The Bartlett School of Architecture


Jan Kattein Architects Wins Social Value Architect of the Year Award

26 October 2023

The accolade was part of Building Design Magazine’s annual Architect of the Year Awards. Founded by Bartlett lecturer and alumnus Jan Kattein, the practice employs several Bartlett alumni whose work focuses on building community through design.

Image: Angel Yard, Jan Kattein Architects.

The Architect of the Year Awards gather the best architectural work from today’s practices. In each category, architects and practices are recognised for bodies of work rather than individual buildings. The awards were announced at a ceremony held at The Brewery in Farringdon, London on 17 October, with seventeen awards in total being awarded to fifteen practices.

Jan Kattein Architects won the Social Value Architect of the Year Award with three public-facing projects in Edmonton, North London, which Building Design said “deliver various strands of social value”, as well as a project in south London’s Canada Water.

The three projects in north London are part of a wider, holistic strategy to comprehensively address multiple strands of deprivation affecting communities in Angel, Edmonton, through new spaces for learning, culture, play and work. Living Room Library replaced the former Fore Street Library to increase the scope for community activities in the town centre, with a flexible layout for hosting events; Angel Yard transforms a crime-ridden former garage site into workspaces for 18-30 year old entrepreneurs; and Grove Street, School Street helped encourage active travel to school through co-design workshops and a street party, leading to the closure of the road to traffic and the development of educational eco-systems on the site. In Canada Water, the practice is turning a former industrial site into the Paper Garden educational building and ecology garden.

Jan Kattein graduated from The Bartlett in 2002 and founded the practice in 2004, and is the studio director. He and Gabriel Warshafsky, Director of Projects, both currently teach at The Bartlett. Gabriel graduated from The Bartlett in 2012 and teaches Design & Creative Practice within Architectural and Interdisciplinary Studies BSc, while Jan teaches Architecture and Engagement at The Bartlett, is a personal tutor and PhD supervisor, and completed his own PhD at The Bartlett in 2009. The practice also employs a number of other Bartlett alumni: Gareth Marriott, Alastair Johnson, Mary Konstantopoulou, Chrysanthe Staikopoulou (who has also led short courses at The Bartlett) and Corina Tuna.

Speaking about how the team’s shared experiences have influenced the studio’s work, Jan said:

Bartlett alumni and my own training at the Bartlett have significantly shaped the practice; what we stand for and how we work. I have always advocated for greater integration between education and practice. The challenges that we face as a society can only be tackled if we work together. Bartlett graduates are known for their design flair. Their resourcefulness and their committed and intelligent engagement with social and environmental challenges really make a difference for us in practice.”

The practice has had a successful 2023, winning and being shortlisted for a number of other awards over the last year, including winning the Award for Fostering a Healthy Town Centre at the Planning Awards and the Creative Retrofit award at the Pineapple Awards.

More information

Discover all the winners of this year’s Architect of the Year Awards
See the full shortlist for the Social Value Architect of the Year Award
Visit Jan Kattein Architects’ website 

Lead image: Angel Yard, Jan Kattein Architects. Photo by Jack Hobbhouse.
Carousel images: 1: Angel Yard, Jan Kattein Architects. Photo by Jack Hobbhouse.​​​​​​​
2: Fore Street, Grove Street, Jan Kattein Architects.
3: Paper Garden, Jan Kattein Architects.
4: Paper Garden, Jan Kattein Architects.
5: Paper Garden, Jan Kattein Architects.