Hawkins\Brown is now employee owned!
Architecture is always a collaboration. So why shouldn’t our business model reflect this? Our latest move to 100% employee ownership means that every person working for Hawkins\Brown is a co-owner of the business. It helps us make sure we stay light on our feet, even as a large practice
The idea of the elusive ‘starchitect’ – singlehandedly producing incredible buildings with the wave of a pen – is a myth, in our eyes. The reality is that there’s a whole team of people behind all the buildings and places we love. We’ve been mindful of this since the practice’s inception, and we’ve always strived to maintain a culture where everyone at the practice has a voice.
‘Excited’ is such an overused word, but we’re giddy about moving the entire business into Employee Ownership, where every colleague at Hawkins\Brown is a co-owner, an ambassador, and an entrepreneur within the business. We think it’s the best way to keep innovating.
A building is never designed by one person – we always wanted to recognise everyone’s contribution in creating great buildings and spaces. This move is our way of making sure we capture everyone’s energy and commitment to respond to the seismic climate, cultural and political challenge today.
Where we’ve come from
As a practice, we’ve never been static. Back in 2010, we moved the business to a Limited Liability Partnership to share the ownership of the practice to a new generation of leaders. It served us well – in the ten years that followed, we grew from a practice standing at 45th place in the AJ100 to 7th place in 2021, employing over 260 people.
Now, as an employee-owned business, 100% of the shares of the business will be held in an Employee Ownership Trust (EOT) on behalf of everyone at the practice.
Where we’re going
Our founding partners, Roger Hawkins and Russell Brown, aren’t going anywhere: they’re still very much involved in our leadership team and contributing to live projects.
Our success is the result of a lot of hard work by a lot of people, which is why our transition to Employee Ownership feels like the inevitable next step. It is an opportunity to set the foundations for further growth enabling us all to do great architecture.
The Employee Council
“The Employee Council was formed through an election some months before our move to employee ownership. This gave us time to establish ourselves and listen to what mattered to our colleagues during the transition period.
Through peer support and training, we quickly learnt that there’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all approach to establishing an employee voice, and this understanding has allowed us to evolve our role as champions of the practice’s inclusive and collaborative culture
As elected council members, we feel that our presence within the Trust Board shows a true commitment towards our transition to employee ownership.”
Employee Council Trustee members Robert Burrows & Elinor Macdonald