HIGHEST NEW ENTRY WINNER: MICHAEL AUKETT ARCHITECTS
This award is for a practice that (a) is new to the AJ100, (b) has generated its own growth rather than growing by acquisition, and (c) has come in at the highest position given the first two criteria. One or two 'new' practices appear to have reached a higher position than our winner, but that is because they did not enter information for 2004 - though they had previously been on the list.
This year's winner is Michael Aukett, a name instantly familiar to the architectural world initially through his founding of Aukett, a large AJ100 firm that appears at =16 in this year's list. Since leaving this practice, Aukett has successfully built a new office, mainly engaged in commercial schemes, particularly retail and mixed use (often with Tesco), and enters the list at =59 place. Pictured is St Martin's Cheapside.
THE UK'S BIGGEST PRACTICE WINNER: BDP
Once again, the UK's biggest practice is BDP, with 241 architects and a total staff of 913 in 12 UK offices. With an architectural fee income in the UK of more than £30 million, it is a tribute to the multidisciplinary practice that it continues to win more than its share of architectural awards, while expanding its work both domestically and overseas.
BDP has set an example of how to combine growth with architectural values, from which younger firms can surely learn. An example of how the practice remains innovative is given by its recently opened education scheme in Northampton - the first state school designed to accommodate children from four to 18.
The practice has also led the way in showing how it is possible to bring strong architectural ideas to PFI projects in both the educational and health sectors.
Pictured is BDP's proposal for its new Manchester office, which won planning permission earlier this year.
AWARD FOR CONTRIBUTION TO SUSTAINABLE DESIGN SPONSORED BY INTERFACE WINNER: FEILDEN CLEGG BRADLEY
This award goes to Feilden Clegg Bradley, a practice that has become synonymous with environmental design - indeed, one of its partners, Bill Gething, advises the RIBA on this area. The firm has proved, over many years, that good architecture and a strong commitment to the idea of sustainable architecture are far from being mutually exclusive.
The tragic loss earlier this year of one of the practice's co-founders, Richard Feilden, has only served to highlight the firm's commitment to its core beliefs. This is evident in the completion of a series of well-crafted buildings, most recently including new student housing in Mile End and the headquarters scheme for the National Trust, now under construction in Swindon.
INTERNATIONAL AWARD SPONSORED BY DAVIS LANGDON WINNER: FOSTER AND PARTNERS
The winner of this award, Foster and Partners, has made an extraordinary effort to maintain a global reputation built over the past 20 years. Over that period it has become the nearest thing Britain has to being the world's favourite architect. Foster and Partners hit the headlines once again at the end of last year, with its spectacular new road bridge at Millau (pictured), but this project is only one of many that constitute a one-practice export drive.
Major projects are also under way in Milan, Florence, New York and other US cities, while in Kazakhstan, the practice is designing another headline-grabbing project: the pyramidal cultural and government centre. The judging panel had no hesitation in giving the practice this award. Foster and Partners appears in third place in the AJ100.
AWARD FOR THE HIGHEST-RISING PRACTICE SPONSORED BY SIV WINNERS: JOHN MCASLAN + PARTNERS, WILKINSON EYRE ARCHITECTS
This award derives from simple mathematics: which practice rose the highest number of places in the AJ100 list compared with 2004?
In fact, there are two firms that rose an equal number of places. The first is John McAslan + Partners, which has had a strong year, both at home and abroad. Particularly noteworthy was the completion of the refurbishment of the Peter Jones department store in Sloane Square.
The practice is placed at =59 in the AJ100 list.
Equally successful - and building on its double-win of the Stirling Prize - is Wilkinson Eyre, which has continued to thrive on its mixture of big architecture and engineering ingenuity. The practice is now placed =50 in the AJ100 list.