Winning this award will be an appropriate way for Feilden Clegg Bradley to celebrate its 25th anniversary this year. Two things stand out about this practice: firstly, its commitment to environmentally conscientious design and, secondly, the way it consistently manages to fulfill objectives within financial constraints – a crucial quality, given that most of its work is in the public sector. Feilden Clegg Bradley picked up a slew of awards in 2002, including three RIBA Awards and two National Housing Design Awards. The firm is constantly seeking to innovate, whether in its use of materials or in its approach to sustainability. Projects last year included the headquarters of Green Peace UK in north London and the Oxstalls Campus at the University of Gloucestershire.
'We were impressed with the firm's environmental commitment, and the many client testimonials it had secured'
2nd - Foster and Partners
It is a testament to this practice's reputation that it was the subject of three retrospective exhibitions in 2002, including one at the British Museum. Major projects designed by the firm and now under construction include Wembley Stadium and the Swiss Re tower, both in London. But the practice is not resting on its laurels: it has enlarged its interior design department, created a workplace consultancy and established a materials research centre.
'Although fee income had dropped, we thought Foster and Partners had succeeded in developing the first truly global architectural brand'
3rd - Grimshaw
Formerly Nicholas Grimshaw & Partners, this practice is a global player. Last year it won 13 contracts by international competition, competitive interview and direct appointment. One notable success was winning the design of Southern Cross Station in Melbourne, the practice's first success in Australia. The firm has also widened its area of expertise with the completion and sale of 25 Gresham Street, a speculative office building in the City of London.
'Grimshaw had a great year, with more than a dozen major commissions won as a result of international architectural competitions'
4th - Kohn Pederson Fox
KPF has gone from strength to strength in the last few years, raising its operating profit by 79% in the past year alone. The practice was also given the green light on its design for 110 Bishopsgate (the Heron Tower) in the City of London, following a public inquiry. The firm aims to deliver buildings that are in harmony with their contexts, which, in the case of the Heron Tower, will involve creating a public square in Hounsditch.
5th - Pascall + Watson Architects
Over the past three years, Pascall + Watson has trebled its business. The practice takes partnering seriously and has several large clients in the transportation and infrastructure field, including BAA and London Underground. It has been appointed design team leader Heathrow Airport's Terminal 5 project. The firm also won a CIRIA environmental award for reducing CO2 emissions by 20% in its design for the Stansted Airport redevelopment.
Building Awards 2003
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Architectural Practice of the Year