The founding partners of the practice are Abigail Ashton and Andrew Porter.
Ashton and Porter both graduated with distinction from the Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London in 1994. Their joint diploma project ‘Mechanical Landscapes‘ was awarded the Bannister Fletcher Medal for best Bartlett diploma project and they subsequently won the Royal Institute of British Architects Silver Medal for best national diploma students. The project was exhibited at the Architecture Zentrum, Vienna and the Aedes East Gallery, Berlin.
In 1995 Ashton and Porter collaborated on their first project together. The ‘Petrie Museum of Egyptology’ in Bloomsbury was a limited competition and they were awarded Second Prize. Their first built commission was in 1998 for ‘Formation Studios’ and, since then, have completed a number of residential and commercial commissions in the UK as well as prize winning competitions both nationally and abroad.
From 1995 to 2000 they both worked for Cook & Hawley Architects and then Christine Hawley Architects on a variety of projects. They were principally project architects for the ‘Kitagata Social Housing‘ project in Gifu Prefecture, Japan. Kitagata was a £13m project for 107 apartments within a larger housing complex master-planned by Arata Isozaki Associates. It is widely published internationally. In addition, they worked on a number of prize winning international competitions. For Cook & Hawley Architects the first prize winning competition for a ‘Museum for Roman Antiquities’ in Pfaffenberg, Austria and the ‘Federation Square’ Competition in Melbourne. Other projects for Christine Hawley Architects included the first prize winning masterplan competition for Salford University and a shortlisted Congress Centre for the EUR district in Rome.
Between 2003 and 2007 Andrew Porter collaborated with Christine Hawley CBE on a numbers theoretical and competition projects as Hawley + Porter. During this period Christine Hawley and Andrew Porter also jointly developed a proposal for a new £35m building for the Bartlett School of Architecture.
From 2007 to 2010 Ashton and Porter created and practised as Metamode; which was a collaboration with Christine Hawley and a chinese partner. Metamode was a design group for exploring new urban models and speculative architecture in South East Asia. The group has been invited by both local government departments and developers to investigate new models for urban development in Mainland China. They primarily undertook direct commissions, funded research and invited competitions for concept and planning stages of work. Metamode worked in multi-disciplinary teams and formed joint collaborations with both local architects, contractors and developers. They also collaborated with CABR (Chinese Academy for Building Research) who are the largest research and development institute in China. Metamode won the ‘Hakka Museum and Culture Park’ in Heyuan City in 2010 and, in collaboration with the Shenzhen practice UNIT, the ‘A8 Tower’ in Shenzhen.
Since 2010 Ashton and Porter have practiced solely as Ashton Porter Architects (APA). In addition to continuing to develop speculative competition proposals (they were recently runners up in the ‘Peacepentagon’ Competition in New York) their primary focus is on building award winning commissions in the UK.
APA’s ‘Suburbanstudio’ project has recently won the NLA (New London Architecture) ‘Don’t Move, Improve’ Award 2012 for best residential project. The project was also a Finalist in the RIBA London Regional Awards 2012. ‘Cut and Fold House’ won the Grand Designs Extension of the Year 2013 and the ‘Cut and Frame House’ project was a finalist in the AJ Small Project of the Year Award 2014. The practice was finalist in the BD Small Project Architect of the Year 2012.
Ashton and Porter have also taught at various schools of architecture and design including visiting Professorships at the Staedel Academy in Frankfurt am Maim; they currently teach at the Bartlett School of Architecture UCL. They jointly teach Diploma Unit 21 and Porter is Deputy Director of Post Professional Masters Programmes at the Bartlett.
Current and past include:
Chia Yi Chou
Emanuele Del Mondo
Jih Fu Yu
The partners have been joined by a number of talented architects, assistants and collaborators.
The design of every project the practice undertakes is overseen by both partners. One partner will manage a project through from concept to completion and staff are allocated depending on the scale and work stage of the project. Once allocated, and wherever possible, staff will be involved in all stages of a project’s development.