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31 July 2019




Aukett Swanke receives City Heritage Award

Aukett Swanke Group Plc, the international group of architects, interior designers and engineers, is pleased to inform shareholders that it has been awarded the annual City Heritage Award for a record breaking fourth time. This year the prize was presented by the Lord Mayor for the project at Ten Trinity Square developed by the Reignwood Group. This encompassed the provision of the new luxury Four Seasons Hotel within the refurbished iconic building which was originally erected as the Headquarters of the Port of London Authority in 1922. The award is jointly nominated by the City Heritage Society and The Worshipful Company of Painter-Stainers and is given to the best Conservation or Refurbishment project in the City of London.

Aukett Swanke has won the City Heritage Award on three previous occasions, making the practice the most awarded since the scheme started in 1978. In 1980, the practice won the prize for the Union Discount Company on Cornhill and, in 1992, the Royal Exchange (to which we are still architect today) won the accolade - on both occasions as Fitzroy Robinson and Partners, one of our founding practices. In 2002 Swanke Hayden Connell's (also a founding practice) new headquarters for Merrill Lynch on Newgate Street was the recipient. 

Chief Executive Nicholas Thompson said: "We are delighted by this award.  We have an exceptional history of recognition for producing award winning modern refurbishments which fulfil the requirements of developers whilst preserving and enhancing the character of the buildings in which they are situated.  As a worldwide operator we feel especially proud of our achievements at home in the City of London, the most historic business centre in the world."



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27 June 2019




Confirmation of Commencement of Work on Samanea Market, Dubai

We are pleased to announce that we have now received formal instructions for the commencement of the Samanea Market project in Dubai.  This follows the original award of the contract announced in November 2017.

Chief Executive Nicholas Thompson said:  “This project has required an enormous amount of time and effort and the application of considerable resources.  We have spoken on several occasions about our strategy and the rationale behind our investment in the development of our Middle Eastern operations in order to build the scale necessary to compete for and deliver the very biggest projects and this announcement demonstrates our team’s success in doing that.  The expenses we have incurred have been very evident and the Board is very confident that with this and other future projects the rewards for shareholders will follow”. 

Samanea Dubai Market
On Monday 29th April 2019, Mr. Wong Luen Hei, Chairman of Samanea Group, a Singapore based international developer of trade centres, formally instructed the construction of their Samanea Dubai Market.  The 1,180,000sqft (gross floor area) Samanea Market designed by Aukett Swanke, is to be constructed in Dubai International City at a cost of $272m and is scheduled for completion in Q3 2021.

The Market will focus on furniture and home appliances manufactured by international manufacturers who are seeking to establish a foothold in the Gulf. The development of the Market is evidence of fast-growing relations between Asia and Dubai.

A high-level cooperation body called ‘Hala China’ has been established, which includes some of the largest Emirati and Chinese companies and is a platform designed to encourage bilateral cooperation between China and Dubai in the economy, trade, investment, tourism and culture. The commitment to build the Samanea Dubai Market is evidence of growing Asian confidence in the region and a deepening relationship between Asia and the Gulf countries.

The Design
The design of the Market takes references from both Asian and Arabic cultures. Aukett Swanke has interpreted these influences in a unique retail experience that reflects the spirit of Chinese culture within the unique Arabian landscape and climate.

The curved form of the Market was inspired by Arabian Desert dunes arranged around an oasis;  the ‘wadi’ canyon runs through the centre of the Market, which creates the primary retail experience.

The entrance forms the welcoming part of the ‘wadi’ canyon. It respects Feng Shui principles and creates a focal point for customers and visitors, leading them into the main public areas of the Market. The canyon forms a linear atrium covered by a glazed roof which allows natural light to filter down to the retail units below, as if through an intricate date palm canopy.

The retail units, circulation and associated amenity areas are distributed over three levels to maximise the leasing space and create an interesting shopping experience. The Market is serviced with six levels of shaded car parking as well as surface parking on the roof of the annex.

Stephen Embley, Aukett Swanke UAE Managing Director, said: “Aukett Swanke is delighted to be associated with the design of Samanea’s first major investment in the Middle East, the team has exceeded expectations in the visual impact and economic layout of the Market and will oversee the completion of the design and construction of Samanea Market.”




08 November 2017


Verde SW1 wins twice at the UK Property Awards

On Friday 27th October, Verde SW1, the building completed for Tishman Speyer in London's Victoria earlier this year, won awards for Best Office Development and Best Office Architecture at the UK Property Awards at the Royal Lancaster London Hotel.

Verde SW1 has 282,000sqft of Grade ‘A’ office space, and features a dramatic triple height reception, roof gardens totalling 20,000sqft and a dedicated cycle access ramp. This all contributed to the success in letting the building with occupancy approaching 90% and tenants including Dimension Data, Pret a Manger and Waitrose. The level of demand is evidence of the design excellence and commercial appeal of the building.

The building, which was redeveloped from the former Eland House, retained 80% of the existing structure and saved 11,600 tonnes of carbon in development. These characteristics, along with the building’s BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating, have lent the development excellent environmental credentials, which have also increased its appeal to potential occupiers.

Aukett Swanke Group CEO Nicholas Thompson said:

‘It gives us enormous pleasure to report on the plaudits from our peers for the work being produced within our studio for yet another major building in the West End, this time for Tishman Speyer. Its appeal to occupiers follows in the footsteps of another recent completion with the Adelphi Building for Blackstone having achieved 100% occupancy just over one month ago.’

Dan Nicholson, Managing Director of Tishman Speyer UK, said:

“We are absolutely delighted that Verde SW1 has won two such prestigious awards. This accolade is recognition of the role Verde SW1 is playing in transforming Victoria. The building continues to attract tenants and we recently announced two new leases with Dimension Data and TP ICAP, bringing occupancy in the building to 86%.”


11 September 2017



Adelphi Building Achieves Full Occupation

The 326,000sqft Adelphi Building, on the north bank of the Thames in London’s West End, has been fully let shortly after the completion of a five year phased refurbishment programme led by Aukett Swanke. Blackstone, the developer, has successfully attracted high grade occupiers such as The Economist, relocating from their eponymous headquarters in St James, Conde Nast, Spotify and Shiseido to the building, a Grade II listed Art-Deco landmark.

Appointed in 2012 Aukett Swanke’s design for the first six floors was completed within six months from the project commencement in late 2015; followed by two further phases covering the upper levels of the building, all of which completed in April of this year.

The building was originally completed in 1938 to a design by architect Stanley Hamp, who was also involved in the nearby Savoy Hotel. The floor plan was innovative for its time and took the form of a ‘double-E’ shape which provided setbacks to allow occupants to benefit from natural light and take advantage of the views over the river.

A key part of the appeal of the building to potential occupiers has been the provision of a modern workplace alongside the retention of the building’s historic façade and classical features. Aukett Swanke’s design ideas extended the setbacks down to draw natural light into the deep space on the lower levels of the building. The practice also adopted the existing building’s art deco themes with the detailing of dramatic new wall mounted reliefs in the reception area. The creation of new ground floor restaurants and public realm as well as rooftop terraces completed the broader appeal to potential tenants. Most floors have been let to single occupiers.

Aukett Swanke Group CEO Nicholas Thompson said:

“The Adelphi Building provides another high class example of the work that the practice is pre-eminent in. Aukett Swanke has extensive experience in converting listed buildings to new uses, thereby ensuring their continued viability in the modern world whilst retaining the outstanding historic architectural features. The new Four Seasons Hotel at Ten Trinity Square has been fashioned out of the former Port of London Authority Building in Tower Hill and, our long-standing involvement with the Grade I Listed Royal Exchange in the City of London has seen the building extended and modernised with new office, retail and restaurant use, ensuring the long term survival and popularity of this City landmark.”


14 August 2017


Aukett Swanke Appoints New Director in UK Studio

Aukett Swanke are pleased to announce the appointment of Jason Bagge as a Director in our UK studios. His appointment strengthens our expertise in a number of key sectors in which we anticipate growth, while contributing to ongoing succession planning within the UK operations.

Jason returns to Aukett Swanke having worked at director level at a number of prominent international practices over the last decade. He has over 20 years’ experience extending across: life sciences and laboratories, education, commercial, residential, retail, leisure, and urban regeneration projects.

Jason brings a rare combination of strategic thinking and design leadership, and an ability to plan and operate at different building scales with a highly collaborative working style across the whole design team.

The return of a key appointment to the practice after a period working in other highly regarded practices signals an ability to recognise external expertise, albeit grounded in early experience within Aukett Swanke, while also welcoming the fresh thinking and scrutiny that comes with such a high level appointment. This provides an opportunity to reappraise and adjust current business strategy as necessary in an unpredictable market, positioning the practice to take advantage of new opportunities and markets that may present themselves.

UK Managing Director Luke Schuberth said: "We welcome Jason back to the team and to his creative talents adding yet more depth to our growing workload."

Aukett Swanke Group CEO Nicholas Thompson said: “We are entering a new era at Aukett Swanke with the development of our businesses in areas complementary to our traditional architectural skills.That Jason has chosen to join our team is a very positive event and comes soon after the considerable achievement of Veretec , announced recently, being named Executive Architects of the Year for the second year running."


10 August 2017



Veretec wins 2017 AJ100 Executive Architect of the Year

Veretec, a subsidiary of the Aukett Swanke Group, has again won the Architect’s Journal ‘AJ100 Executive Architect of the Year’ in 2017, for the second year since the inaugural award in 2016.

This accolade, which recognises excellence within the specialist field of Executive Architecture, was awarded at a function at the Tower of London on the 13th of July.

The award citation noted two particular projects: One Love Lane in London’s EC2, which was delivered with concept architects Stiff + Trevillion, while The Passage in Victoria was completed in collaboration with BuckleyGrayYeoman. 

The Judges noted innovations by the practice in project administration as well as the development of processes which ultimately created more value in the projects. They also stated that ‘these projects could not have been done without a deep level of trust and co-operation.’

Veretec’s growth over recent years, as well as the recognition of the quality of its work in awards such as this, reflects a shift in market conditions which have affected the procurement of both construction and design services. A move towards prefabrication and the increasing adoption of Building Information Modelling are driven by a desire to reduce risk and increase value in development projects in an unpredictable market. Both processes evidence a move away from more traditional approaches to design, procurement and construction. 

Veretec, as a separately branded, experienced and specialist subsidiary is well placed to take advantage of these changes but is also increasingly able to convert potential instructions given a demonstrable commitment to a design-led, deep collaboration with other consultants. The recognition afforded by these awards has also assisted in the recruitment of talented and experienced staff who will help secure the ability of the practice to maintain its hard won reputation.

Aukett Swanke Group CEO Nicholas Thompson said "We are delighted by this outstanding achievement and its endorsement of Veretec’s work as we pursue our strategy of expanding non-traditional areas of activity in the architectural world.“




23 August 2016



Eastside Locks: a major contribution to Birmingham’s regeneration

Millions of pounds worth of investment has been committed to impressive regeneration projects all around the city of Birmingham. These include the Aukett Swanke Eastside Locks master plan, The Joseph Priestley Building, 8 Cardigan Street and the renovation of Belmont Works.

This £450 million canalside regeneration scheme is billed as the most 'exciting and important city centre regeneration scheme in Europe'. It will transform a 13 acre site into apartments, a 175 room hotel as well as shops, bars and restaurants.

Read more....


05 August 2016


First page of the original 'Job Book’ from 1955


Our contribution to modern London offices

Last month  there was an interesting article in London’s Evening Standard (Robert Bevan, 21 July) that highlighted Aukett Swanke’s contribution to modern London offices.

Whilst the general public may not have come across our name in relation to London’s skyline, we are certainly known in the commercial market for being an intrinsic part of its modern day development and streetscape.

Read more





28 June 2016  


It is right to be concerned but now is not the time to panic

Residency rules, lack of political leadership and a slowing economy. Problems from the Brexit fallout are piling up but the UK’s world economy status will eventually pull us through' says Aukett Swanke’s Nicholas Thompson


Read more in BDonline

Article in PDF format


17 May 2016


How Dubai's World Trade Centre sold the city to the world 

Two of the iconic buildings designed by studios that form part of the Aukett Swanke global group are featured in this article in The Guardian (Stories of Cities series).

The World Trade Centre (left) was designed by John R Harris & Partners and Etisalat HQ (right) was designed by Middle East Chairman, Philip Logan of Shankland Cox.

Read more....


17 May 2016  


Major Berlin regeneration project commences

Work has now begun on the Mercedes Platz construction project in Berlin-Friedrichshain following the appointment of Hochtief as general contractor. 

Our associate company, Aukett+Hesse was last year appointed to work on the Design and Building Permit and will now be working with Hochtief to provide the detailed design and working drawings.

The $230m project, located in front of the 17,000-capacity Mercedes-Benz arena in East Berlin, aims to become “the vibrant heart of this dynamically growing urban quarter”.

Aukett+Heese have previously partnered with Hochtief on several other successful projects in Berlin such as the Opern Carree-Hotel de Rome, and Park Kolonnaden, Potsdamer Platz.

Read more....


11 April 2016


Aukett Swanke masterplan secures 20% site density uplift 

Our design competition winning revision to the original masterplan at Green Park, Reading has increased site density by 500,000sqft. 

Oxford Properties appointed us to revise and refresh the original 2.3m sqft Foster + Partners masterplan, and consented outline planning application.

Unanimously endorsed by three councils, this is a major step forward for future development to accommodate growth potential in the Reading and Thames Valley region. 

Read more.....


10 March 2016


Green light for further regional development

The latest phase of Birmingham's new Eastside Locks development, Belmont Works, has received planning permission. This currently derelict building will be configured for small- to medium-sized companies and graduate enterprises associated with the nearby University and wider design sector of Birmingham.

With the proposed HS2 station located alongside the development, people will change the way they enter the city and this vibrant mixed-use urban quarter will become a new centre for the UK’s second city.

Working with developers Goodman UK, we are currently delivering two further buildings within the Eastside Locks development.

Read more....


03 March 2016


Breathing new life into the city

'Our project for Orchard Street Investments in London epitomises the benefits that recycling an existing building can bring. One year on from practical completion the building is now 100% let - testament to the appeal of the completed product.' - writes Nick Myall in World Architecture News

Read more....

Project details


 19 February 2016  


Regional work expands: Cambridge's new start-up hub

Today we break ground on a prestigious £20 million innovation centre at the Cambridge Science Park. Commissioned by Park owner Trinity College, Cambridge, the Sir John Bradfield Centre is named after the biologist, entrepreneur and former senior bursar who founded Cambridge Science Park, the first Science Park in Europe. The project has received government funding by the Department of Business, Innovation & Skills, which is contributing £4.8 million as part of its pledge to invest in the UK’s Life Science industry.

The Bradfield Centre is one of several of our on-going projects designed to further the UK’s knowledge economy. These include the Molecular Science Research Hub for Imperial College, White City, West London, our scheme for BioMed Realty at Granta Park, Cambridge and our recently consented Innovation Centre at the Harwell Campus, near Oxford.

Read more.....


 11 February 2016  


Aukett Swanke expands in UAE with acquisition of Shankland Cox Limited

We are pleased to announce that we have acquired the entire share capital of Shankland Cox Limited (“SCL”), a well established firm of architects and engineers operating throughout the United Arab Emirates (“UAE”). 

Nicholas Thompson says:

“With this acquisition we are taking a further step forward in implementing the development strategy which we have outlined in recent reports. We have been seeking to augment our Middle East offering for some time.  The addition of SCL to our operation is therefore significant.  It demonstrates our long term commitment to the region and creates an enterprise of 146 staff making us a major player in the UAE professional services market."

Read more…..(full announcement)


05 February 2016


Financial Times article features our project at 62 Buckingham Gate, Victoria

'Royal connections attract international buyers to Victoria"

The recently completed building for Land Securities at 62 Buckingham Gate, Victoria London SW1 forms part of the area that has been dubbed the “Royal Quarter”, where developers have set their sights set on creating a new London district — with the residents of nearby Buckingham Palace central to the appeal.

The opportunity to rub shoulders with the monarchy doesn’t arise very often, and this has encouraged buyers from the Middle East, Hong Kong and China.

FT.com article (subscription required)

Download article (PDF)



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