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AJ100 Highest New Entrant: Nicholas Hare Architects

This year Nicholas Hare Architects wins the prize for the practice entering the AJ100 in the highest position thanks to its impressive mid-ranking debut in joint 50th place

The practice was formed in 1977 and reformed in 2004 when Paul Baxter, Jayne Bird and Carol Lelliott joined founders Nicholas and Sophie Hare as partners. As of December 2010, the practice employed 72 staff, with 41 of those qualified architects arranged in an open studio system.

The practice says that approximately 40 per cent of its work comes from new clients secured in 2010. Another 40 per cent comes from work procured through framework agreements, 15 per cent from existing clients, and the remaining five per cent from competitions. Last spring saw the practice complete its extensive modification and addition to the nineteenth-century education centre for the Royal College of Surgeons of England. The highly serviced building contains a surgical workshop, a clinical skills centre, seminar rooms and a small lecture theatre.

At the moment the practice is busy working on the new Humanities and Social Sciences building for the University of Cambridge, set to complete in autumn this year, taking the faculty from its former home in the city centre to the university’s Sidgwick Site, on a plot adjacent to James Stirling’s famous History Library and Foster + Partners Faculty of Law.

  • Nicholas Hare topped the shortlist ofnew entrants to the AJ100, which included northern practice _space group (=81), and London practices CZWG Architects (=88) and ORMS (=95). To qualify for this award, practices must have either entered the AJ100 for the first time this year or not featured in the list for five consecutive years.

Nicholas Hare Architects

Congratulations to Nicholas Hare Architects, winner of Highest New Entrant to the AJ100, zooming straight in at number 50. The key to its success? The London-based practice points to ‘flexible project-based groups within a very flat management structure’.

As well as equality, sustainability is also taken seriously: ‘Our work and our practice is based on serious concern for the environment – for instance, none of us drive to work.’
Last year’s workload included school, university and commercial projects as well as individual schemes such as the new workshop for the Royal Opera House. The practice also won a Civic Trust Award for Coleridge Primary School in Haringey, north London.

Can the momentum continue into 2011, given that government cutbacks threaten its key sectors? The practice says: ‘The coming year will be challenging. Most of our recent work has been in the public sector and this will diminish. We have usually had a good mix of projects in different sectors and are striving to re-establish this balance.’

The shortlist

CZWG Architects
Nicholas Hare Architects
ORMS
_space group

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