5 March 2015

Two Brookes alumni nominated for Architects’ Journal Emerging Woman Architect of the Year award

Laura Highton
'Laura included this photo in her Architects' Journal application. Ertegun House is on St Giles, Oxford and was completed in 2012 for The University of Oxford Humanities Department

Two School of Architecture alumni have been nominated for The Architects’ Journal’s prestigious Emerging Woman Architect of the Year 2015 award. The award celebrates women working in the profession, recognising excellence in design and thought leadership as well as promoting role models for aspiring architects and young women in practice.

Sally Lewis, Director of Stitch, completed our MA Urban Design programme in 2000. She has since worked for various architecture firms including HTA Design LLP and Llewelyn Davies, before founding Stitch in 2012. The practice’s first project, 149 new-build homes in Dagenham, is nearing completion, grounded in the vision of ‘creating a new generation of streets for London’.

Laura Highton completed her RIBA Part 3 at Brookes in 2011 and currently runs the Nottingham branch of Purcell, which she founded in 2013. Since opening the studio, Laura has brought in 20 new projects and was recognised by Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Chamber of Commerce with the 2014 Rising Star Award for her work. Laura said “I felt hugely privileged to be nominated for this award and to be amongst some great women architects in the shortlist. That was the prize for me, it wasn't about winning really. I really enjoyed the interview day and meeting the high profile panel. I also had a fantastic time at the awards luncheon and was particularly excited and interest to hear Sheila O'Donnell's talk.

The award was announced at the annual Architects Journal Women in Architecture Luncheon on 27 February at Claridge’s in London, and was won by London-based practice vPPR. Judges on the 14-strong panel include Martha Thorne (Pritzker Prize chief executive), Norman Foster (of AJ100’s top practice Foster + Partners) and Patty Hopkins (co-founder of Hopkins Architects). Respected architects Phyllis Lambert and Sheila O’Donnell spoke at the event.

The School of Architecture congratulates Laura and Sally on their achievements.