• You are here: News


FaulknerBrowns named Architect of the Year in AJ Architecture Awards 2022

Newcastle-based FaulknerBrowns impressed the judges and the AJ editorial team with its thoughtful, community-orientated architecture and successful public sector partnerships

The practice, in business for six decades and known for placemaking and masterplan expertise as well as architectural design, has created a diverse portfolio of work and is steadily picking up accolades for a string of recent projects. These include Sunderland City Hall, winner in the Civic category of this year’s AJ Architecture Awards. The judges were effusive about this thoughtful and sophisticated building, comparing FaulknerBrowns’ work to that of celebrated Spanish architect Rafael Moneo and praising its ‘uplifting’ and ‘intuitive’ design, which, in the words of one, ‘does everything right’.

Another judge, who did not expect to be wowed, remarked after visiting that Sunderland City Hall was simply ‘the best building I’ve seen in years’. City Hall is part of the wider Riverside Sunderland masterplan, which also includes the practice’s proposed £23 million Culture House library hub.

Earlier this year, FaulknerBrowns also won the AJ100 Community Impact of the Year award for its ‘spatially fantastic’ Britannia Leisure Centre in Hackney, east London, an inclusive 8,000m2 council facility overlooking Shoreditch Park. The design for the Britannia was produced following no fewer than 59 community consultation events, which, judges noted, had a direct and visible impact on the final result. The practice is also finding great success in putting forward designs which combine leisure with other community uses, such as schools, homes and cultural space, a valuable proposition in town centres and high streets battered by the dual impacts of online retail and the pandemic.

In south-west London FaulknerBrowns has recently won planning permission for Kingston Community Centre, which will provide swimming pools, a gym and sports hall and rooftop pitches plus a public café alongside the existing Grade II-listed Kingston Library and Museum.

On the other side of the capital, the practice is working up plans for a community project in Woolwich town centre combining extensive new health and leisure facilities with the refurbishment of an existing arts venue and community theatre.

FaulknerBrowns, which has studios overseas in Vancouver and Dublin, also won praise for its efforts towards driving down whole-life carbon and achieving net zero goals. It is investing in Passivhaus training and is collecting and interrogating energy performance data from its past 15 years of work in order to raise the bar on future projects. These are also evaluated by the practice’s integration of environmental assessment software with its BIM tools.

In a profession dominated by London practices, it is a pleasure to see a firm from the North East excelling on so many fronts.


Architect of the Year is sponsored by:

The AJ Architecture Awards are supported by:

You might also be interested in…

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.