‘This practice just gets smarter and better,’ said the AJ100 judges
The panel considered data submitted in the AJ100 survey as well as a presentation to the jury. In terms of top-line numbers, AHMM is motoring: since last year’s survey it has seen a 10 per cent increase in its number of qualified architects and a 10 per cent increase in total architectural fees delivered out of its UK and international offices.
The year 2017 was one of significant structural change for this practice powerhouse. After nearly 30 years in business it became an employee-owned trust. The move enables it to plan for the long term, ensuring the spirit and energy of the practice is sustained while allowing future leadership to emerge over time. It’s a development that has been more than five years in the making and, said the judges, ‘allows change to occur and sets the future for the practice’.
AHMM combines architectural ability with business nous and bags of determination
Design-wise, AHMM marked 2017 with the completion of its White Collar Factory in London (shortlisted in this year’s AJ100 Building of the Year category). The result of an eight-year research project, this game-changing scheme for Derwent London rethinks the workplace. It comprises a 27,200m2 complex of six buildings at Old Street Yard, including offices, studios, incubator space, restaurants and apartments with a 16-storey tower at its heart. Together, these buildings provide a bold new marker for Old Street as well as a new piece of public realm.
The practice’s recently completed Royal Court Theatre project in Liverpool, meanwhile, highlights how modest intervention within the built environment can give new life and drive to future city development. Won in 2008 through an open competition, it’s an exercise in restrained reinvention. Then there’s Quadrant 4 for the Crown Estate, which transforms a 1930s Art Deco hotel building off Piccadilly Circus into 48 luxury apartments – a scheme that includes the renovation of the existing street-facing façades and the remodelling of the top seven floors of the nine-storey building.
Overseas, projects are underway in Amsterdam, Ghana and Oklahoma City, featuring commercial, retail, residential, amenity and educational elements.
AHMM combines architectural ability with business nous and bags of determination. Encompassing strength of design, impressive growth and bold strategy, it is a practice that, in the words of the judging panel, ‘does everything with verve’.
- Darling Associates
- EPR Architects
- HTA Design
- Michaelis Boyd Associates
- Teresa Borsuk, senior partner, Pollard Thomas Edwards
- Max Farrell, partner, Farrells
- Tanvir Hasan, deputy chairman, Donald Insall Associates
- Roger Zogolovitch, chairman and creative director, Solidspace
- Emily Booth, editor (maternity cover), The Architects’ Journal
AJ100 Practice of the Year sponsored by