Sophie Hicks Architects was founded in 1990 by Sophie Hicks while still a student at the Architectural Association in London.
The practice began by designing private houses. From the start, we realised it’s vital to understand client needs which means really knowing how to listen; and that successful architecture is all about attention to detail.
In the years that followed, as luxury goods grew into a kind of religion, we were commissioned by a number of fashion companies to give architectural expression to their brand identities: we created Westbourne House with Paul Smith, his eccentric “shop in a house”; we developed a store concept for Chloé, with signature plywood walls, and used it to design over one hundred stores worldwide; we worked closely with Yohji Yamamoto to design his flagship store in Paris; and we created a new-build flagship store for Acne Studios in Seoul.
Our approach is first to understand a fashion company’s identity and then to translate it into an architectural form which embodies the evolving character of the brand. We define the concept at the start of each project and then use it as a reference throughout the architectural process. This method of working now informs all our projects.
In parallel, Sophie Hicks acquired three sites in London, all in conservation areas, with the intention of building a contemporary house on each. The first, a small house in Regent Square, was completed in 2014. The second, a street-facing house in Earl’s Court Square, was completed in 2018. The third, a larger house in Holland Park, has obtained planning permission. New-build, contemporary houses are relatively rare in central London, because of the strong culture in the UK of preservation of the historic environment. Our houses respect the past, and respond to it, while at the same time expressing the spirit of our own times.
Finally, Sophie Hicks Architects has a longstanding involvement with the art world, a reflection of Sophie Hicks’s personal interest in art. We have designed several museum exhibitions, including “Sensation, Young British Artists from the Saatchi Collection” and “Picasso, Painter and Sculptor in Clay” at the Royal Academy of Arts in London.