John McAslan + Partners director Hannah Lawson has been named AJ Emerging Woman Architect of the Year. RARE’s Nathalie Rozencwajg was commended
Lawson – who became a board director just four years after joining practice from architecture school – topped the award category open to architects and architectural designers under the age of 40.
‘Lawson was not so much emerging, as firmly established, and remarkable,’ they said.
On receiving the award a ‘surprised’ Lawson said: ‘I’ve been fortunate in my career to be supported by many men and women around me.
’I’ve enjoyed every minute of it and hope to enjoy it for many years to come. This is going to make it all the more special.’
High-profile projects by the lead designer – who heads up the culture and education unit at the AJ100 practice – include a contemporary mosque for Doha and improvements to the Courtauld Institute and gallery at Somerset House in London.
Other projects include a 2,800m² cathedral in Kericho, Kenya, a £21 million academy in Enfield and the design of a sustainable low-cost school for the Clinton Hunter Development Initiative in Malawi.
RARE Architecture co-founder and principal Nathalie Rozencwajg received a commendation and was described by judges as ‘one to watch’.
‘The clients on the panel were especially keen to work with RARE in future,’ they said.
Projects by Rozencwajg – who co-founded RARE in 2005 – include a masterplan for the Arctic Circle and hotel resorts in south-east Asia, as well as a line of furniture.
The studio’s Town Hall Hotel in Hackney, London won the RICS Project of the Year 2011 and the RICS Grand Final Building Conservation Award in 2011.
Other shortlisted rising stars in the category were Jude Barber of Collective Architecture, Pie Architecture co-founder Fran Balaam and Pernilla Ohrstedt of Pernilla & Asif, as well as Make’s Katy Ghahremani, Sophie Goldhill of Liddicoat & Goldhill and Holly Lewis of We Made That.
AJ Emerging Woman Architect of the Year
Winner: Hannah Lawson, director, John McAslan + Partners
Citation: The judges were impressed by the quality and diversity of Lawson’s work, the sensitivity of her designs in diverse contexts. They were also impressed by her rapid rise, having become one of seven board directors of John McAslan + Partners, a top UK practice within four years of graduating. She is also the mother of a toddler. It seemed to the judging panel that Lawson was not so much emerging, as firmly established, and remarkable.
Commendation: Nathalie Rozencwajg, RARE Architecture
Citation: The judges were struck by Rozencwajg’s work, especially the Town Hall Hotel, and felt they wanted to single Rozencwajg out as one to watch. The clients on the panel were especially keen to work with RARE in future.