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HAT Projects are architects and enablers for built environment projects. We have a reputation for fresh and imaginative thinking, a collaborative working approach, and a rigorous attention to detail. Our buildings are distinctive and widely praised.

Our focus is on projects that make a difference – that respond to real needs, allow organizations to thrive sustainably, and create better and more beautiful public environments for all who experience them. We are practical as well as ambitious, and seek to maximize the value that good design can bring, both financial and social.

Our architectural output is enriched by our work as design advisers, community enablers, and self-builders. We work locally and nationally, from large to small projects.


Our approach is always bespoke to the particular project, while underpinned by some key principles:

  • Developing a shared language with our clients and teams – understanding the project’s mission and values as the key to developing appropriate and inspiring design.
  • De-mystifying the process – being clear about what happens at each stage
  • Posing questions and bringing fresh ideas
  • Working hard for our clients’ interests – budget, performance, long term value
  • Meeting deadlines without cutting corners

We are known for our design intelligence and technical rigour, as well as our team leadership to ensure that structure, building services, acoustics and lighting are fully integrated. We have an excellent track record of delivering award-winning buildings on time and on budget.

Our values

We aim to make each of our projects sustainable, considering environmental, social and economic impacts through its whole lifecycle. We are also active members of our community in a number of ways. We provide pro bono advice and support to charities and community groups - such as Talawa, MS_UK, Age Concern and Hythe Forward, and we are a member of Colchester Community360 Business Bank. We sponsor the ID fund at Colchester Night Shelter, and many of our team are active in volunteering their time in different capacities.


We provide a complete architectural service from feasibility reports and concept studies to full technical design, overseeing construction, and handover support. We focus on cultural and community projects, workspace, housing and private new-build homes.

We provide advice on all aspects of the planning process, from masterplanning and strategic sites to the detailed negotiation of listed building consents and other matters. We also develop planning guidance such as design guides, supplementary planning documents and policy recommendations. We combine our expertise as architects and planners to develop holistic approaches, and have a particular interest in sustaining rural communities through sensitive and locally specific development.

We help organisations to develop projects from their initial starting point, through workshops, brief-writing and user or community consultation. We work alongside other architects or consultants as specialists in co-design and community engagement, or as impartial community representatives or client advisors.

Feasibility studies
The earliest stages of a project require holistic thinking that encompasses business planning, spatial analysis, and planning policy, as well as the creativity that reveals unexpected opportunities. As well as full feasibility studies, we offer quick capacity studies, condition appraisals of existing buildings, and planning advice to inform site purchases.

Building and prototyping
We design & self-build small projects for locally based clients or community partners, working with an established group of local fabricators and trades. We have our own workshop facilities for prototyping, pre-fabrication and mock-ups, which we use to develop the detailing for some of our larger projects, as well as for model-making.


Hana Loftus, Director

Hana trained in architecture and is also a chartered town planner. She has a particular commitment to public and civic projects and expertise in brief-setting, co-design and planning policy. She leads HAT Projects' work on community enabling, housing and planning.

Hana is a member of the South East Design Review panel, Chair of the Creative Colchester Partnership, and a Public Practice alumna. She has written for a range of journals including Architecture Today, Building Design and Icon, as well as contributing to books and teaching at the London School of Architecture, London Metropolitan University and others.

Tom Grieve, Director

Tom co-founded HAT Projects after holding senior roles within some of the UK's leading architecture practices. He has a particular passion for, and expertise with arts and cultural projects, to which he brings a rigorous analysis alongside a creative energy and attention to every detail.

Tom is a trustee of Jerwood Arts and a member of the Essex Quality Review Panel.

Helena McCarthy

Helena joined HAT after studying in Denmark and Ireland, and working on a range of projects as well as volunteering with Arkitekter Uden Graenser on the renewal of a West Bank village. Since joining HAT she has worked on projects with the V&A, High House Production Park and the Science Museum and since completing our recent renovation of Ely Museum is coordinating our work on St Nicholas Square in Colchester.

Katarina Santic

Katarina trained in Ljubljana, Slovenia prior to joining HAT, where her interests revolved around people-centred architecture, urban design and industrial heritage. Since joinging HAT Projects in 2019 Katarina has worked on a variety of projects, ranging from residential to workspace design, including our work on Spring House, Lock Hill and Jaywick Market.

Rebecca Kalbfell

Rebecca studied Modern Languages before joining HAT in 2014, and has worked with us alongside progressing her architectural studies at the Cass and Central St Martins. She is an energetic and capable project runner, having led the Silver End installation as well as delivering several of our private residential projects and leading on our BIM integration.

Robin Alderton

Robin is our studio manager and has worked for HAT since 2014. Aside from his exceptional rigour at organising our affairs, he is a talented musician and member of Dead Rat Orchestra, with whom he has recorded and toured internationally.

Selected Clients



'RIBA Regional Awards shortlist' - Science Museum Smith Centre featured in RIBA Journal, June 2020 edition. Read

'The quiet life must be heard' - article by Hana Loftus, Icon. Read

'Climate leads MacEwan agenda', by Jan-Carlos Kucharek in a special edition of the RIBA Journal focusing on the MacEwan Awards 2020, for which Hana Loftus was a judge. Read

'Tailored to fit' feature on Trinity Works in Architects' Journal 'In Practice' issue, by Rob Wilson. Read

'Inside HAT Projects' new studio' - a film by Jim Stephenson for Architects' Journal. Watch

'Design-led Development' by Lucy Bullivant featuring Science Museum Smith Centre in Architecture Today. Read


'First Look - HAT Projects completes Science Museum supporters centre' by Fran Williams featured in Architects' Journal. Read

'Eastern Promise' - 'Excellent Essex' book review by Hana Loftus, Architecture Today. Read

'Going Rural' - article about Village Design Guides by Hana Loftus, Cambridge Architecture. Read

'Technical Study: Science Museum Supporters' Centre by HAT Projects' - featured in Building Design, written by Elizabeth Hopkirk. Read

'Hastings Contempory' - blog post by Charles Saumarez Smith. Read


'V&A Dundee' - building review by Hana Loftus, Architecture Today. Read

'What HAT did next' - profile on HAT Projects and Trinity Works in RIBA Journal, September 2018 edition, by Hugh Pearman. Read

'Revisiting Postmodernism' - book review by Hana Loftus, Architecture Today. Read


Hana Loftus interviewed in Architects' Journal about HAT Projects' involvement in Upper and Lower Fosters. Read

'Space Traveller' - book review by Hana Loftus, Architecture Today.


A piece on Alison and Peter Smithson's Economist Plaza by Tom Grieve and Hana Loftus is included in 50 Architects 50 Buildings, published by Batsford in conjunction with the Twentieth Century Society.

HAT Projects featured in New Architects 3, published by Merrell in association with the Architecture Foundation.


'A Defiant Standard Bearer' - Gasworks featured in Architects' Journal by Catherine Slessor.

'Gasworks' - Alessio Antoniolli, Director of Gasworks talking to Louisa Elderton for Flash Art.

'The Architecture of Utility' - An essay by Hana Loftus on High House Artists' Studios is published in Studios for Artists: Concepts and Concrete a collaboration between Acme Studios and Central Saint Martins, by Black Dog Publishing. Read

'Buildings Gallery' - Gasworks featured in RIBA Journal by Eleanor Young.

'Artist collective stands it's ground in up-and-coming Vauxhall' - Gasworks discussed in Design Curial by Veronica Simpson.

'Blank Canvas' - Gasworks featured in Wallpaper* by Ali Morris.

'London's art transplant' - Gasworks discussed in Financial Times by Gareth Harris.

'The Bilbao Effect: Britain plays to the gallery' - Jerwood Gallery featured in Blueprint by James Pallister.

'Excellent Ordinary' - High House Artists' Studios included in an essay by Jay Merrick, Architects' Journal. [pdf]


'And the Winner is...' - article by Hana Loftus, Architecture Today. [pdf]

'Rebel Architecture' - television review by Hana Loftus, Icon. [pdf]

'Fishing black' - Jerwood Gallery featured in Exe Magazine by Nadege Mevel. [pdf]

'Assemble: Yardhouse' - article by Hana Loftus, Architecture Today. [pdf]

CABE Chair Pam Alexander admires the work of HAT Projects in an interview with the Architect's Journal. [pdf]

'Women with designs on awards' - RADAR Magazine, Jay Merrick. [pdf]


'Looking for New England' - article by Hana Loftus, Architecture Today. [pdf]

'YAYA Hooray for young hopefuls' - cover of Building Design. [link]

'YAYA list proves Britain's got talent' - Building Design. [pdf]

'YAYA 2013 Shortlist: HAT Projects' - Building Design. [link]

'ACME Artists' Studios, HAT Projects' - High House Artist's Studios featured in RIBA Journal by Eleanor Young. [pdf]

Home is where the art is' - High House Artists' Studios discussed in Building Design by Robert Bevan. [pdf]

Jerwood Gallery featured on the cover of Architects' Journal and public section of the RIBA awards issue. [pdf]

'Little Black Book' - Jerwood Gallery featured in Nick Wakeman's column, Stella Magazine. [pdf]

'Spaces-in-between: the city becoming' - article by Hana Loftus, Icon. [pdf]

'Rural Composition' - Stoke Cottage featured in Brick Bulletin. [pdf]

'The Future of Architecture' - HAT Projects mentioned in Vice Magazine, Eddie Blake. [pdf]


'Adjaye Libraries' - article by Hana Loftus, Icon. [pdf]

'Museo Domestico' - Sir Paul Smith photgraphs Jerwood Gallery for Interni. [pdf]

'Beside the seaside' - Jerwood Gallery featured in Brick Bulletin. [pdf]

'Casa Garoza' - article by Hana Loftus, Icon. [pdf]

'Sea Life: Southend Pier Cultural Centre by White Arkitektur' - article by Hana Loftus, Architecture Today. [pdf]

'Inspiration' - Tom and Hana write about Alison and Peter Smithson's Economist Plaza, Building Design. [pdf]

'Jerwood Gallery, Hastings' - article in Icon, by Will Wiles. [pdf]

'Jerwood Gallery, Hastings' - featured in Blueprint, by Owen Pritchard. [pdf]

'Dark Horse' - Jerwood Gallery featured in Architects' Journal, by James Pallister. [pdf]

'Making Waves' - Jerwood Gallery featured in RIBA Journal, by Eleanor Young. [pdf]

'Something for the weekend' - Jerwood Gallery listed in Harper's Bazaar. [pdf]

'Culture wars: architecture, art and regenerating seaside towns' - Jerwood Gallery discussed in Architecture Today, by Fred Gray. [pdf]

'On the beach' - Jerwood Gallery featured in The Spectator, by Andrew Lambirth. [pdf]

'Seaside Treasure' - Jerwood Gallery featured in Detail Daily. [pdf]

'Week in Pictures' - Jerwood Gallery featured in Architects' Journal. [pdf]

'Jerwood Gallery' - Jerwood Gallery featured in Art Quarterly. [pdf]

'Fisherman's Friend' - Jerwood Gallery featured in Building Design, by Oliver Wainwright. [pdf]

'Widening the Net' - Jerwood Gallery featured in The Sunday Times, by Hugh Pearman. [pdf]

'Dark arts on the beach' - Jerwood Gallery featured in The Independent on Sunday, by Jay Merrick. [pdf]

'A happy end to the battle of Hastings' - Jerwood Gallery reviewed in The Observer, by Rowan Moore. [pdf]

Jerwood Gallery listed in The Observer's 'The New Review'. [pdf]


'Revisiting the Idea Stores' - article by Hana Loftus, Architects' Journal. [pdf]

'Shimmering seascape' - Jerwood Gallery discussed in Building Design by Amanda Birch. [pdf]

'Adding that extra polish' - Jerwood Gallery featured in RIBA Journal, by Eleanor Young. [pdf]

'Regenerated by art?' - Jerwood Gallery featured in Country Life, by Michael Hall. [pdf]

'Meet Britain's brightest young architects' - HAT Projects featured in The Observer, by Rowan Moore. [link] [pdf]



The Science Museum Smith Centre shortlisted for AJ Retrofit Awards. Read more

The Science Museum Smith Centre shortlised for RIBA London Awards. Read more


Trinity Works longlisted for MacEwan Award. Read more


Hopton Yard shortlisted for the Housing Design Awards. Read more


HAT Projects named as one of five winning schemes in a competition for Pocket, creating a design for compact and affordable two-bedroom apartments in London. [pdf]

Shortlisted for the Museum of Science and Industry, Special Exhibitions Gallery, Manchester.


HAT Projects named RIBA East Emerging Architect of the Year and High House Artists' Studios also wins RIBA East Regional Award. Read more

Hana Loftus shortlisted for Emerging Woman in Architecture Award by Architects' Journal. Read more

Shortlisted for Goldsmiths University Gallery, London.


HAT Projects runners-up for Young Architects of the Year Award. [pdf]

Jerwood Gallery wins RIBA National Award, RIBA South East Regional Award and Civic Trust Award.


Jerwood Gallery included in The Observer's top 10 buildings of 2012. Read more

Jerwood Gallery wins Sussex Heritage Trust's Public & Community Award.


Hana Loftus runner-up for inaugural Architects Journal Writing Prize.