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HAT Projects are architects, planners 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 focus is on projects that make a difference – that respond to real needs, allow organisations 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 and planning can bring, both financial and social.

Our design output is enriched by our work as policy-makers, community engagement specialists, co-designers, and self-builders; and vice versa. We work locally and nationally, from large to small projects.

Services

Enabling and project support
We help organisations to develop projects from first steps, through workshops, brief-writing and user or community co-design. We can provide the early stage studies necessary to access funding for development work, and set your project on the right track from the start. If you are a community group, you may find the Community Projects Handbook that we produced for the GLA a useful resource.

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.

Architecture and landscape design
We provide full design services from feasibility and concept studies to technical design, overseeing construction, and handover support. We design landscape and public realm schemes, collaborating with other specialists to create sustainable, accessible and playful public spaces. Please note, we do not take on domestic extensions or small residential projects.

Planning
We provide advice on all aspects of planning, from site feasibility and allocations to listed building consents and other matters. We also work with local planning authorities to support plan-making and produce supplementary planning documents and design codes. 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.

Engagement, consultation and user research
We are specialists in community and stakeholder engagement which combines digital and in-person methods. This ranges from strategic stakeholder communications to user research, achieving unique insights into what communities really think and need. We provide training in community engagement, communications and design codes through national organisations such as Urban Design Learning.

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 as well as in our own workshop.

Approach

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.

Clear and transparent communication with everyone involved - communities, clients, stakeholders, collaborators.

Challenging assumptions, bringing fresh ideas.

Working hard for our clients’ interests – budget, performance, long term value.

Meeting deadlines without cutting corners.

We are known for our creative intelligence and technical rigour, as well as our team leadership and working across complex multi-stakeholder environments. We have an excellent track record of delivering award-winning projects and initiatives, on time and on budget.

Our values

We consider environmental, social and economic impacts through all aspects of every project. We discuss carbon reduction at an early stage with every client, and always push for design approaches which minimise the lifecycle climate impacts of our projects, as well as designing for future resilience and adaptation.

We are active members of our community. We provide pro bono advice and support to charities and community groups - such as YES, Talawa, MS_UK, Age Concern and Hythe Forward. We sponsor the ID fund at Colchester Engagement & Next Steps, and many of our team are active in volunteering their time in different capacities.

People

Hana Loftus, Director

Hana is a chartered planner and designer with 20 years experience on public and civic projects and expertise in brief-setting, community participation and policy. She has developed masterplans, planning policy, design codes and cultural, workspace and listed building projects. Hana has a particular interest in rural planning and community development.

With a background spanning architecture, planning and regeneration, Hana has experience across the public and private sector, including as Engagement and Communications Lead at the Greater Cambridge Shared Planning Service. She is Chair of the Creative Colchester Partnership, co-chair of the Suffolk Design Review Panel and the Design South East Design Review Panel, and a Public Practice alumna. She writes and teaches across a number of platforms and institutions.

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. He is also a certified Passive House Designer.

Tom leads the architectural process for all our projects, synthesizing complex briefs and sites into imaginative, joyful and practical spaces. With a rigorous attention to detail, he is involved throughout the technical design and coordination stages through to delivery on site.

Tom has held a range of voluntary and advisory roles, and is currently a member of the Essex Quality Review Panel.

Chrissy Cheung

Chrissy studied at the University of Bath, undertaking a placement with HAT during 2021. Since graduating in 2022 she has joined us full time as a Part I assistant, contributing to the full range of projects in the studio. Chrissy is a Colchester resident and her interests are in cultural projects and community development.

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 joining HAT Projects in 2019 Katarina has worked on a variety of projects, ranging from residential to workspace design and is currently leading our work on the public realm schemes in Colchester city centre as well as contributing to a wide range of other projects.

Rebecca Kalbfell

After initially studying Modern Languages, Rebecca began architectural training at London Metropolitan University and went on to complete her MArch at Central Saint Martins. She joined HAT in 2014 and is an energetic and capable project runner, having led on the Silver End installation, delivered several private residential projects and has recently led the delivery of Sunspot through the construction stage.

An Essex native, Rebecca enjoys working on local and regional projects and is keen to champion her home county through architectural practice.

Robin Alderton

Robin has worked for HAT since 2014 and leads our cultural research and public art projects, as well as managing the studio. He trained in Fine Art at Central Saint Martins and has an MA in Curating from the University of Essex. Robin is also a talented musician and member of Dead Rat Orchestra, with whom he has recorded and toured internationally.

Stuart Pavitt

Stuart is a certified Passive House Designer with a keen interest in low energy buildings. Prior to joining HAT in Summer 2023, Stuart studied at the University of Liverpool and undertook an exchange programme at the Anhalt University in Dessau, Germany, followed by roles in commercial practices delivering Net Zero Carbon schools, university buildings and an award winning city centre pavilion. Another Essex native, Stuart enjoys sailing and spending time on the local saltmarshes.

Selected Clients

Press

2024

'Sunspot' - Architecture Today, March & April 2024, by Charles Holland.

'Opwaarts' - de Verdieping, April 2024, by Niels Posthumus.

'Coastal Immersion' - RIBA Journal, February 2024, by Chris Foges.

2023

'Architecture: Rowan Moore's five best projects of 2023' - The Observer, December 2023, by Rowan Moore.

'RetroFirst stories: how HAT Projects is resurrecting Lowestoft's rotting town hall' - Architects' Journal, November 2023, by Richard Waite.

'Sunspot, Jaywick Sands review - a ray of hope for the beleagured Essex resort' - The Observer, October 2023, by Rowan Moore.

'Reinventing buildings beats demolishing them' - Apollo Magazine, September 2023, by Hana Loftus.

'Architects should get involved with design codes - before it's too late' - Architects Journal, August 2023, by Hana Loftus.

2022

'Planning should be plan-led' - planners and architects, RIBA Journal, October 2022 edition, by Hana Loftus.

'How do you do 'the right thing'?' - planning and consultation, RIBA Journal, July/August 2022 edition, by Hana Loftus.

'How to help planners approve your scheme' - working with the planning system, RIBA Journal, April 2022 edition, by Hana Loftus.

'Penal reform' - review of Ely Museum in RIBA Journal, March 2022 edition, by Jan-Carlos Kucharek. Read

'50 Wonders - Temple Mount, Jerusalem' - piece marking 50 years of Building Design Magazine, February 2022, by Hana Loftus.

'Fens for the memories' - a review of Ely Musuem in Museums Journal, by Stuart Orme. Read

2020

'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

2019

'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

2018

'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

2017

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.
Read

2016

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. Read

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

2015

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

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

'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.
Read

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

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

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

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

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

2014

'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]

2013

'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]

2012

'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]

2011

'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]

Awards

2024

Jaywick Sands Place Plan shortisted for the Pineapples and the Planning Awards

Sunspot wins Highly Commended in the MacEwen Awards and shortlisted for the Planning Awards.

2023

Sunspot one of the Observer's top 5 buildings of the year.

Ely Museum wins Civic Trust Award and Selwyn Goldsmith Award for Universal Design. Read more

2022

Ely Museum wins RIBA East Award and RIBA East Conservation Award. Read more

Hana Loftus nominated as one the The Planner's Women of Influence 2022. Read more

2021

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

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

2019

Trinity Works longlisted for MacEwen Award. Read more

2017

Hopton Yard shortlisted for the Housing Design Awards. Read more

2015

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]

2014

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

2013

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.

2012

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

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

2011

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