We turned 30!
2017 has been particularly special for us, as it marks our first thirty years in practice. That’s why we started the year by launching this website, a platform from which we are able to reflect on our achievements, celebrate our successes, and look ahead to the future. We also launched our Instagram profile to visually communicate the SimpsonHaugh story.
We - the Founding Partners - shared on film how from humble beginnings, SimpsonHaugh evolved into the two-office practice, 120-strong team, that today continues to shape and transform our cities.
For London’s Clerkenwell Design Week, we commissioned an installation, curated an exhibition of our past and present work, and hosted a birthday celebration. The installation, THIRTY, heralded our three decades in practice and was a wonderful representation of the collaborative working relationships that are fundamental to our work. The installation currently resides outside our Manchester office.
To thank our team for their ongoing commitment and support, we took them on an exceptional boat journey to visit three of our recently completed and nearly complete projects along the River Thames in central London - Dollar Bay, One Blackfriars and Battersea Power Station Phase 1: Circus West Village. This was a truly memorable and remarkable day.
Projects and awards
Having completed four high-profile schemes during 2017, it has been one of the best years yet for our expanding practice portfolio. Dollar Bay, a striking residential tower in London’s Isle of Dogs with a rippling façade that’s been recognized by the London Design, London Evening Standard and WhatHouse? awards it has received, is currently shortlisted for the Tall Building World Architecture News (WAN) award, to be announced in February 2018.
Further west along London’s River Thames, Circus West Village, the first phase of the redevelopment of Battersea Power Station, welcomed: private and retail residents into their new homes; together with locals and visitors to take advantage of the new public space and community areas, such as the Village Hall.
In Manchester, Two St Peter’s Square, a commercial development rooted in context, marked the completion of the revitalization of St Peter’s Square. It’s unique and innovative tracery screen veils a contemporary office space that has attracted high calibre tenants, such as EY.
Over summer, the finishing touches were added to the new world-class and acoustically exemplary auditorium, Queen Elisabeth Hall in Antwerp – our first completed international project. The new home for Antwerp Symphony Orchestra achieved international recognition as a finalist in this year’s World Architecture Festival Awards and made the RIBA International List 2018.
Other projects that made positive progress on site include No.1 Spinningfields in Manchester and Belgrade Plaza in Coventry, which are nearing completion; together with Smith’s Dock Smokehouses, North Shields; University of Lancashire’s Engineering Innovation Centre, Preston; Holbrook House, London; and Cable Street, Manchester New Square and Tariff Street in Manchester.
This year, we moved up 12 places in the AJ100 list to be ranked 38th amongst the top 100 architectural practices in the UK. We were also a finalist in the AJ100 Awards for Practice of the Year and Fastest Growing Practice of the Year. To positively conclude the year, Deansgate-Castlefield Metrolink Stop in Manchester was named Infrastructure Project of the Year at the inaugural AJ Architecture Awards.
Within the wider architectural community, we continued our support for the AJ and AR’s Women in Architecture campaign, New London Architecture and The Architecture Foundation. We joined RIBA as a chartered practice, and took part in mentoring schemes for RIBA London, RIBA North and the Royal College of Art. Our team took time out to share their knowledge and experience by giving talks and taking part in panel discussions at London Festival of Architecture, The Glass Supper, NLA’s Think Tanks and Pecha Kuchas, Future Symposium Manchester, the inaugural FoundHer Festival in Manchester, Zak World of Façades conference in London, and the Manchester Evening News Property Lunch.
Supporting local art and design initiatives remained a strong theme throughout the year. We commissioned Artist Colin Taylor to create artwork documenting the construction of No.1 Spinningfields. We supported Manchester International Festival again, with Ian Simpson selected as one of 150 Mancunians who took part in the opening ceremony. Our drawing, “One Blackfriars. The Façade Explained” was displayed in this year’s Royal Academy of Arts Summer Exhibition, and Partner Nick Owen took part in Design Manchester’s Architecture Symposium.