Stunning projects ranging from J Sainsbury's eco flagship to the Reichstag and the JLE's Stratford Station set this year's shortlisted firms apart in the award sponsored by Eternit.
  • winner

    Chetwood Associates
    A remarkable commitment to environment-sensitive design, a dedication to the client and the keen adoption of IT demonstrates that Chetwood Associates is an all-round innovator. The practice sustained its solid growth of the past three years with a considerable rise in fee income of 20% to £5.5m in 1999. Operating profit was also up, by a solid 28% to £560 000. Chetwood made a major contribution to environmental design with J Sainsbury's flagship eco-store on the Greenwich Peninsula in south-east London. The supermarket, which opened in September, requires half the energy as a typical supermarket. The project was so successful it won an excellent BREEAM rating – the first time a supermarket has been awarded full marks.

  • second

    Foster and Partners
    The past year was one of commercial and creative success for the practice. UK operating profit was up an enormous 91% to £3.1m and fee income rose 35% to £18.2m. The practice has developed its document control systems to make architectural drawings available to all staff via its internal intranet. In creative terms, the opening of the Reichstag in Berlin was a significant landmark this year. The new steel and glass cupola of the German parliament building allows natural light to penetrate the heart of the debating chamber. The building has also been engineered to consume less energy than it produces, and carbon dioxide emissions have been cut from 7000 tonnes a year to 440 tonnes.

  • third

    John McAslan & Partners
    Last year's winner in this category has sustained staggering growth. John McAslan and Partners generated fee income of £2.5m in 1999, a rise of 38%, and operating profit jumped 125% to £1.1m. These rises are attributed to the practice's implementation of management systems using quality assurance. Its focus on operational efficiency and client needs is seen in its development of the Thames and Hudson headquarters in London's Holborn, where its design management process involved numerous mock-ups and displays to keep the client informed.

    A practice making considerable investment in research and development, IT and training, along with good credentials for environmental issues

    The Reichstag has to be seen as one of the world’s great buildings

    They have made a clear effort to understand their clients and work with their supply chain