This year has seen the practice double its pre-tax profits and add to its burgeoning workload
A doubling of pre-tax profits, the addition of more than 60 staff and a leap of six places up the AJ100 table saw Allford Hall Monaghan Morris (AHMM) cement itself as an architectural powerhouse and an exemplar to others.
Now the third largest practice in the UK, the company has a burgeoning workload and reputation, leading AJ editorial director Paul Finch to describe it ‘as the most successful practice of its generation’ (AJ 22.05.14).
The go-to architect for many of London’s brightest developers, in 2014 AHMM bagged approval for large housing schemes at Elephant and Castle and Brentford Waterside, as well as the revamp of Television Centre, the BBC’s former home in west London.
Work also began on a new Metropolitan Police HQ, and its much-anticipated White Collar Factory office scheme at Old Street, which aims to ‘revolutionise the workplace’. Meanwhile in September, its super-green and ‘deftly handled’ overhaul of the University of Amsterdam was named the overall winner of this year’s AJ Retrofit Awards.
However the practice, with a clutch of other architects, was also involved in the furore surrounding the redevelopment of Mount Pleasant – one of the most fiercely contested housing schemes in London. London mayor Boris Johnson approved AHMM’s scheme despite heated opposition, and even a rival proposals by Quinlan &Francis Terry Architects and Peter Barber.
The other cloud to hover on the horizon was the future of Google’s new headquarters at King’s Cross. AHMM held on to the job after the search engine giant sent its team back to the drawing board late last year for even ‘more ambitious’ proposals. But are other architects going to become part of the mix?
Away from the practice, director Simon Allford found time to chair the floundering, cash-strapped Architecture Foundation, and give it a much-needed kick up the backside. Allford promised a fresh start for the organisation, beginning the search for a new director in November. An appointment is imminent.
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