Our Culture

With the ambition of establishing a practice that set new standards for architecture in the Midlands, Associated Architects was founded in 1968 by three tutors at the Birmingham School of Architecture (now part of Birmingham City University).

Today, we are a vibrant practice across three cities working on projects of all scales across the UK in a wide variety of sectors and remain committed to the values of our founders. Originally focusing on social and private housing work, the practice developed specialisms in other sectors such as education and work involving heritage buildings. The quality of this small-scale work was recognised by the start of an ever-growing list of RIBA Awards. The commission to design a new School of Jewellery for Birmingham Polytechnic at the start of the 90s marked a turning point for the practice. The subsequent growth in the scale, ambition and complexity of project work continues to this day, reaching heights such as one of London’s largest urban regeneration schemes, and two once-in-a-generation large-scale transformational projects namely the preparations for the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham and the arrival of HS2 in the West Midlands.

Values

We have integrity: we believe in creating unique architecture that puts human need and a sense of workability over design kudos.

We work together: The most exciting and meaningful buildings come from dialogue and collaboration. We’re a team of equals who embrace the range of expertise from inside and outside of our practice.

We think creatively: Real creativity is about more than ‘great design’. We encourage fresh thinking and exploring new ideas and innovations. By embedding ourselves in multiple sectors we bring a diversity of experience and best practice to each project.

We understand our clients: Our clients value our partnership approach and our empathy. We take time to listen and to understand their world. We always do what’s right for the client and have no place for creative ego.

We connect with our community: Looking beyond the studio helps us see things differently and inspires us. We want our practice to reflect the diverse community it serves, helping us to create ‘places that are in tune with people’. We’re proud of our work with local communities and we empower our team to donate both time and money to charitable causes and projects. Lead by our CREAATE team, this ranges from bake sales to sponsored long-distance rowing challenges; donating much-need items for the homeless to supporting RIBA mentoring and schools initiatives; and even designing and subsequently getting our hands dirty to transform an unusable area of school grounds into a haven for outdoor learning. As a practice we are also heavily involved in the advancement of the profession through the Birmingham Architectural Association, British Council for Offices regional committees, Urban Land Institute and others.

1SSP AA Studio

Working here

Working in our Birmingham, Oxford, or Leeds studios you will join a team of talented and sociable architects, technologists, and specialists that think ‘beyond design’: working together to create and deliver places that transform the way people live, work, and learn. The diversity of our project work means you will enjoy a varied portfolio, and you will have the opportunity to contribute to the continued development of the practice through our working groups on topics such as sustainability (the Green Team), Corporate Social Responsibility (CREAATE), Digital Innovation, Health and Safety, and the work environment itself in the Culture and Community committee. As recipients of the Midlands Architectural Practice of the Year and on the shortlist of the Architects’ Journal Practice of the Year 2022, you’ll be part of a forward-thinking team that enjoy an excellent work/life balance, agile working, a comprehensive CPD programme and support for training (eg. Part III), as well as all the usual benefits.