Now in its 50th anniversary year, the housing specialist moves up the rankings after adding a further eight architects over 2018. Architectural fee income rose by nearly 10 per cent to £11.1 million.
This progress is part of a longer-term trend, with HTA enjoying strong growth every year since it become an LLP in 2013. In those five years, staff numbers have increased from 85 to 200.
‘It was an optimistic year,’ says managing partner Simon Bayliss. ‘More turnover and more profit than the previous year, and a good quality of work.’
HTA continues to work across all forms of housing, both urban and suburban, including the regeneration of Winstanley and York Road estates in Battersea and recently completed student housing above Holloway Road tube station in Islington. Besides major housing clients such as Countryside and Berkeley, the practice is working with new entrants to the UK market such as US build-to-rent developer Greystar, for whom it is on site on the 2,000-home redevelopment of the former GlaxoSmithKline headquarters in Greenford. Looking ahead, the practice is interested in exploring opportunities in multigenerational housing.
HTA’s long-established commitment to modular design is paying off – this now accounts for almost 25 per cent of its turnover, and the practice is currently on site with 44-storey 101 George Street in Croydon, which will be the tallest modular building in the world.
Amid all the positives, Bayliss does however sound a note of caution, with the market so far proving much tougher in 2019.
‘Since Christmas, uncertainty in the wider world definitely feels like it has hit the market,’ he says, adding that this is by no means like the catastrophic falling off experienced in 2008. ‘There are good projects still coming in.’
Yet HTA’s outlook remains relatively optimistic, with hopes for a further 5 per cent of growth in 2019.
‘We have a great team, some fantastic clients and a number of areas of distinct expertise where we are leading the market,’ says Bayliss. ‘We see our focus on a single sector of housing as key to a successful future.’