Our purpose is to enrich lives through the built environment. Every designer aspires to exceed expectations. To create something fit for purpose but also beautiful, inspiring, timeless. And of course to put people at the heart of their process. What makes us different is our sense of responsibility to the world and to our industry. We hold ourselves to a higher standard. That’s why we are actively leading and participating in discussions about climate change, the post pandemic future of our built environment, wellbeing and health.
Research-led and powered by collaboration, we believe our team have the power to make a difference, to help shape an industry. We are one of nine RIBA Practice role models, defined by the RIBA as ‘organisations that exercise a positive impact – on their people, their clients, the profession and wider society’. We are signatories to the RIBA 2030 Climate Challenge and Architects Declare and the only UK architecture practice signed up to the UN Global Compact - demonstrating our commitment to take action on human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption.
We lead by example and use our position on projects as an opportunity to positively influence other built environment professionals and the supply chain.
Members of the UK Green Building Council, we have invested in accredited specialist skills to support our clients including; BREEAM, WELL Building Assessors, and Passivhaus Certified Designers. Our Head of Sustainability works with the wider sustainability team to drive a carbon reduction roadmap for our studios and projects, and integrate sustainable thinking across the practice.
Four key areas of focus are:
This year we have partnered with the RIBA to launch a research award that addresses environmental and ethical issues and enhances the quality of life of communities across the Globe. The RIBA Scott Brownrigg Award for Sustainable Development is asking for submissions that focus on one or more of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations.
As industry mentors, we collaborate with universities to clear a path for the next generation of designers. Raw talent and fresh perspectives are what keep design relevant. In driving inclusion and encouraging wider access to the profession, our Future Talent Programme aims to reach a diverse range of young people, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds and under-represented in the profession.
This is not new to us. As a Practice we have long been committed to helping students and young people build careers in the architecture and design industry. We’ve supported Blueprint for All (formerly the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust) since 2010, with paid work placements, mentoring and hosting exhibitions.
Our Future Talent Programme draws these areas together. Offering work experience, summer placements, career talks, seminars, studio tours, workshops and mentoring are day-to-day activities for us. We are also one of the Trailblazer practices that led the development of the Modern apprenticeship Standard for Architecture, which provides an equal debt-free alternative path to qualifying as an Architect.
Working with schools, universities and charities, including the Speaker for Schools Charity, to engage with students and promote architecture and design. We’ll be developing the programme further, with initiatives that reinforce our commitment to inclusivity and access to the industry.
Staff from across studios regularly support local charity groups, not only through fund raising activities, but also through giving their time and energy to help on charity projects.
Our Corporate Purpose report highlights our investments in, and commitment to, adding value to people and the environment through our projects, studios, expertise and outreach.