Practice Hare founded in 1977 pays tribute to architect’s “curious and continually challenging approach to design”

Nicholas Hare, founder of Nicholas Hare Architects, has died at the age of 81.

“It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Nick Hare, the founding partner of our practice,” said Nicholas Hare Architects yesterday afternoon.

Hare started the practice in 1977 from the attic room of his house in Highbury, north London, while teaching at the School of Architecture in Cambridge.

Nicholas Hare

Source: Nicholas Hare Architects

Nicholas Hare founded his eponymous practice in 1977

The firm was first put on the map after becoming the only British firm shortlisted for the design of the Opera Bastille in Paris.

It went on to win many high profile commissions, including Roald Dahl Plass, a public square outside the Senedd building in Cardiff, Sadler’s Well Theatre in Islington and the David Attenborough Building for the University of Cambridge.

“He was an inspirational teacher with a passion for the practice of architecture that attracted many students to the studio,” the practice said of Hare.

“He never lost the impulse to teach and had the gift of drawing out the very best of all who worked with him. 

“Nick set out to create an inclusive culture in the practice, with teams working on each project from start to finish, resulting in architecture with a unique integrity and attention to detail. 

“He was also insistent on properly professional service; award-winning architecture needed to be delivered on time and on budget too.”

> Also read: David Attenborough Building by Nicholas Hare Architects

Hare felt that architects “could and should” tackle any type of project, and was keen to avoid complacency by becoming too specialist.

“He favoured a curious and continually challenging approach to design, founded upon close client consultation that led to innovative and exciting architecture,” his practice said.

Hare retired in 2018 after more than 40 years at the helm of the firm he founded and set out on a career in large scale sculpting.

At the time of his retirement, he said “I’ve very much enjoyed working in a partnership. The nice thing about our job is making buildings you hope people are pleased with, but it is also about working with all sorts of different people making different projects. What we will miss is the people.”