Approach \

We are Hawkins\Brown: architects\ designers\ masterplanners\ researchers\ space planners\ interior designers\ collaborators\ makers\ negotiators\ artists\ visualisers\ problem solvers...

Find out how we approach the following areas: Design, Delivery, Research, Consultation, Collaboration, Sustainability, and BIM.

'We are Hawkins\Brown' the film


Our approach to design is responsive. We listen to and understand the problem, and the cultural and social context around it, before developing a solution that fits.

Throughout the project we work in an open and structured way that enables everyone to input at the appropriate time. Our notebooks are full of free hand sketches and our studio is full of building models. Design at Hawkins\Brown is not precious; it is messy, dynamic and fun.

We create places with personality and purpose that are well-made, well-used and well-loved.


Our approach to design management and open communication ensures that our projects are delivered on time and on budget.

We know that for many of our clients, the choice of door handle is as important as a building’s facade, and we manage our projects so that every detail is taken into consideration and accounted for.

We are committed to reviewing and improving how we work and return to projects wherever possible to see them in use. All learning is shared throughout the practice through our programme of continued professional development.

We have been awarded the international standard certification for quality management ISO 9001:2008 and environmental management ISO 14001:2004.

We do not consider our designs to be architecture until they are built. It is then that they have a real impact on people’s daily lives.


Our designers undertake project-based research every day, enabling us to bring the very latest ideas, technical advice, and legislative knowledge to every project. Our in-house research consultancy the &\also thinktank, established in 2013, is dedicated to rumination, speculation and provocation, and feeds into all of the commercial activities of the practice.

We are committed to practice-based research, and have a dedicated in-house research consultancy &\also thinktank.


We pride ourselves on listening and maintaining a meaningful dialogue through the design, construction and handover stages. Our work across multiple sectors brings us into contact with a diverse range of clients and consultants, and we have developed innovative techniques to ensure that everyone’s voice is heard, and that we communicate meaningfully with everyone we work with.

We believe consultation is essential at all stages of a successful project, whether it is gathering a brief, raising support or keeping everyone informed.


As the scale of projects grow, the number of different consultants, authorities, advisors, interest groups, specialists, contractors and sub-contractors multiplies. It is our role to guide, motivate and co-ordinate this group from start to finish.

We actively seek out collaborations that will help a project to evolve in unexpected and exciting ways whilst managing the input of different parties for the benefit of the project. By working closely with others we continually develop new skills and new ways of working that help us to become better designers.

We are delighted to announce that we have been shortlisted twice for the AJ Architectural Collaboration of the Year 2015.

Design is a collaborative process. We thrive on bringing together different ideas and opinions.


As pioneers in sustainable design we are proud to be delivering the UK’s largest Passivhaus development and the tallest cross laminate structure in Europe. We have won the AJ100 Sustainable Practice of the year in recognition of our sustainable and inclusive approach to architecture, and our commitment to environmental issues is recognised in our ISO 14001:2004 certification.

Our practice leads an innovative programme of sustainability events, research and training and some of our architects are BREEAM accredited professionals. We are currently working in collaboration with UCL on reducing energy use within new and refurbished buildings.

Sustainable architecture is about more than environmental issues. It is fundamental to our goal to create places with personality and purpose that are well made, well used and well loved.

Building Information Modelling (BIM)

We deliver all our projects to BIM level two by default and use a range of BIM-enabled software, including Revit and Bentley Architecture, for 2D documentation and 3D ‘information-rich’ modeling. Our flexible approach to BIM enables us to satisfy differing project requirements and work to project specific protocols.

We have over a decade of experience, and extensive knowledge in using BIM and cross-team 3D modelling. The New Biochemistry Building for University of Oxford (2008) was an early pioneer in BIM delivery, and we have been working in a 3D BIM environment as part of a large team on the Tottenham Court Road and Liverpool Street Crossrail projects since 2001.

We have adopted industry-standard procedures and established BIM protocols and best practice, according to BS1192:2007, PAS1192-2: 2013, AEC UK BIM Standards, CPI Code.

A BIM coordinator is assigned to every project and supported by an experienced BIM management team who oversee the strategy, delivery and evolution of our digital design capabilities.

We are committed to constantly exploring the benefits of BIM, and other technology, to improve design, reduce risk and bring added value for our clients.

We are at the forefront of BIM and understand the benefits new technology can bring to the design process and our clients.

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