What Is The AJ100?

The AJ100 survey is the definitive record of the UK’s largest architecture practices​, measured by the number of architects employed in the UK. The accompanying AJ100 awards programme celebrates the achievements of these firms, including those leading the way on sustainability.

What Is An AJ100 Disruptor?

Responding to far-reaching changes shaking up the architecture profession and in particular the climate emergency, the AJ editorial team decided last year that the AJ100 in 2020 should go in a different direction, including highlighting smaller practices and networks who are challenging the norms of traditional practice in their drive to work in a more sustainable manner.

It was decided to select 25 of these to mark 25 years of the AJ100, which traditionally celebrates business success and focuses on the 100 largest architect practices in the UK, ordered by the number of qualified architects employed.

Our Piece On The AJ100 Disruptor List

Pride Road: ‘Our practice is designed with family life in mind’

The Architect's Journal Said:

Pride Road Architects is an innovative franchise business for UK-registered architects

In a nutshell, describe the organisation

We seek to redress the gender and diversity imbalance in the architecture profession by providing a ‘business in a box’ for ambitious and time-poor architects.  As architects, we’re passionate about delivering value for our clients, who could be any of the 11 million homeowners in the country, by designing interventions that make their homes fit for life.

What do you do that is different from more mainstream practice?

Everything! For franchisees, our practice is designed with family life in mind, and the smart use of systems and processes generates a steady stream of prospects and optimises time spent on every project. For our clients, we make architecture accessible, so we enable them to get more out of their homes than they ever dreamed they could afford.

How should the profession respond to the climate emergency?

With urgency. Architects have a responsibility to use their influence to address the high level of carbon emissions from housing stock all over the country. Pride Road deals with the mass market of house-owners, people who typically have eco-aspirations but are limited by the costs of eco-interventions.  Our role is to support our clients with information about current technology and realistic choices that they can make to futureproof their existing homes.

Architects have a responsibility to use their influence to address the high level of carbon emissions from housing stock all over the country

Lisa Raynes, Pride Road Ltd.

The AJ100 celebrates the UK’s largest practices. How do you judge practice success?

Resilience and wellbeing.  We’re looking for long-term business sustainability, and continuing to grow during the current economic climate is a key indicator of resilience. It’s a matter of immense pride that our franchisees have continued to develop a pipeline of leads at this time, the net impact of which is wellbeing – which is just as important a measure of practice success.

What ambitions do you have for your organisation?

To smooth the career paths of as many as possible female, LBQT+, and BAME architects. To educate the public about using an architect to get the best value out of their homes.

Are larger practices doing enough to improve gender diversity in the profession?

Whatever is being done to improve diversity – and I’m interested in diversity of gender, sexuality and ethnicity – is de-prioritised during a recession. I’d like to see whether the current levels of diversity remain in another 12 months, because the reality is that diversity across the board needs to improve.

What single change would improve work culture in the architecture profession?

Sticking to working hours. This means understanding the value of what architects do so that resources are allocated and costed correctly.  There’s work for management to do in terms of implementing the right systems and processes and setting a culture that accepts deadlines being challenged.  There’s work for universities to do by teaching students to understand the time it takes to do a drawing or a new task so that they have the knowledge to challenge time estimates.