PRP senior partner Brendan Kilpatrick hailed 2017 as PRP’s ‘best year ever’. Despite slipping a couple of places down the AJ100 rankings due to a small fall in UK architect numbers, the long-established housing practice reported increased architectural fee income of £19.62 million, up from £18.28 million last time.
Once primarily associated with social housing, PRP has continued its more recent strategy of targeting private sector work too. This accounted for half its general housing work in 2017 and PRP is pursuing a similar approach in its housing-for-seniors specialism. The private rented sector is a strong area, with the practice currently working on 5,000 units, compared with 300-400 units two years ago, although it sounds a cautious note about the longer-term sustainability of the market. Significant PRS commissions include the 743-unit Canada Court at Wembley Park for Quintain. Kilpatrick is also particularly pleased with the recently completed Maiden Lane project, which responds to its context – a 1970s Modernist estate designed by Benson & Forsyth – by bucking the current London housing vernacular trend. ‘There’s not a single brick in the building … we’re trying to produce a design that remains timeless,’ he says.
In 2017 PRP made the unusual strategic move of opening a studio in Wroclaw in Poland to concentrate on the delivery of projects in the UK. As well as proving more cost-efficient, this initiative enabled the practice to recruit staff with the required housing experience and Revit skills, something that had proved more challenging here.
PRP is hoping for a similarly strong 2018, buoyed by its recent planning permission for the 2,500-home Clapham Park Estate scheme in south London.
The practice has boosted representation of women at high level in the firm with the appointment to senior partner of Manisha Patel, who recently led the development of a new multigenerational housing typology at Chobham Manor.