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Darling Associates scoops AJ100 Fastest Growing Practice 2019

Axtell House, Soho, London

Darling Associates wins the award for fastest growing practice after a 42 per cent rise in architects propelled it 19 places up the rankings to its highest-ever position of equal 25th

The practice has principal offices in London, Manchester, and Poznan in Poland, and saw a 62 per cent increase in total permanent staff in the UK, with total architectural fees rising by a fifth to £8.4 million since the previous year.

Founded by Chris Darling in 2003, the practice recently acquired a Manchester leisure practice and has ambitions for further cautious growth, possibly in the Midlands or in Dublin, in response to existing workload. Another significant move has been the appointment of a new director, Alastair Roberts, who was previously a director at NORR’s London office. 

‘We think we have a good model for the profession of architecture,’ says Darling, who has ambitions for the practice to grow into one of the top 20 practices. ‘We run our studios very well. We look after our people and we seem to resonate well with clients.’

The practice’s work is split between offices, residential, and hotels and hospitality sector work. Current projects include a rooftop bar on the Trocadero in London’s West End and a 12,400m2 workplace for WeWork at 120 Moorgate in the City of London.

In Birmingham’s Digbeth district, the practice is designing Camp Hill, a major mixed-use project including 480 apartments and townhouses, a 167-bedroom hotel, and 1,500m2 of commercial space. 

Shortlisted

  • Allford Hall Monaghan Morris 
  • Corstorphine + Wright
  • Grimshaw
  • HTA Design 
  • Pascall+Watson
  • Rolfe Judd
  • Zaha Hadid Architects

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