and Liverpool Everyman Theatre for Post-occupancy in Practice.

Haworth Tompkins, in collaboration with Architecture 00 and LDA, are working with the Royal Docks Team (a joint initiative between the Mayor of London and the Mayor of Newham) on the Royal Victoria West study. The commission, won through an Architecture Design and Urbanism Panel 2 (ADUP2) competitive process, is to formulate a masterplan strategy and placemaking vision for this area of the Royal Docks.