Hawkins\Brown: It’s your building

Celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2018, the architectural practice Hawkins\Brown is well known for its thoughtful, innovative and sustainable new buildings and refurbishments of all types. With an introduction by the leading architecture journalist Hugh Pearman, this extensively illustrated book examines fourteen projects in detail, with insightful essays on related themes interspersed throughout.

Hawkins\Brown: It’s your building begins with Hugh Pearman’s examination of the formation, history and philosophy of the practice, based on interviews with its two founding principals, Roger Hawkins and Russell Brown. A full analysis of the projects follows, each comprehensively illustrated with photographs, detailed plans and renderings. As Hugh Pearman says in his introduction, one word that springs to mind when looking through the book is ‘range’. This is a practice that could never be typecast.

Working on projects as diverse as the major upgrades to Tottenham Court Road Underground station that have been an essential part of Crossrail, the revitalisation of Sheffield’s Park Hill estate, and the construction of the innovative Corby Cube civic and cultural centre in Northamptonshire, Hawkins\Brown has demonstrated remarkable versatility. The firm prides itself on its fresh, collaborative and interdisciplinary approach, creating places that are well made, well used and well loved, whether those places are residential, commercial, civic or part of the national infrastructure.

The fourteen detailed case studies are interspersed with engagingly written essays by members of the practice. These explore themes such as the integration of art with architecture, the importance of urban planning, and the opportunities afforded by new technology. The result is a highly readable and informative insight into one of the country’s leading and most versatile architectural practices.

Hugh Pearman is Editor of RIBA Journal, the magazine of the Royal Institute of British Architects. From 1986 to 2016 he wrote about architecture and design for The Sunday Times, and his many books include Platform for Design (2016) about Crossrail, Europe’s largest construction project.