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Haines Watts London Holborn Phone icon 0207 025 4650

London is home to some of the world’s greatest architects’ practices and the sector contributes significantly to the city’s economy and vibrancy.

While the current political climate has given rise to much discussion about the future of the industry; the daily challenges faced by architects who own and run practices are seldom part of the sector’s discourse.


Starting the conversation

At Haines Watts London, we have advised and supported architects’ practices for many decades and we believe that it is essential to open up conversation around what it means to be both an architect and business owner, exploring the conflicts, challenges and rewards. We also want to celebrate the resilience, innovation and creativity that continues to emanate from these enterprises.

Over the past 18 months we have taken the time to talk with clients and explore initiatives that have traction and support within the sector to identify how best to encourage debate and engage in discussion on these topics.


Clerkenwell Design Week

We are delighted to announce our participation in the highly acclaimed Clerkenwell Design Week. After touring many of London’s architectural and design festivals we came full circle to Clerkenwell.

Not only is it on our doorstep, but Clerkenwell is also home to more creative businesses and architects per square mile than anywhere else in the world. We feel Clerkenwell Design Week provides the best opportunity for us to engage with and celebrate architects’ in London and the UK.

We have commissioned an installation for one of the most prominent spaces at the show. An installation that embodies the attributes we believe are central to running an enduring practice but which also value in our business: curiosity, collaboration, ambition and commerciality.

To translate this vision and bring it to life, we have collaborated with our client, up and coming architectural practice, WR-AP Architects.


Be, Well

The Haines Watts, ‘Be, Well’ Pavilion, designed by WR-AP, invites visitors to pause, reflect and share their thoughts about the show, issues affecting the sector and practices, and to leave these in our well of reflection.

The structure itself celebrates the widely used but less understood material, galvanised steel. It displays the inherent performance and aesthetic qualities of galvanized steel via an experimental composition of utilitarian building products and curated architecture.

The ‘Be, Well’ Pavilion will take you on a journey, beginning in a space surrounded by a fine filigree of elements that shine and refract, progressing to an enclosed construction where you connect with the materials and see them transform. Finally, you will move through to a portico inspired by the adjacent St. John’s Gate, housing a new Clerkenwell ‘Well’.

In addition to the team at WR-AP, we are delighted to have secured the support of leading businesses in the galvanized steel industry who are supplying this under-appreciated material to create the installation and ultimately construct it.

Our collaboration with WR-AP architects, the Galvanisers Association, Joseph Ash, Berry Systems and Lionweld Kennedy, has been a journey of creation, endeavour and partnership.


The value of the undervalued

We’ve shared in the excitement of giving life to a project that brings to light the value of that which is undervalued, be it materials, creative talent or the contribution of owner-managed businesses to the UK economy.

It’s such a pleasure to be part of such an important event and we look forward to providing an exciting place to inspire discourse within the eclectic design show.

Want to know more? Call us on 0207 025 4650 or email

About the author

Alex Shall

Alex acts for established owner-managed businesses principally in the creative sector which include architecture, consulting, design, new media and software development. He has supported international groups with connections to the USA, Italy, France, Cyprus, Hong Kong and China and is well versed in the complexities of supporting business owners with global interests. His work has included raising finance and acquisition advice, succession planning, tax structuring and evaluating and implementing accounting and reporting systems, including cloud solutions.


I like being there to help clients though each phase of their businesses’ life cycle. Working with so many professional practices means that at any one time I am simultaneously helping some start their first business, helping others manage steady growth, working with others to overcome the inevitable bumps in the road and finally helping plan profitable successions or sales.

If I wasn't doing this I'd be: a lawyer. They seem to have more fun.

Favourite Book: 1984

Dream Location: on a boat in the Aegean.

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