Eva Franch i Gilabert
Catalan-born Franch i Gilabert this year became the first female director of the world-famous Architectural Association (AA) school of architecture in Bedford Square. Franch i Gilabert trained as an architect in Barcelona and at Princeton, and most recently worked as director of Storefront centre for architecture in New York. She now takes on the leadership of the AA, celebrated alumni of which include Richard Rogers, Rem Koolhaas, Zaha Hadid and Michael Hopkins.
Jamie Fobert Architects
It’s been a remarkable year for Fobert, who has completed three high-profile arts projects. In February the first visitors passed through the doors of his extension to Kettles Yard gallery in Cambridge, followed in June by the opening of his much-admired addition to Tate St Ives. In September, he completed a new gallery, education and cafe building at the Bloomsbury group’s Charleston Farmhouse in Sussex. On top of all this, he was recently announced as the winner of a £35.5 millkion competition to remodel the National Portrait Gallery.
Rogers Stirk Harbour+Partners
The number of projects on Rogers’s drawing board may be fewer these days, but the Pompidou Centre architect, 85, remains one of Britain’s most inspiring campaigners for high quality design in housing and urban planning.
David Chipperfield Architects
Chipperfield, an architect familiar with the limelight, became front-page news again in May with the unveiling of his £56 million scheme to remodel the Royal Academy of Arts in Piccadilly. Burlington House is now linked to the former Museum of Mankind, which has been completely refurbished by Chipperfield and his team. Among the architect’s other current London projects are two residential towers in Hackney and the redevelopment of an office building and public spaces around Waterloo Station.
Elsie Owusu Architects
Owusu hit the headlines this summer when she ran in an election to be president of the RIBA. Her outspoken allegations about institutional racism, sexism and high levels of pay in the organisation earned her a “cease and desist” order from the honorary secretary. She eventually polled 1,673 members’ votes to the winner’s 2,704. Owusu, born in Ghana and brought up in south London, has worked on buildings including the UK Supreme Court. She would have been the first black president ( 94 per cent of architects are white)
Foster and Partners
Foster’s European HQ for Bloomberg in the City of London (shortlisted for this year’s Stirling Prize) is widely seen as a return to form for the veteran architect, 83, whose next project in the capital is the 50-storey Principal Place residential tower in Hackney.
Deborah Saunt and David Hills
Founders of DSDHA
This architect couple are making their mark on the West End, with a £32 million urban landscaping project to improve the area between Tottenham Court Road and Gower Street due to complete this year.
Following the success of her extension to the V&A, Levete is busy with projects including the remodelling of the iconic Galeries Lafayette store in Paris and the building of a new Maggie’s Centre for cancer patients in Southampton.
Laura Sanjuan and Russell Potter
Soda’s directors received rave reviews for their refurbishment of the historic Kettners building in Soho as a 33-room restaurant and hotel, which opened as part of the Soho House empire in January.
Tom Emerson and Stephanie Macdonald
The founders of 6a recently won plaudits for their remodelling of a Victorian fire station to create elegant new spaces for South London Gallery.
The veteran Post-Modernist designer of several landmark London buildings clearly enjoyed curating the colourful architecture room at this year’s Royal Academy Summer Exhibition.
Dening is making waves as a teacher, designer and co-founder of Architects for Social Housing, which campaigns to save council estates earmarked for demolition.
Chairman, New London Architecture
This tireless campaigner for high-quality buildings and planning in the capital continues his work as chairman of New London Architecture.
Mexican architect Escobedo, 39, became the youngest architect ever to design the Serpentine Gallery’s summer pavilion, which this year featured latticed walls of concrete tiles surrounding internal courtyards.
Alison Brooks Architects
Brooks, still a rare example of a woman heading up a major practice, has had a good year, with construction now underway on her high-rise housing project on the Greenwich peninsula and positive reviews for her installation at the Venice Architecture Biennale.
Simon Allford, Jonathan Hall, Paul Monaghan, Peter Morris
Allford Hall Monaghan Morris
Clerkenwell architects AHMM have won several awards for their White Collar Factory complex of offices, restaurants and apartments on Old Street roundabout, and were named Practice of the Year by the Architects’ Journal.
Ian Simpson and Rachel Haugh
The founding partners of Simpson Haugh made their mark on the capital this year with the completion of One Blackfriars (nicknamed the Boomerang), a 50-storey apartment tower which now glistens like a vast iceberg on the south side of Blackfriars Bridge.
Hugh Broughton Architects
Broughton is the architect of the futuristic British Antarctic Research Station, but closer to home he has recently won praise for his restoration of the Painted Hall at the Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich, and his ongoing project to restore Congress House, the TUC’s iconic 1950s HQ in Bloomsbury.
Peter Barber Architects
Barber is the capital’s leading architect of innovative social housing schemes, including his award-winning Holmes Road project for homeless people in Camden.
Khan, who was born in London of Pakistani and Tanzanian heritage, is one of the capital’s coolest young architects, known for his pop-up buildings and other hipster projects.
A founding director of dRMM architects, winners of last year’s Stirling Prize for Hastings Pier, Morgan is known as a mover and shaker in London’s design scene, mostly particularly for her roles as chair of the independent design panel for High Speed Two and as a mayor’s design advocate for the Greater London Authority.
Eric Parry Architects
Parry is known for his elegant buildings across the capital, but his legacy now looks likely to rest on One Undershaft, the 73-storey tower in the City of London which received planning permission in 2016 and on completion will be Britain’s second tallest building.
Adjaye’s star continues to rise: following the success of his National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington DC, the president of Ghana this spring unveiled the British-Ghanaian architect’s plans for a new national cathedral in Accra.
Niall McLaughlin Architects
Irish-born McLaughlin, celebrated for his crisp, meticulously detailed buildings, received his third nod for the Stirling Prize this year - this time for the Sultan Nazrin Shah Centre at Worcester College, Oxford.
Gillian McInnes, Simon Usher and Stuart McKnight
The three partners of MUMA architects punch well above their weight, with celebrated projects including the remodelling of the Whitworth Gallery in Manchester and the Storey’s Field Community Centre and Nursery, Cambridge, which is the bookies’ favourite to scoop this year’s Stirling Prize.
Andrew Waugh and Anthony Thistleton
The founders of Waugh Thistleton are this year celebrating their place on the Stirling Prize shortlist for their elegant new building at Bushey Cemetery, a project which provides two new prayer halls made of biodegradable timber and rammed earth.
Simon Henley and Gavin Hale-Brown
Henley and Hale-Brown’s Their Shoreditch practice has been shortlisted for this year’s Stirling Prize for Chadwick Hall, a group of three student residential buildings for the University of Roehampton.
Farrell, 80, is famous for his Post-Modern buildings for MI6 and above Embankment Station, but these days it is his planning expertise which keeps him busy, particularly his role as planning leader for the Thames Gateway, Europe’s largest regeneration project.
Heatherwick has survived the implosion of his Garden Bridge project and his studio of architects and designers is now busy with other high-profile projects, including the vast Vessel structure in Manhattan which features 154 staircases and multiple high-level viewing platforms.
Zaha Hadid Architects
The right-hand man of the late Zaha Hadid continues to run her practice, completing her projects and winning new ones, while all the time creating controversy with his bold views on urban planning and free-market architecture.