Modular Auditorium named AJ100 Innovation of the Year 22.06.23

Haworth Tompkins has won the Innovation of the Year category at the AJ100 Awards, for the Modular Auditorium most recently used at @sohoplace. The new theatre incorporates a modular, highly flexible auditorium, the latest evolution of a widely-applicable system developed as a research project. The judges agreed that Haworth Tompkins had applied its architectural skills to help develop a clever and efficient product with huge potential. ‘They are brilliant theatre designers … who were able to work with manufacturers who could provide a critical element,’ said one judge. ‘Their skill as architects has really been applied to the product.’ Another remarked: ‘What I love about this is that London is the greatest city on earth for theatre and Haworth Tompkins are the greatest theatre designers in this country. Hopefully this can facilitate small-scale fringe theatres all over the world. What a great legacy that would be.’

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The Haworth Tompkins team recently gathered to celebrate the completion of the superstructure at Wembley NE02/NE03 with a topping out ceremony. A big thank you to client Quintain and John Sisk & Son Ltd for hosting us – it was a brilliant event for the whole project team to mark the fantastic achievement in bringing these projects to fruition.

The NE02 and NE03 schemes combined deliver:

  • Quintain’s largest construction contract signed to date at Wembley Park
  • 769 new homes, more than 100 affordable homes and 972-bathroom pods
  • 22,000 cubic metres of concrete poured but the lowest Embodied Carbon to date
  • 1,802 offsite manufactured façade panels used across both buildings
  • An innovative design that allows each of the 752 balconies to be installed within minutes
  • 99% of waste reused or recycled or diverted from landfill
  • An average of 560 people working on site each day
  • Over 1.2 million hours worked in 2023
  • £24m spent with local businesses
  • 213 hours of volunteering to support community projects
  • 26 apprentices currently on-site
  • 7 tower cranes across NE02 and NE03 simultaneously through construction

We are honoured that our Fish Island Village project for Peabody & Hill Group has been shortlisted for a RIBA London Regional Award.

Fish Island Village has transformed a site of disused warehouses with a collection of mid-rise buildings interspersed with new public streets and spaces, opening up over 200 metres of previously inaccessible canal frontage. The development is made up of Neptune Wharf by Haworth Tompkins - 17 individual blocks forming 3 clusters, comprising 501 dwellings and 56 commercial and workspace units, opening up into a sequence of courtyards; Lanterna by Lyndon Goode - a standalone building facing a new public square comprising 16 dwellings and a ground floor restaurant; and Monier Road by Pitman Tozer - 3 blocks comprising 71 homes and 7 workspace studios. Emerging practice Bureau de Change designed the fit-out of the workspace facilities delivered by The Trampery.

2023 was a year of exciting change at Haworth Tompkins. In August the practice relocated from its previous base in Kentish Town to expanded premises in Clerkenwell, the heart of London’s architecture and design district. The practice now occupies two floors of 110 Golden Lane, just north of the Barbican, and has undertaken a major refurbishment to provide a more creative environment for the team, with enhanced audio-visual facilities, larger meeting rooms and a multi-use central space for exhibitions, lectures and cultural events.

Major new commissions have been won, including the redevelopment of Earls Court; the masterplan for a new garden community in Tendring & Colchester; the Hexagon Studio Theatre, Reading; St George’s Guildhall at King’s Lynn; the Compton Verney Masterplan; the Four Glories refurbishment at Stowe Landscape Gardens; Silvertown estate regeneration; the Gascoigne West neighbourhood development in Barking and a design competition for the redevelopment of Kouvola Theatre in Finland. Last year Haworth Tompkins became a Certified B Corporation, earning one of the two highest scores within the profession, and won the AJ100 Practice of the Year in both 2020 and 2022.

The director group has expanded over the four years since Haworth Tompkins became an Employee Ownership Trust, reinforcing its commitment to equity and collaboration as an organisation and a community. The practice is now led by Chris Fellner, Lucy Picardo, Joanna Sutherland and Roger Watts alongside managing director Toby Johnson, who have an average of over 20 years’ experience with the studio and are centrally involved in the collective mission to design regenerative, intelligent and beautiful architecture.

At the end of March 2024, marking the culmination of a five-year succession plan, Graham Haworth and Steve Tompkins will be stepping down as directors of the practice they founded in 1991. It has always been their intention to create a studio which would continue to grow and expand on its legacy and ethos, and they welcome their new role providing support as consultants. Now over 100 strong, with the combination of deep continuity, a pipeline of exciting commissions and an energised team, Haworth Tompkins is well placed to go from strength to strength.

Haworth Tompkins, alongside Finnish Architecture studio ARCO have been selected as winners of an invited architectural design competition for the rebuilding and part refurbishment of a theatre in Kouvola Finnland. The competition included five submissions and was decided by a panel of judges and a public vote which took place during a 2-week exhibition in November 2023 where all entries were open to the public. According to Riku Hämäläinen, the operation manager of the Kouvola theatre, the theatre staff were also in favour of the winning proposal. The winning proposal ‘Kouvo’, proposes an exemplar world class theatre through a bold sustainable transformation that both respects the integrity and cultural history of the existing buildings while radically opening up the theatre to the city, creating a strong cultural landmark for Kouvola.

The proposal retains the existing 1950s community education building and sports hall by the local architect Eero A. Kajava and rebuilds the adjacent 1960s Theatre. The historic and new building together will form the improved and extended theatre complex. The classrooms and sports hall of the historic community centre will be transformed into generous administration, dressing room and workshop spaces as well as the new studio theatre. A new state of the art 400 seat auditorium and stage together with the public main foyer will be built on the site of the old theatre bringing Kouvola’s theatre infrastructure into the 21st century. The judges commended the proposals for their innovative, sustainable and modern approach while respecting the integrity, spirit and culture of the original buildings and surrounding area creating a strong Kouvola identity.

“We are thrilled to be selected as winners alongside our Finnish design partners ARCO to develop proposals for the redevelopment of Kouvola Theatre. Our design aims to draw on the architectural and cultural memory of the buildings whilst radically transforming the production spaces and stages and opening up the foyer to the city.” Roger Watts, Director Haworth Tompkins

Haworth Tompkins has been appointed to work with the London Borough of Tower Hamlets to develop proposals for the redevelopment of Tower Hamlets Local History Library & Archives. The proposals will explore options to reconfigure and refurbish the Grade II listed building as a hub for the borough archives, including upgraded storage facilities, educational and community uses.

Although originally constructed as a Vestry Hall in 1861, the building was extended and converted to a library in 1902, with the help of a donation from Andrew Carnegie. The success of the library during the early 20th century led to another major extension in 1937, and the footprint of the building was roughly doubled. The building contains several historically significant spaces, including a 330sqm hall which once housed the lending library, and a reading room with a decorative plasterwork ceiling.

Haworth Tompkins will lead a multi-disciplinary design team to develop proposals for the sensitive refurbishment and upgrade of the building, which is currently in a poor state of repair. The team will draw on their experience in the cultural, educational and archive sectors to produce designs that deliver high performance archival and community spaces for Tower Hamlets. Tower Hamlets Local History Library & Archives website:

We’re delighted to announce Neptune Wharf at Fish Island Village for Peabody & Hill Group has been selected as a 2024 Civic Trust Awards Regional Finalist. Neptune Wharf provides a family of 17 courtyard buildings within the wider Fish Island development opening onto a sequence of courtyards. The development provides high-quality affordable homes alongside flexible commercial space to create London’s largest new complex for creatives.

We are delighted to announce that our plans for a new performing arts center for the American Repertory Theater at Harvard University have received unanimous approval by the Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA).

Home of the American Repertory Theater at Harvard University, the new David E. and Stacey L. Goel Center for Creativity & Performance is designed to be a building that lifts the heart, inspires creativity, centers community, and welcomes people of all backgrounds. Created in close collaboration between A.R.T., Harvard University, Haworth Tompkins, ARC, and Charcoalblue, the Center for Creativity & Performance will be a place for public gathering, international research, teaching, and groundbreaking theatrical production. The center consists of an interconnected family of adaptable, multi-use spaces designed to embrace future change and support creativity. As one of America’s leading cultural organizations, housed within the world’s top research institution, the David E. and Stacey L. Goel Center for Creativity & Performance at Harvard University is well-placed to offer a model for the next generation of cultural architecture by encompassing the core principles of openness, artistic flexibility, collaboration and sustainability and regenerative design.

The design responds to a world in transition, one in which cultural organizations have needed to rapidly evolve towards a more holistic mission in response to public health crises, movements for greater equality, growing political polarization, and climate and biodiversity emergencies. Beyond the production and presentation of theater, A.R.T. is seeking to achieve more with less intensive resources; to be an agent of change for a healthier population, both physically and psychologically; and to contribute towards a society that can thrive without breaching planetary boundaries. Made largely of timber and incorporating leading edge regenerative design thinking, the building is designed to be more supple, more porous, more adaptable, and more responsive. Over the course of the design process, the building has undergone continuous refinement to dovetail the spatial and urban program with the existing Allston neighborhood, the emerging urban plan, and A.R.T.’s developing organizational vision to craft a sequence of spaces that are not only flexible, scalable, and technically sophisticated but also welcoming and democratic. This approach will empower A.R.T. to engage with the communities of Allston, Cambridge, Boston, and the broader networks of cultural research and theatrical production.

“Theatre is about exploring our shared humanity in a space where people of all backgrounds come together and are invited to open their hearts. Through an inspiring and collaborative design process, our building aims to extend that open invitation to Allston and the wider world, and to provide a framework that supports the expansion of creative practices within a radical yet simple architecture of adaptable space, natural tactile materials, fresh air and light.” Roger Watts, Director, Haworth Tompkins

The refurbishment of the Warburg Institute has now entered the third and final phase of construction. This phase will see the opening up of the Ground and Lower Ground Floors, to accommodate a new entrance foyer and open plan exhibition space, sitting adjacent to a new 140 seat lecture theatre, housed in a new build extension within the rear courtyard.

The new lecture theatre will feature an elliptical ceiling beam, cast in situ with the exposed concrete frame. The elliptical shape, which had great meaning for Aby Warburg, references the elliptical roof lights in the reading room of the Kulturwissenschaftliche Bibliothek Warburg (KBW) in Hamburg. The complex formwork has been machine-fabricated off-site and will be positioned and reinforced by the on-site team prior to casting with self-compacting concrete.

Elsewhere on the Ground Floor, the Institute’s frieze of the nine muses has now been taken offsite for specialist restoration by Taylor Pearce Ltd. The frieze was originally located on the façade of a row of Georgian townhouses that previously occupied the site but was preserved when the Institute was built and mounted into the wall in the lobby area. The frieze is made from a material called Coade stone and is said to be a copy of a Greek Roman sarcophagus decoration that is now part of the Louvre’s collection. Once restored, the frieze will be resurrected within the new entrance foyer, for the enjoyment of future generations.