On Site: Improving acoustics
On Site: Improving acoustics
—Improving the acoustics in the Malmö Stadsteater auditorium, which is housed in a space with a high, domed roof. The existing acoustic cylinders were removed, followed by the installation of folding acoustic panels, fitted into the spaces between the beams and joists, each panel cut to a unique shape to allow for the curved shape of the dome

References, reflections and studies capture the thinking, making and design stages within the studio

On Site: Structural Frames  
—Greenhill Centre, Manor House North London for client LB Newham is progressing rapidly on site with all the structural frames now fully done. Scaffolding is quickly going up as is the SFS and window installation from bottom to top.
In the Studio: Staircase joinery detail  
—Staircase joinery detail using maple faced poplar, located in our new Golden Lane office.
In the Studio: Paper model  
—Paper model developed in our studio for a residential tower in East London
On Site: Pier inspection  
—Pre-site delivery inspection of piers forming the base of the different buildings on plots NE02 and NE03 within the Wembley Park North East Lands development
In Progress: Acts of Assembly  
—Our model of Malmö Stadsteater Hippodromen on its way to Prague for the 15th Quadrennial. It's part of the Performance Space Exhibition which explores how theatres and performance spaces operate as acts of assembly and sites for community: creating connections, facilitating encounters, and functioning as sites for social action and the making of culture
In Progress: Colour palette  
—Sketch for an in situ artwork by Alison Turnbull at Pembroke College Cambridge. The design is inspired by the College's Waterhouse staircase while the colour palette draws from their Mineral Collection
On Site: Strip out  
—As the strip out continues at Theatr Clwyd elements of the building, such as the concrete raker of the Anthony Hopkins Theatre, are being exposed and made visible for the first time in nearly 50 years
On Site: Gatehouse construction  
—Pembroke College Gatehouse taking shape, with phase one due for completion in the summer
In Progress: Front of house lighting  
—Painted butterfly light shades for front of house spaces at Malmö Stadsteater
On Site: Internal demolition  
—Warburg Renaissance phase one internal demolition works; making way for the growing collections. The library remains open while the project progresses onsite, with completion expected at the end of 2023
In Progress: Panel review  
—Reviewing the first 100 precast concrete façade panels in the factory. Around 1700 panels will be made for our plots within the Wembley North East Lands development. Here we can see slight variations in tone between the different building blocks
In the Studio: Cyanotype workshop  
—Making images in the studio with iron compounds, paper and UV light
On Site: Domed auditorium  
—The domed auditorium at Malmö Stadsteater nears completion. Seating 510, with space for a further 240 standing, it opens with A Midsummer Night's Dream in February 2023
In Progress: Facade mock up  
—Mocking up the placement for some of the 240 barn door lights planned for The Old Vic facade
In the Studio: Lighting design  
—Developing a prototype for interior lighting design
On Site: Precast panels  
—Precast concrete panel detail, part of a 1:1 scale mock-up at Wembley North East Lands. Assembled off site, these form a vital stage in benchmarking the concrete finishes. The elevational treatments at the development feature of a mixture of panel designs
In Progress: Mortar selection  
—Selecting dry silo mix natural mortars with the planners for our Wood Street project in Waltham Forest. The bricks and precast have been chosen to emulate the old library building previously on this site, features of which will be reused in the facade
Study Trip: Building tour  
—Building tours are part of our studio calendar: both visiting work by other architects, and taking them around ours. Here at Sergison Bates' Hampstead mansion block
On Site: Material reuse  
—Fit out has commenced within 6 Mill Lane on our Cambridge project for Pembroke College. Where possible we are reusing the existing materials within the space, including using existing shelving as backing material for the new services in the cafe
In Progress: Mock-up  
—Visiting Sapphire Balconies R&D space to inspect a full scale mock-up balcony, as part of our Wembley Park project. This gave us an opportunity to agree key details and junctions, including how the balcony meets the precast façade
On Site: Aerial ramp  
—Steelwork complete for the helical ramp at Barking Industra
Awards: AJ100  
—Haworth Tompkins has been named AJ100 Practice of the Year 2022, for the second time in three years. AJ's Emily Booth said: "Judges were fulsome in their praise of the practice, the overwhelming winner of this year’s AJ100 Practice of the Year accolade. ‘It’s a forward-thinking, genuine practice and a well-deserving winner – impressive on all fronts,’ they enthused. No stranger to the Practice of the Year award (the studio won in 2020, when it was also named New Member of the Year), Haworth Tompkins has proclaimed a ‘bumper’ 30th anniversary year, with turnover increasing from £7 million to £10 million and its headcount of qualified architects rising from 53 to 62. Quite simply, as our judges said: ‘It’s a comprehensive approach to practice management and excellence.’"
In the Studio: Photographing massing model  
—Jonni Woo and Ellie Sampson photographing a finnboard, card and foam massing model at our Kentish Town studio
In Progress: Public consultation  
—Building on a series of co-design events, we invited the community to help develop ideas for the Gourley Triangle site in Tottenham at a public consultation event led by Haringey Council. Discussions focussed on the design of new public spaces, opportunities for new creative workspace and commercial space, and mechanisms for retaining and enhancing the historic character of the site
On Site: Barking Industria  
—The galvanised steel construction of the helical ramp is now complete, with the north block frame fast approaching. The ramp will enable access to the Flatted Factory and SME units making up this stacked, industrial development
In Progress: Prototype workspace  
—Our high performing workspace provides a flexible framework that intensifies and unlocks an industrial site in Enfield. The building is a vibrant ecosystem which accommodates existing light industrial businesses and attracts new or growing start ups to the area. There are ‘lock up and leave’ units at ground floor accessed via a vehicle yard; dynamic co-working spaces at second and third floor; and rentable hydroponic greenhouses at roof level
On Site: Tracking progress  
—Progress in Cambridge for the Pembroke College, Mill Lane Development, with the exposed oak glulam frame, CLT deck and facing brickwork beginning to emerge on site
Report: Performing Arts  
—We have been immersed in thinking about, talking about, designing and experiencing performing arts buildings for three decades now, working with many of the world’s most influential show makers. Here is a publication looking at our approach to these projects. Click on the link, or the arrow, to view (visit link)
On Site: Cut concrete slab  
—Concrete slab cut to create a new opening for the stair at King's House - reconfiguring the circulation has been key in making the building suitable for use by King's Cross Church. We have retained as much as possible of the existing building fabric, and left edges such as this exposed telling part of the story of the building's history
On Site: Mornings on site  
—The precast facades of our blocks at Blackwall Reach are almost all installed, with interior work ongoing for completion later this year
In the Studio: Model shelves  
—Shelves full of often referenced, in progress and concept driven models in our workshop. At HT, models are used to communicate ideas and proposals within teams, and to clients, throughout the design process
In Progress: Barking piling  
—Working technical drawing from our substructure design at Barking Industria; very high loads from stacked industrial floorplates result in a dense grid of piles
On Site: Pembroke rose window  
—Restoration has commenced of the stained glass windows within the Grade II listed former Emmanuel United Reform Church as part of our Pembroke College, Cambridge project. Whilst the William Morris stained glass will stay in place, the prominent rose window facing Trumpington Street will be carefully removed, sensitively restored, cleaned and reinstated. Once reinstalled, the window will brighten the new performance and lecture space
On Site: Written in Water  
—Written in Water, the site-specific artwork by William Cobbing is being installed at Fish Island Village. Comprising of a constellation of twelve cast iron plates embedded in the ground, they are integrated into the paving of the new development’s public square and yards, and embossed with quotes or local stories, creating a portal to the area’s past
In the Studio: Virtual collaboration  
—When meeting in person is not possible, teams are using collaborative online whiteboard software to recreate the feel of a studio design review. Here showing design development of auditorium wall panelling for Trafalgar Entertainment in Olympia
In Progress: Sectional model  
—Putting the finishing touches on the 1:50 sectional model of the Old Vic Annex, made from finnboard and paper, for a public consultation
In the Studio: Studio design review  
—Socially-distanced design reviews are taking place in the office now. Getting some height to review drawings always seems to help
On Site: Modular Methods of Construction  
—We continue exploring modular methods of construction; at Blackwall Reach, facade panels have been entirely constructed off-site including window installation at the factory. Employing these methods often can result in significantly reduced build programmes, ensure more uniform quality control, and minimise wastage
In the Studio: Pembroke public art commission  
—Workshop with Associate Director Beatie Blakemore and artist Alison Turnbull, who has undertaken a public art commission for our project with Pembroke College, Cambridge. The ceramic mosaic, within the new Tom Stuart-Smith designed courtyard garden, relates to Alison’s research into Alfred Waterhouse and his work with the College. The artwork will sit in the centre of York stone paving which has been designed to create a Voronoi pattern, contrasting the formal pathways around the site.
In the Studio: Malmö model  
—Foam board and plywood model with paper details, showing the auditorium for Malmö Stadsteater
Study Trip: Porto, Hamburg and Zurich  
—Every year, Haworth Tompkins runs study trips to three different locations with rich architectural history, and invites everyone in the studio to come along. After these trips, we put together booklets to share with the practice what we have seen. Here is our record of 2017, and the three trips to Porto, Hamburg and Zurich. Click on the link, or the arrow, to view (visit link)
From The Archive: Competition image  
—Competition image for a housing and estate regeneration scheme in London, seeking to retain existing podium play spaces at ground and their connection to the landscape beyond, whilst upgrading and extending the towers that define the edges of each open space. Ink drawing, coloured and textured in Photoshop
On Site: Fluted Glazed Bricks  
—These yellow bricks, laid on a curve, will form the parapet level of the final two blocks in Fish Island Village Phase 3
Report: Housing Book  
—A Haworth Tompkins publication focussing on our approach to housing. Illustrating our masterplanning, regeneration, heritage and mixed-use projects we also explore ideas around social value, sustainability and innovative ideas (visit link)
In Progress: Working model  
—Working 1:50 façade model to test options; bringing urbanity and depth to our 150m long warehouse elevations at Albert Island
On Site: Stencilling on site  
—Fox stencil graffiti, popping up all over Fish Island Village
On Site: Maydew House strip out  
—Base of the Maydew House tower in Southwark, stripped out and ready for refurbishment
On Site: East London Metalwork  
—Powder coated aluminium metalwork detail from our Gardner Close project in Wanstead, due to complete later this month
On Site: Cast-in signage  
—Signage for Fish Island Village of board-marked concrete made from vertical rough sawn timbers. The indented lettering is cast-in using chamfered forms.
In the Studio: Cardboard testing  
—A contemporary interpretation of a rosary window for The Lighthouse. Testing out the modules of the design in cardboard
On Site: Precast facade panels  
—Precast facade panels in the factory. These are fully produced off-site, including brickwork and windows, at Decomo in Belgium. Installation started at Blackwall Reach in east London earlier this month
In Progress: Sketching for Theatr Clwyd  
—Theatr Clwyd ground floor sketches: Procreate over Lumion renders from the Revit model
Report: Disruptive Experimentation  
—This publication explores our process of retrofitting Kingston School of Art’s Mill Street Building. With its well preserved concrete and brick exterior, and fully functioning but inefficiently organised workshop spaces, this factory-like building proved the perfect starting point for a programme of adaptive re-use. (download report)
In the Studio: Photographing models  
—Photographing updates to our model for The Warburg Institute
On Site: Aerial auditorium  
—Work continues in the at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane ahead of the opening in the New Year
In Progress: Early massing for Kingswood  
—Early massing studies for our Legal and General Kingswood project. Clusters of 4-6 dwellings, pictured, establish a more informal, landscape-led northern boundary to the listed building, creating a sense of community
On Site: Fish Island arches  
—Beginning to get a sense of the double-height entrance space to one of our five buildings in Fish Island Phase 3. Arched openings will continue along the façade to form the windows of the adjacent gallery space
From The Archive: Everyman facade planning  
—Facade planning process for Liverpool Everyman Theatre, using Dan Kenyon's portraits of people from across the city. The images were then cut from aluminium plates using water jet technology to create a functional shutter screen to provide light and shade to the building
On Site: How can we gather?  
—The flexible auditorium at the Bridge Theatre lends itself to a new seating arrangement. This layout allows for 250 socially distanced seats in clusters of 1-3, allowing audiences to come back to live theatre. Shown here - a production of An Evening with an Immigrant about to begin
In the Studio: Pembroke College model  
—This 1/50 model of our scheme for Pembroke College, Cambridge is over one metre long. For ease of transportation, it is constructed using layers of ply and birch veneer with a foam board core.
On Site: Fish Island Phase 3  
—Work is progressing at Fish Island Village Ph3 in Hackney Wick, on the Hertford Union Canal. The brickwork is approaching roof level for two of the buildings, with the structure of the other blocks in this phase now almost complete
On Site: Auditorium Balcony  
—Construction is continuing at Theatre Royal Drury Lane. At balcony level, the timber structure to support the new seating is being installed, ahead of the opening early next year
On Site: Blackwall Reach  
—The structure of our two blocks at Blackwall Reach in Poplar topped out earlier this year. Looking north from the intersection of Cotton Street and Poplar High Street, the cranked massing and setbacks visually reduce the length and volume of the facades, while also allowing access to Millennium Green.
On Site: Staircases  
—Newly created lobby from the Wyatt stair at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane site, which is currently closed. These new routes improve access to the upper levels; patrons with tickets for balcony seats can now enter via the foyer rather than directly from the street
From The Archive: Royal Court model  
—1:25 model of the Royal Court auditorium from 1999
In the Studio: Team meeting  
—Theatr Clwyd team meeting at our studio in Kentish Town - Part I to Associate Director
On Site: Theatre Royal Drury Lane  
—Spotted in Covent Garden, a fox ambling round the Theatre Royal site
Study Trip: Bench Making  
—Elizabeth and Hannah from Haworth Tompkins went to a furniture making session in the Benchmark workshop. Taking part in every step of the process, from picking the wood, planing and sanding the timber, preparing and gluing the legs, to sealing the finished product, they created small, sturdy oak benches
In the Studio: Model making  
—Haworth Tompkins' model maker, Ellie Sampson, working on a 1/250 woodblock massing model of a project for Network Homes, for a public consultation
Study Trip: Ghent University Library  
—A delicate insertion wrapping the periphery of the existing Physics Hall, the perforated, powder-coated steel structure allows for connectivity between the bookstacks and the open reading hall below. All of the elements were prefabricated, and bolt together to form a three-storey perimeter which holds both the public and private collections
Study Trip: Exploring the Nouveau Stade de Bordeaux  
—Embedded into the landscape through its extensive use of columns, the stadium reflects the adjacent trees within the surrounding flat landscape, deliberately contrasting the homogeneity of Bordeaux’s historic centre and aspiring for a sense of openness and accessibility. The grand stair blurs the lines between the boundaries of interior and exterior
Study Trip: Sarajevo's eclectic communist era housing  
—Standing out in the otherwise muted historic cityscape of old Sarajevo, this postmodernist building was the home of refugees and squatters during the civil war. The dwellings at Papagajka are laid out around a tall and narrow atrium courtyard. The entire ground floor plan is taken up by dual aspect retail and cafes, which activate and connect the courtyard and street, while informal nooks with seating and planters built into the balustrades of the access decks create a feeling of inhabitation and encourage use of the communal space
Study Trip: Exploring Peter Salter’s Walmer Yard  
—The luxurious use of form and materiality gives rise to an exciting and unique space in this tight urban site
On Site: Knights Park moving image studio  
—One of the new moving image studios recently handed over at Kingston School of Art. A re-configured layout makes more efficient use of the existing double height volume at the centre of the building, enabling an expansion of studio provision. An infinity cove and technical grid complete a comprehensive upgrade to these facilities which, like all the workshops within the school, are held in common for all academic courses to access
In Progress: Offsite Fabrication  
—Production of our innovative family homes in Liverpool has started in the factory, based at HMP Hindley. The houses will be assembled on site in approximately 12 hours per unit from pre-fabricated externally finished cassette panels
In the Studio: Roger, Danny and Maria  
—Figuring out how the timber structure of the Den, at the Royal Exchange Manchester, will work with its fabric cover and seating
In Progress: Early Albert Island model  
—Early stage massing model of Albert Island, exploring industrial typologies and layout
On Site: Knights Park photography workshops  
—This recently completed darkroom houses the processing and print equipment at Kingston School of Art. It also includes a pass-through sink to make the transition between darkroom processing and review in the light less cumbersome. These new workshop facilities, largely for analogue processes, are retained as part of strong ethos that believes in a holistic approach to arts education
From The Archive: Testing rooflights under an artificial sky  
—Testing the effectiveness of our rooflight design on this 1:20 model of the Royal College of Art, Battersea. The Bartlett School of Architecture has a lighting simulator that can mimic any time of day
In the Studio: 1:25 Model  
—Testing proposals for a courtyard extension to the Warburg Institute Library. The roof structure has been designed to evoke an elliptical rooflight in the original Warburg Institute in Hamburg. The ellipse is symbolic of Aby Warburg’s intellectual theories behind cosmological freedoms of the mind
On Site: Theatre Royal Drury Lane strip out  
—Demolition progressing on the Grade I listed auditorium ahead of a new, improved geometry
Study Trip: Social Housing  
—Wohnpark Alterlaa, a flourishing social housing neighbourhood in Vienna, a city where 62% of the population live in state funded housing
On Site: Fish Island Village  
—Concrete and steel entry lobby at Fish Island Village
In the Studio: Auditoriums  
—Modelling flexible auditorium layouts
On Site: Creative demolition at Knights Park  
—Temporary props hold up the existing roof in advance of the new steel frame
From The Archive: Cambridge, Massachusetts  
—Early morning at the Carpenter Centre
In the Studio: Gingerbread Housing  
—Gingerbread tower assembly session for the Museum of Architecture at the V&A
On Site: Albert Island  
—A plane lands at London City Airport, seen from our Albert Island site. The relationship to the airport is a key consideration in the masterplan design.
In the Studio: Samples  
—Carpet discussions for Theatre Royal Drury Lane
On Site: Texture  
—Play of light and shadow, mornings at the Bristol Old Vic
Reference: Entrance for Elephants  
—Entrance to the Malmö Stadsteater. Formerly used by elephants
In the Studio: Sketching  
—Overlay sketching on the Warburg Institute visuals
Reference: Handrail  
—Walter Segal handrail, London, 1950, steel and sapele
On Site: Etching Press at Knights Park  
—The etching press is now in the printmaking workshop at the Knights Park campus, Kingston School of Art
On Site: Grand Hall  
—Finishing touches to the Grand Hall plywood lattice ceiling at Battersea Arts Centre
From The Archive: Bridge Theatre light  
—The Bridge Theatre light is a pendant fitting made of copper mesh, each one is unique due to its hand formed nature.
On Site: Precast concrete  
—On-site processing plant for precast concrete paving at Fish Island
Reference: Markings in Porto  
—Planned and unplanned, formal and informal, anarchy versus order.
On Site: Corten steel shutters for the Bristol Old Vic  
—Prototyping waterjet cut artwork based on two interwoven poems. First by David Garrick from the Theatre Royal prologue written in 1766, he also did a spoken work performance to announce the opening of the original theatre. And second by Miles Chambers, former Bristol City Poet.
Study Trip: Porto  
—Alvaro Siza's Bouca Casas Socials, an alternative to British Standards: narrow entrance doors, stepped planting, stepped access and visible clothes drying opportunities.
In the Studio: Sarah and Safa  
—Placements for school leavers and students are well supported in the office and add to the culture and experience of the whole office.
In Progress: Working 'yard' spaces  
—This typology appears in a lot of our work at the moment. This is in response to the need to keep work places within the city, endeavouring to provide truly integrated city culture.
On Site: Concrete Testing  
—Thinking by doing: Exploring the range of interesting work undertaken by the labs at Kingston University, including these concrete stress tests.
On Site: NT Deck  
—The timber diagrid for the National Theatre’s new rooftop events pavilion is craned into place. The timber structure was pre-fabricated in workshops in York, assembled on the Southbank over three hours and then craned onto the third floor roof deck in under six minutes.
In Progress: 'Use-less' building research  
—Graham Haworth has personally led some research into multi functional buildings, including a mix of uses ranging from maker spaces, workshops and studio spaces. This is brought into live projects such as Fish Island, where the project is being developed in collaboration with the Trampery.
On Site: Colour options  
—A selection of painted sample boards tested on site in order to be developed into large scale mock-ups. The colours match historic precedents and some are made using traditional methods.
In the Studio: Design Review  
—Battersea Arts Centre: In-house design review exploring options for lattice ceiling perforation pattern. Using 1:25 large scale models allows us to ‘get into’ the space and test each configuration.
In Progress: Facades  
—In-house laser cut models, veneered, exploring facade depth and materiality on the corner gateway building to Phase 3. Full balconies, Juliette balconies, brick and metal spandrel panels with variable depth piers.
From The Archive: Working with Artists  
—Grenville Davey sculpture at Cobbs Lane. We enjoy collaborating with visual artists, and have built a number of fruitful ongoing relationships over successive projects. Artists bring a fresh, questioning energy to the design conversation, challenging linear thinking and opening up unexpected avenues of investigation.
On Site: View across Battersea  
—View from the Battersea Arts Centre Grand Hall scaffolding towards the Battersea Power Station redevelopment.
In Progress: Colour study  
—Prior to the current brick horizontal banded design for Network Housing in Wembley, we explored a very different material approach to the facades. Inspired by 1930's Metro Land architecture, smooth matt GRC panels with curved corner profiles contrasted with glossy concave terracotta vertical panels between the windows. Subtle terracotta colour variations created visual movement across the facade.
Study Trip: Porto  
—Our trip to Porto was a small ‘homage’ to Siza. We were all fascinated with Siza’s choreography of the arrival experience. The sequence from entrance, to threshold, to entry, and in this case, descent, is always masterfully accomplished and relevant across the studio.
In the Studio: Corner study  
—General investigation into facades with depth on Fish Island Phase 3 and Archway. Architectural language developed to create buildings of scale with a detail quality that takes the expression beyond a surface treatment.
From The Archive: Bespoke light fitting  
—We design bespoke fittings for many of our cultural buildings. This light fitting was designed for the North Wall Arts Centre in Oxford. Rusted mild steel was used for door fittings, handrails and light fittings throughout the public spaces.
Study Trip: Housing trip to Copenhagen  
—An intense study of housing in Copenhagen and particularly Kay Fisker's work, on bicycles! Fisker was of particular interest as research on contextual, but bold repetitive facades, made of beautiful materials and simply detailed in urban blocks forming a natural extension of the city.
On Site: Public consultation event at Battersea Arts Centre  
—This was held in the ruined Grand Hall and was the first time following the fire six months previously that members of the public were invited into the space to experience at first hand the damage caused and our design proposals for the rebuild project.
Reference: Door Handles  
—On visiting several buildings designed by Alvar Aalto in Helsinki, we were struck by how many architectural elements were repeated across different projects. Fixtures such as these door handles were used frequently, with subtle adaptations in the design according to context.
In the Studio: Project review  
—The studio design process - communication, talking, listening, learning and testing; our approach to the ‘making of buildings’ in order to achieve the user’s aspirations in physical and pragmatic terms, but also spiritually and emotionally.
In Progress: Ufford Street  
—Illustration of the West Mews and the renewed connectivity achieved in the new urban plan. An old street, Marlborough Street, was re introduced to create a finer grain, with more intimate scaled streets re- connecting The Cut with Ufford Street.