Signstrokes at the London Festival of Architecture 18.06.21

Signstrokes is a linguistic project for the deaf community founded by Chris 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. Chris is running two workshops at the LFA this year, on 25 and 28 June. These are an opportunity to gain an insight into the journey of the project so far, pick up your hands and consider how to describe spaces with a visual language. For more information, please click here. To follow their progress, you can also follow them on Instagram @signstrokes

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Today marks the release of The Deck Access Housing Design Guide by Rory Olcayto and Andrew Beharrell. Focusing on the contemporary use of deck access housing it shares practical guidance, provides in-depth case studies, and presents historical context on this evolving housing type. Silchester, our major urban regeneration for Peabody in west London, is featured amongst the selection of contemporary housing in the UK and throughout mainland Europe, along with projects by Pollard Thomas Edwards, Maccreanor Lavington, Levitt Bernstein and many more.

Plans for the transformation of Smithfield Birmingham have been submitted for planning approval, following an extensive consultation on the proposals. The regeneration of Smithfield, an area in Birmingham city centre known for its rich trading history, is a joint venture between Birmingham City Council and Lendlease and we have been working with them both on one of the plots within the Prior and Partners masterplan. A decision on the planning submission is expected in 2023 and, if approved, construction on site would begin later this year.

Our plans for Aylesbury Estate have been approved by Southwark Council. We have been working with lead architects and masterplanners Maccreanor Lavington, and alongside the other three plot architects Sergison Bates, East and Architecture Doing Place on Phase 2B providing 614 homes, including maisonettes and flats in courtyards, mansion houses and a tower. This complex scheme is now awaiting final approval by the Mayor of London, with projected completion in 2029.

Work is starting on site for the major redevelopment of Theatr Clwyd in 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 to enable the organisation to expand its role as Wales’ biggest producing house. A temporary venue situated next to the building, complete with auditorium and bar, is allowing them to present a full programme throughout the works. Once complete, the theatre will provide multiple possibilities for performance, music and community support uses throughout the day and throughout the year.

The undisputed high point of 2022 has been welcoming everyone back to the studio after two years of pandemic induced disruption. Other highlights include winning the AJ100 Practice of the Year for the second time in three years and being named BD Higher Education Architect of the Year. We celebrated the completion and launch of five projects: the new auditorium @sohoplace, King’s House – a community church opened by King Charles earlier this month, Agile Workspace for Kingston University, One Cartridge Place for Punchdrunk in Woolwich, and the Trampery Workspace and final phase at Fish Island Village. We won another batch of awards including a Housing Design Award for Fish Island Village, NLA Masterplanning Award for Albert Island, the Theatre Building of the Year at the Stage Awards (our fifth in seven years) and a Chicago Athenaeum International Architecture Award for Theatre Royal Drury Lane,and a Planning Award for Gardner Close. 2023 will see a number of project completions including Malmo Stadsteater in Sweden, Barking Industria, Blackwall Reach, phase one of Pembroke College Cambridge, and the Lightroom for the London Theatre Company which opens with the new David Hockney exhibition early next year. We’re looking forward to 2023 and wish all our staff, clients and collaborators a very Happy New Year.

Haworth Tompkins is now working with the London Borough of Newham on its plans for Canning Town Old Library; to redevelop and refurbish the Grade II listed building as a new hub for heritage and digital learning, a process which involves close consultation with the local community. The Victorian library is historically significant having played an important role in the creation of the trade union movement in Britain. The library service was relocated to Custom House and Canning Town Community Neighbourhood Centre and Library in 2017, and HT will be leading a multi-disciplinary team to bring the building back into public use for the first time since then. A planning and listed building consent application will be submitted in summer 2023 with completion targeted for winter 2024.

@sohoplace has been shortlisted for Theatre Building of the Year at the 2023 Stage Awards. Held annually to celebrate achievements in West End, regional and fringe theatre, the ceremony takes place on January 30 at last year's winning venue, Theatre Royal Drury Lane. HT designed the auditorium in collaboration with Charcoalblue, Tait and Arup, while the rest of the building is by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris. Haworth Tompkins has also previously won this category with our work at Battersea Arts Centre, the Bridge Theatre, NT Future and the Liverpool Everyman. @sohoplace opened in September this year and their second production, As You Like It, is now playing.

We started monitoring our office carbon footprint in 2019 as part of our commitment to reducing our environmental impact. From April 2021 - April 2022 we estimate usage of 74 tonnes CO2e, or approximately 0.66 tonnes CO2e/person. This compares with 67 tonnes CO2e (0.65 tonnes per person) in the previous year, and 73 tonnes CO2e (0.9 tonnes per person) in 2019. The overall increase is due to a rise in staff numbers and more project related travel, while the carbon footprint per person is comparable to last year. Read the report here.