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22 Jan 2019

The most influential people in design 2018

Words by  Photo by Frederic Aranda

Who are the movers and shakers that have influenced the industry in 2018, and who are the ones that will continue to shape the office landscape next year? Read our review to find out.

1. Norman Foster, founder and executive chairman, Foster + Partners

Awards don’t make buildings, nor do they make people, but what Norman Foster has achieved with his practice’s design of Bloomberg’s European headquarters can only be commended as highly remarkable. Designed by Foster + Partners lead architects Kate Murphy and Michael Jones, with Norman Foster closely involved, Bloomberg’s HQ is undoubtedly the most vaunted building of 2018 and one to have garnered more superlatives than we dare to count.

It was awarded the RIBA Stirling Prize 2018 – marking the third time the practice has won the prize for best building in the country – and hailed as “a monumental achievement” by RIBA president Ben Derbyshire. And with a ground-breaking BREEAM score of 98.5%, it is the world’s most sustainable building, with features including integrated ceiling panels that combine heating, cooling, lighting and acoustic functions in an innovative petal‑leaf design, and a natural ventilation system that has been achieved by means of the building’s distinctive facade of bronze blades that can open and close.

Located between the Bank of England and St Paul’s Cathedral, Bloomberg’s two-building headquarters is also a contemporary ode to the area’s heritage. It is the biggest stone project in the City for a century and the new public arcade that separates the two edifices reinstates an old Roman road. The complex also incorporates a museum exhibiting the Roman Temple of Mithras, discovered on the site 60 years ago.

As OnOffice reported in April, Bloomberg’s pioneering HQ is also an example of the changing occupancy and better provision of public space in the Square Mile. So here’s to yet another award – humble though it may be – for Norman Foster this time, as the frontrunner of OnOffice’s Power List.

2. Michael Squire, partner, Squire & Partners

Michael Squire

2018 has been yet another busy year for Squire & Partners. The practice’s design for Ministry of Sound’s co-working venture was one of our most popular articles online, and with good reason. Developed in collaboration with The Ministry, Squire’s design concept stays true to the origins of the brand with a contrasting medley of raw elements and premium finishes, and its very own site-specific soundscaping, designed to complement the overall brand experience. In other news, Squire’s practice also completed The Frames, a bespoke five-storey building with a brick, metal and glass palette that was influenced by the warehouse vernacular of surrounding Shoreditch.

3. Katrina Kostic Samen, president, British Council for Offices

Katrina Kostic Samen

In the one year since she last appeared in our annual Power List, KKS founder Katrina Kostic Samen has taken over presidency of the British Council for Offices (BCO), thus becoming the third female in 29 years and the only female designer to have held the title. Having met Kostic Samen on numerous occasions, we remain impressed with her humility, generosity and ambition – three qualities that shone at this year’s BCO Annual Conference in Berlin, which showed a real step change in the property world with its Diversity and Inclusion theme and “suited-down” dress code. All the while presiding at the BCO, Kostic Samen continues to lead her own firm KKS, an all-female-led practice and the first commercial design studio to lead with occupier strategy rather than design. A true power woman!

4. Roger Hawkins, founding partner, Hawkins\Brown

Roger Hawkins

Roger Hawkins founded Hawkins\Brown with Russell Brown in 1988 and is recognised as one of the leading architects in the UK. A firm believer that good architecture needs to address a social agenda, he is always keen to promote user needs and aspirations. His practice has featured in these pages on several occasions – the double-fronted 53 Great Suffolk Street and the UCL Bartlett site at Here East to name a few, but let us not forget The Gantry, with its modular timber panel studios, also at Here East. Speaking of which, the latter – also by Hawkins\Brown – was named AJ100 Building Of The Year in June 2018.

5. Matt Yeoman, founding partner, BuckleyGrayYeoman

Matt Yeoman

 Matt Yeoman established BuckleyGrayYeoman in 1997 along with Richard Buckley and Fiammetta Gray. Yeoman’s constant drive to achieve simplicity in design even with the most complex of design constrains has seen him deliver many of the practice’s key projects. His recently completed projects in the commercial sector include the refurbishment of the neo-gothic Minster Building in the City of London’s eastern cluster, which readdresses the work-life relationship by creating a vast atrium and leisure opportunities such as a microbrewery bar and Third Space gym.

6. Katrina Larkin & Enrico Sanna, co-founders, Fora

Katrina Larkin and Enrico Sanna

With its people-focused approach and hospitality-driven design, “pro-working” provider Fora is taking the London working scene by a storm, and its co-founders Katrina Larkin and Enrico Sanna are only just getting started. With current locations in Clerkenwell, Borough and Reading and outposts in Fitzrovia, Soho, Spitalfields, Shoreditch and Ladbroke Grove in the pipeline for 2019, Larkin and Sanna have had and are set to have a momentous few years. Yet in an interview with OnOffice earlier this year, Larkin was adamant: “It’s been about quality, not quantity.” If Fora Borough (OnOffice 138) is anything to go by, it’s been about quality indeed.

7. Angela Dapper, partner, Denton Corker Marshall

Angela Dapper

Having recently joined as a UKCW role model and member of the UK Construction Week Diversity Panel, Angela Dapper is changing the face of the industry for the better. As partner in the London office of Denton Corker Marshall, her notable projects include heading up the new Stonehenge Visitor Centre – which led to a shortlist for the Architects Journal 2014 Emerging Woman Architect of the Year Award. Since then, her architectural work spans from newly completed HB Reavis’ 20 Farringdon Street through to the Aesop and B&B Italia retail stores in London. She is also a mentor, lecturer, WAN awards jury member and all-in-all major inspiration.

8. Edward Barber & Jay Osgerby, founders, Barber & Osgerby

Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby

Barber and Osgerby may have just shaken up the world of office furniture design with their Soft Work seating concept for Vitra. Introduced at Orgatec 2018, the design embodies the pair’s intuitive approach and keen observations of a fast-changing workplace sector. Soft Work’s modular concept comes with table surfaces, power outlets and charging stations – it acts like a desk, but it is not a desk – and with its potential for diverse arrangements, it enables architects to structure the internal spaces of a building.

9. Benjamin Hubert, founder, Layer and Nolii

Benjamin Hubert

Benjamin Hubert has graced the OnOffice cover twice – first in 2011 and more recently in our July 2018 issue – and for all the right reasons. The British designer has transitioned from emerging to an eponymous designer at a mammoth speed. We were instantly drawn towards the launch of his collaboration with Moroso – which saw a new method of bonding upholstery textiles together. Sister company Nolii also caught our eye from the first press release to witnessing the launch first-hand at this year’s LDF. To say that this designer is taking the industry by storm would be an understatement.

10. Charlie Rosier & Fabienne O’Neill, co-founders, Cuckooz Nest

Charlie Rosier and Fabienne O'Neill

With their stunning Cuckooz Nest – Clerkenwell’s first design-led co-working space with integrated childcare facilities – co-founders Charlie Rosier and Fabienne O’Neill have leapt to the top end of our list. Cuckooz Nest starred on the Family-themed June cover of OnOffice and started a timely conversation. Set in a former electrical factory on Ray Street, the space is a physical interpretation of the company’s flexible business model whereby parents can choose from packages varying from pay-as-you-go to a full membership, and a sliver of hope for working parents. As O’Neill told OnOffice: “We’ve all got a common goal of trying to innovate and improve and support parents in their return to work.” If that doesn’t deserve a spot in the top ten, we don’t know what does.

Fo

unding partner, 

Hawkins\Brown

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