1990s

1994 - Michael and Patricia Hopkins 1935 - /1942 -

Hopkins residence, 49A Downshire Hill, Hampstead, London

Designer: Michael Hopkins & Partners
Copyright: Joe Low/RIBA British Architectural Library Photographs Collection (1994)

Sir Michael Hopkins co-founded with his wife Patricia Hopkins the practice now called Hopkins in 1976. Both had studied at the Architectural Association in London, and his contribution to the architectural profession has been recognised both with a CBE for Services to Architecture (1989) and a Knighthood (1995). He was elected a Royal Academician in 1992.

 

Sir Michael Hopkins was one of the leading lights of hi-tech architecture. When he founded his studio in 1976 his work was characterised by an innovative use of glass and steel to make sophisticated residential and industrial buildings which, as well as being in the forefront of technology, followed the principles of modernism.

 

In a shift of direction in the mid 1980s, the firm began to explore what Hopkins called the 'updating of the traditional materials'. This thinking informed such projects as the Mound Stand, Lord's Cricket Ground in London; the Queen's Building, Emmanuel College in Cambridge; the Jubilee Campus, University of Nottingham and Portcullis House, an office housing British MPs. Meanwhile, directly underneath the parliamentary building he continued to explore the hi-tech with the Piranesian Westminster Underground Station linking the extended Jubilee Line with exiting lines in a dramatic sequence of exposed escalators within a cavernous void. These projects were jointly shortlisted for the 2001 RIBA Stirling Prize, as had been the Queen’s Building in 1997.

 

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Designer: Michael Hopkins & Partners
Copyright: Janet Hall/RIBA Library Photographs Collection (1995)

The citation states: ‘Through his continuous re-evaluation of design solutions and his contribution to the debate about the delicate relationship between modernity and tradition, he has developed into one of the most sensitive exponents in Northern Europe of architectural practise in both historic centres and the landscape.

 

‘For Hopkins, progress is no longer a break with the past but rather an act of continuity where he deftly and intelligently integrates traditional elements such as stone and wood, with advanced and environmentally responsible technology.’