The winners of WAN’s 2017 ‘Practice of the Year Award’, Ayre Chamberlain Gaunt are a UK-based architecture practice with a reputation for design excellence and innovation.
Founded in 2005 by directors David Ayre, Matthew Chamberlain and Dominic Gaunt, the practice has developed a portfolio of award-winning residential, commercial, education, cultural and community projects, predominantly in London and the South of England. Last year, they experienced significant growth, increasing in numbers from under 25 to over 40 and opening a new London studio in Oxford Street, which they see as an extension of their Hampshire studio.
Reflecting on the practice’s success, David Ayre, Director of Ayre Chamberlain Gaunt said: "We are incredibly proud of the team and what we have accomplished together. Being selected as ‘Practice of the Year’ from a shortlist of highly regarded firms from around the world is a great achievement.
We’ve expanded rapidly over the last couple of years and we’re now in a position where we are collaborating and competing with nationally and internationally significant practices. Winning this award has given us global exposure and provided us with a platform to establish new connections overseas.”
Following the practice’s recent success in a high-profile design competition, they have been commissioned by one of the UK's leading universities. Other current projects include a landmark mixed-use scheme in Wandsworth, London for Strawberry Star Developments and Workspace Group; a highly sustainable, landscape-led housing development in north London; and Memorial Hall, Marlborough College, where they are working alongside Diamond Schmitt Architects to sensitively refurbish and retrofit the Grade II listed auditorium. They are also the architects appointed to design the c. £20m refurbishment of Ted Cullinan’s Grade II* listed RMC headquarters and associated new build scheme.
“We’ve always sought ways in which we can add value and contribute to projects beyond what is perceived to be the ‘standard’ architect’s scope. Irrespective of project size or sector, we place emphasis on innovation, quality and buildability.
It’s a really exciting time for the practice, we have some large-scale housing projects in London, Cardiff and the South that are pursuing the Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) we have always championed. We are intent on embracing the challenges inherent in MMC/modular projects and using them to create a new aesthetic.
MMC is not the death of architecture, it is an opportunity for the best to use this technology to develop new typologies as great architects have always done.” Matthew Chamberlain, Director of Ayre Chamberlain Gaunt.
The judges of the ‘Practice of the Year’ category were inspired by Ayre Chamberlain Gaunt’s enthusiasm and inventiveness. Nicholas Garrison from FXFOWLE commented, “This is a practice that creates beautiful and well-executed buildings, often on tight budgets. This is a practice to watch!”