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16.09.21 Annie North


We caught up with our new Hove Town Hall residents HNW Architects, to find out more about them, their dream team of secret star-bakers and how they make work wonderful.

hnw architects

Welcome to PLATF9RM! How are you settling in so far?

It’s been a great start, we are loving the atmosphere and initial interactions. Lee (Director) and Harry (Architectural Assistant) enjoyed meeting people at Cereal* Filler and the feedback from our team trip to the Brighton and Hove spaces has been glowing.

What drew you to our Hove Town Hall space?

We were looking to continue to evolve as a company and create a new hub to complement our existing studio in Chichester.

We want to offer a wider variety of working environments for our team and clients as well as an alternative location to service our projects. We see PLATF9RM as a progressive and attractive work environment in an ideal location.

Tell us a little about the origins of HNW Architects

HNW Architects was founded in 1991 in Chichester (30 years ago this year!), since then we have grown to a team of 50. We have developed a broad range of clients and expanded our portfolio of projects across a wide variety of sectors. Fast forward to 2021, and we’re thrilled to have just opened a second studio at PLATF9RM in Hove.

How do you incorporate sustainability into your designs?

For us, sustainability has two key ingredients; making buildings efficient to run and creating successful places where people choose to live, work and play.

Our belief is to ensure that with every project we work on, we leave something better. Check out #SustainableSocialLegacy to find out more.

We engage in conversations and debates about achieving net-zero-carbon, BREEAM or Passivhaus certifications. We approach the sustainability agenda from the outset on any project, rather than something that needs to be considered and made to work after.

Our project at the former Graylingwell Hospital site in Chichester was considered to be the largest Carbon Neutral development in the UK. And, our current scheme on Pelham Street in Brighton adopts an all-electric strategy to minimise carbon emissions. This, combined with green and blue roof systems, a fabric first approach to energy reduction and onsite electric vehicle charging will deliver a highly sustainable and high-quality local urban development.

What are your favourite projects you’ve worked on so far?

That’s like picking your favourite child, it’s impossible to answer! There is such variety in what we do on a daily basis.

We enjoy every project we work on, but we particularly love when we get to try out new ideas, talk to like-minded individuals and work collaboratively. And, of course, getting to work on projects in and around Brighton & Hove.

We’ve noticed you’ve got a team of avid bakers! What has been the star bake?

We couldn’t possibly say what has been the star bake without causing controversy amongst the team!

However, we do have a very talented office, including a professionally trained chef. With the Great British Bake-Off starting again soon we are very much looking forward to the bakes that will be making their way into our Studios!

Finally, how do you make work wonderful?

We have a very sociable team and culture so we get to work with a group of people we can call colleagues and friends. We work across such an array of exciting projects and opportunities that means no day at HNW Architects is the same. And we wouldn’t want it any other way.