Weston Williamson + Partners has had a strong 12 months, with The Elizabeth Line’s long-awaited opening – including WW+P’s Paddington and Woolwich stations – just one example of the infrastructure specialist’s achievements in 2022. This year’s AJ100 rankings sees the Bermondsey-headquartered practice move up 14 places, from 48 to 34.
Staff numbers in London and Manchester rose from 109 to 161 in 2022 while architectural fee income rose sharply from £7,887,000 to £11,816,031 for fees paid to UK offices. WW+P’s global workforce has jumped from around 150 to 240, with the opening of new offices in Shenzhen, China, and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in the past 12 months.
Chief executive officer Rob Naybour also cites coming under the ownership of Egis, the global consultancy and design giant, as another highlight. The practice is now part of its ‘Architecture Line’, and Egis has opened a London campus next to WW+P’s studio – staff from other Egis entities, such as SB Architects in California, were working there alongside WW+P staff when the AJ visited the Bermondsey studio.
‘That’s helped us grow. It’s helped us attract good people,’ says Naybour. ‘The reorganisation has allowed us to address more opportunities and I think there has been a sort of clarity around succession.’
WW+P’s biggest growth areas – at least geographically speaking – are in Australia and North America, where it is working on stations for California’s high-speed rail network and on the Transit-Oriented Communities Program in Ontario.
In the UK, the practice has won multiple awards for its Elizabeth Line station at Paddington and continues to deliver design work on the multi-billion-pound HS2 project, despite the government partially suspending work on this earlier in the year. In doing so, it has avoided the layoffs forced upon other practices working on HS2. Completions last year include a new London Overground station at Barking Riverside.
Transport projects both home and abroad have provided a source of stable income since before, during and after the pandemic, providing a buffer against short-term market fluctuations. WW+P has worked on Paddington’s Elizabeth Line station for 15 years, for example.