The coveted Practice of the Year award goes to a firm that has demonstrated real business success combined with consistent high-quality design
Judges consider the data submitted in the AJ100 survey, as well as a survey of staff based on employee satisfaction and a presentation to the judging panel.
Hawkins\Brown, which has offices in London and Manchester and has leapt up the AJ100 rankings to number 12 from number 21 last year, has won the title for the second consecutive year and for the third time in all.
In a competitive shortlist, the judges agreed that the practice stood out for its rapid growth, for the quality of its buildings, for its investment in its staff and in R&D and for managing to retain a sense of excitement and vitality usually associated with a younger and smaller firm.
One judge said: ‘I felt that Hawkins\Brown had really driven things forward since last year. To retain such a sense of freshness and energy at its size is incredible.
‘What was great about its presentation was the innovation on show. There’s this engaging focus on research, which has wider application and wider benefits.
‘Its design work is also of a consistently high level and it excels at place-making.’
The firm has a scheme on the AJ100 Building of the Year shortlist – the refurbishment and expansion of The Bartlett School of Architecture – and has grown considerably in a year, employing 28 more architects and increasing its fee income from £17.1 million to £22.8 million.
Over the past 12 months it has also invested in 3D printing and model-making and improved its already impressive package of staff benefits by introducing the opportunity for paid three-month periods of study leave and optional private medical cover as well as forming a junior practice management group with an annual budget of £50,000 to implement ideas from younger members of staff.
Hawkins\Brown will reach its 30th birthday next year. On this evidence, this dynamic practice has every reason to celebrate.
- Allford Hall Monaghan Morris
- Associated Architects
- Darling Associates
- Scott Brownrigg
- SimpsonHaugh and Partners
- Weston Williamson + Partners
- Max Farrell, partner, Farrells
- Russell Curtis, director, RCKa
- Teresa Borsuk, senior partner, Pollard Thomas Edwards
- Will Hurst, managing editor, AJ
AJ100 Practice of the Year Award sponsored by