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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