We create spaces that are better for London, its people – and developers too. Thoughtfully designed, sociable, profitable spaces. Places to live, work, and thrive.
We design homes that become the seedbeds of communities. Homes considered from the inside out, in which the needs of people and their neighbourhoods come first – not the tick-boxes on a planning form.
This is how architecture should be.
Making planning work for London
The housing crisis has its roots in outdated regulations. In minimums treated as maximums. In standards that block innovation and neglect modern needs. The result is a new class of buy-to-let investors. And houses that are built to live off, rather than to live in.
Reform these attitudes, and you build better buildings. You stop asking, How many units can I fit in without breaking regulations? And you start asking, How can I make this a place where people really want to live?
RIBA PM DPLG
Nicolas is HWO’s founder, and our authority on all things planning. A leading voice on London’s housing crisis, he’s designed landmark buildings in the UK, US and Asia. He’s also taught architectural design at Greenwich University. Now, he brings this experience to the negotiating table, working closely with clients to develop profitable, sociable residential schemes that see beyond the blind spots of planning regulation. Nicolas is a regular speaker at the annual HOMES event and a member of its advisory panel. Nicolas is also a guest speaker for the Home Builders Federation and Inside Housing. Nicolas is also registered as a DPLG architect in France.
Rejane founded HWO with Nicolas, and leads the design team. She holds a masters in public space from Paris Belleville school. Her past work includes Bordeaux’s Tramline, and the French Embassy in Berlin, both with renowned Elizabeth Portzamparc, as well a rich roster of luxury hotels and spas. These days she focuses on a different kind of luxury: beautifully-finished, efficient, compact housing and inclusive public space. Space that gives Londoners room to breathe in a busy city.
Joao joined us in 2014 – from Portugal, by way of Japan. With him, he brought a forensic understanding of housing projects. Experience in everything from Code 4 requirements to Lifetime Homes standards. An ability to coordinate building control, tender and construction packages, and a rare technical proficiency: Joao’s knowledge of Revit is second to none.
ARB Architect & BIM manager
Julian is our BIM expert. He has extensive experience in the UK, having handled large-scale residential projects from first survey to final submission. At HWO, he draws on this comprehensive understanding to turn fledgling ideas into fully-fleshed-out production drawings – all while making sure that the digital side of our projects remains in check, and on track.
ARB Architect MArch MSc
Marianna combines great planning experience with a knowledge of Revit to model the practice’s ideas into complex, 3D designs that are ready for planning submission. Inspiring designs that build trust, and comply with regulation. Marianna is also our team's go-to expert on fit-outs and she often leads the team's production information for all things interiors.
Steven is meticulous. He understands every stage of the design process, and has a sharp eye for the technical ins and outs. Before joining us, he designed residential complexes, care homes, theatres and museums, seeing each project through from first concept to final tender. Now, he combines this experience with proficiency in Revit and NBScreate, to produce fully-rounded designs with full technical specifications.
Idoia understands fit-out. She’s an expert Revit user with an interest in sustainable construction, as well as prior experience working on listed buildings and high-end refurbishments. At HWO, she uses this to navigate the finer details of interior fit-outs, producing rich, textured, efficient designs – spaces that are made for modern use but respect what’s gone before.
Maria knows the power of a good layout. A conservation expert, she’s restored and adapted many historic buildings, and understands the practical potential of different spaces. Now, she uses this knowledge to design warm, friendly environments that foster family interaction. Houses that are dense and compact, but feel spacious inside. Schemes that bring people together, and build communities.
HWO use building information software Revit® part of the BIM family.
Revit has completely changed the way we work: with planning taking longer, accelerated programmes of work are now commonplace in the industry.
Revit allows our team to produce tender or construction drawings and schedules literally at the click of a button.
Coordination and precision are also greatly improve making Revit a must-have for housing Modern Methods of Construction.
At HWO, we manage the full development cycle. This includes:
- Site sourcing and capacity studies
- Robust planning applications
- RIBA chartered practice, led by ARB architects
- Fully compliant designs, audited to Quality Standard IS0 9001
- Revit model and scheduling, following industry-standard procedures and established BIM protocols and best practice, according to BS1192:2007, PAS1192-2:2013, AEC UK BIM Standards, CPI Code.
- A BIM coordinator assigned to every project, supported by a BIM management team overseeing the strategy, delivery and evolution of our digital design capabilities
- Specification writing fully linked to Revit models, using NBS Create
- Experience in different procurement routes
- Experience using MMC’s and CLT frames
- Direct collaboration with engineers and specialist consultants
- Distribution of drawings via a dedicated web platform
- Design Leader Duties - awarded RIBA PM Certificate
- Principal CDM 2015 Designer Duties undertaken
- PCA Training in CSSW Basement Waterproofing designs
Events & features
‘What if planning actually worked?’
Seminar - London Olympia
Exhibition - London Olympia
Exhibition – Manchester
‘Addressing The Capital’s Housing Shortage’
Exhibition – 2-5 June, The White Building, Hackney Wick
‘Foundations of the Future’
Interview – A Home Builders Federation programme by ITN Productions (launched at UK Construction Week)
‘A Capital Crisis of Space’
A four-page feature in July's Issue of Inside Housing
'It's all gone PRS'
One-hour presentation at ‘Homes’ the industry event in Olympia
‘The Creative Hour - Ep1’
A drink event featuring a presentation on PRS and Planning by Ben Kelway, Senior Director at Lichfields
‘The Creative Hour - Ep2’
A drink event featuring a presentation on the economics of the PRS model by Stephen Young, Director at Fizzy
‘GRAPHITE - Launch Party’
A drink event to celebrate 14 years in practice and the launch of our in-house mag GRAPHITE
HWO attended MIPIM 2018, the international real estate fair in Cannes
We are proud to work with some of the most prestigious clients in the property industry.
- Aitch Construction
- Aitch Group
- Baqus Plc
- Blaircourt Investments
- Brent Council
- Capstone Group
- Cass & Claredale Housing
- Citywest Homes
- Dreampoint Homes
- Espa international
- Farnham Developments
- Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts
- French Trade Bureau in London
- Generator Group
- Guinness Partnership
- Hut Group
- Hyde Housing Group
- IPE Developments
- John Jones
- London Development Group
- Lakes by yoo
- MIC hotels
- Modular Building Consultants
- NFS Investments
- Quintas Homes
- Raven Property
- Rail Europe (part of French Railways)
- Redbridge Council
- Rosemax Investments
- Silvertown Properties
- Software Integrators
- Squared Group
- Swimming Rocks
- Westminster Kingsway College
- Wharfedale Homes
- Yara Capital
- The Zamek Group