While all the shortlisted practices impressed, HTA Design triumphed with its strong sense of community and commitment to diversity
With recruitment increasingly competitive, employee benefits and supportive working cultures are more important than ever for attracting and retaining staff.
‘HTA has put its people-based culture at the heart of its work, both physically and philosophically,’ said the judges. ‘It has a very strong sense of who it is as a practice and that its team are all working towards a common purpose.’
HTA’s relocation to a new office in Aldgate, east London, and its earlier move to become an LLP have clearly been transformational for the working culture of the growing practice. The office is centred around a communal space which includes a kitchen where all staff can come together for free breakfast and lunch or simply to meet, discuss and collaborate. The central space is also used for project crits and technical reviews.
Benefits last year included a profit share and a practice visit to Amsterdam
The practice demonstrates a commitment to all forms of diversity – the new office includes a prayer room – and discourages long working hours in favour of family-friendly flexible working. Benefits last year included a profit share and a practice visit to Amsterdam for all staff and their families. Judges noted the high level of staff empowerment and low staff turnover. ‘There’s a strong sense of ownership of all the initiatives within the company,’ they observed.
HTA won against stiff competition. Grimshaw was praised for its efforts to reconcile design ambition with a good working culture, while in Herefordshire, Architype showed that it’s possible to offer staff an appealing rural lifestyle in tandem with stimulating projects. Last year’s winner Assael continued to impress, particularly with its commitment to mental health and charity work achievements.
- Assael Architecture
- LSI Architects
- MSMR Architects
- Ryder Architecture
- Lucy Carmichael, director of practice, RIBA
- Russell Curtis, director, RCKa
- Richard Hyams, founder, Astudio
- Henry McKeown, design director, jmarchitects
- Robin Nicholson, member, Cullinan Studio
- Leo Pemberton, associate director, Bespoke Careers
- Mark Rowe, partner, Penoyre & Prasad
- Magali Thomson, director, Marks Barfield Architects
- Pamela Buxton, AJ100 project manager
AJ100 Employer of the Year sponsored by