Our Ethos

Designing: What's important to us

The way in which we design buildings is more a reflection of the way in which we work with people, rather than an adherence to a particular ‘style’. Our key priorities are people, places and purpose.


At the start of each project we go out of our way to engage with a broad range of people who will use the new building, as well as the client. In the early stages we spend more time listening to the client and end users than talking. We are convinced that good architecture can change lives for the better, but only if we have understood from the outset how a building will be used.





Our buildings are not isolated structures. We see a new building as one element of an existing setting which is not simply architectural but also spatial, cultural and historical. This can result in a building which, although it responds sensitively to its context, is very different from its neighbours.

We take a holistic approach to design. Often the introduction of new buildings has thrown up the opportunity to reorganise and consolidate sites, and to encourage clients to take a long-term approach to master planning. The development of any site is as much about the spaces between the buildings, as the buildings themselves.  




Our buildings are a bespoke response to a particular set of problems; a means to an end, not just an aesthetic exercise. They are built to last and, because we are not interested in passing fashions or trends, they don’t date; in fact they improve with age. We like our buildings to have crafted, sculptural qualities that give them a certain gravitas and presence, whatever the building’s function. Even if budgets are cut and less expensive materials used, we ensure that detailing is at a high level both inside and outside a building.



Legibility is important to us. In any of our buildings, however large or complex, it is always possible to know where you are, due to the clarity of the plan. We also concentrate on the acoustic qualities of spaces, not just where acoustic separation is important as in a school or performing venue. In our view acoustic design is as important as the distribution of light and the circulation of air, in creating the most physically and psychologically delightful environment.


Privacy Policy

van Heyningen and Haward Architects (“We”) take the privacy and safety of personal data extremely seriously. We collect your personal data for the purposes of providing you with an architectural service, or if you have contacted us with an enquiry. We do not buy or sell any data.

 This Privacy Policy explains how we use and store that data in accordance with the legal requirements stated in the GDPR privacy laws 2018.

 When handling personal data we will ensure we:

  1. Collect data only for a necessary purpose – any personal data no longer deemed necessary or adhering to lawful standards, will be safely destroyed unless we are legally required to retain said information for a stated period of time.
  2. Store all data in a secure location – we pledge to regularly ensure we are compliant with privacy laws which apply to our business and industry
  3. Keep all data clean and current – individuals have the right to access, amend, or request removal of the data we hold about them.
  4. Adhere to all individual rights covered by privacy laws – if it is necessary to share information with third parties, we will make sure said third party is compliant with privacy laws and will protect such data
  5. Collect and use personal information fairly and lawfully – we will ensure that all staff handling personal information are aware of our data protection obligations and comply with our privacy policy
  6. Are completely clear and open in relation to how we use and store personal data – information on how we handle personal data will be clear, concise, widely available and up to date

By providing us with your personal information you consent to the use of that information as set out in this Privacy Policy. You have the right to ask us not to process your personal information for marketing purposes. You can exercise that right at any time by sending us an email to info@vhh.co.uk with the subject line Unsubscribe.

You have the right to access any information held about you. If you provide us with proof of your identity, we can provide you with all details of the information we hold about you.

Our website may, from time to time, contain links to other websites which are outside of our control and are not covered by this Privacy Policy. If you follow a link to any of these websites, please note that we do not accept responsibility or liability for other sites’ privacy policies.

Unless otherwise indicated, we are the owner or the licensee of all intellectual property rights in our website, and in the material published on it. Those works are protected by copyright laws and treaties around the world. All such rights are reserved.

If we amend our Privacy Policy we will identify within this section of our website when it was last changed. This Privacy Policy was last updated in May 2018.

Questions, comments and requests regarding this Privacy Policy are welcomed and should be addressed to van Heyningen and Haward Architects, 1A Harmood Street, NW1 8DN or by contacting Kate Withstandley, Marketing Manager at info@vhh.co.uk