HGP Architects has helped shape the built-landscape on the south coast with award winning projects. Director Matthew Williams shares his views from a busy practice with a special focus on waterside regeneration.
Who is HGP Architects?
HGP Architects has a reputation built on nearly five decades of inspired building design for clients across diverse sectors. Established in 1968 on the South Coast, the success of it’s earliest projects in banking and office development led to rapid diversification into marinas, residential and other sectors. The work of the HGP team has attracted industry recognition in recent years with awards that include The Times Conservation Award and RICS Project of the Year Award. The iconic Spinnaker Tower, designed by HGP, is rated among the nation’s top five buildings people are most proud of.
How did you get started in Architecture?
I loved architecture and buildings from an early age. I was very fortunate to experience a lot of travelling with my parents when I was younger, seeing different areas of the world. We went to America quite a lot, so I was exposed to the work of architects like Frank Lloyd Wright and Louis Kahn. Interest in a few of their buildings gave me the bug. My family were involved in property development, buying land and building on it, so from a young age I was interested in everything related to construction.
“For me it’s walking into the finished article and seeing the customer or the client’s face light up when they see the final product.”
How long have you been with HGP Architecture?
I started with HGP in my student days as well as getting some experience in a number of other practices. I came back to HGP Architects and 18 years later, having worked up the ranks, I am now one of the owners. Most of my time is spent working on regeneration projects and within the practice we have developed a specialism in waterside regeneration. We are known for doing waterside mixed-use buildings that include restaurants, apartments and leisure. We have delivered marina schemes on the south coast and around the world. It’s HGP’s 50th Anniversary this year and we are marking this achievement with a number of events and celebrations.
The founder Hedley Greentree sadly passed away last year but we continue to build on his reputation; the company now has 80 employees, 2 offices and is looking to expand all the time. Our local client base is also spreading its wings so we would like to expand our service with them across the south coast.
What do you love about Architecture?
For me it’s walking into the finished article and seeing the customer or the client’s face light up when they see the final product. I still get a thrill from taking a project from an initial sketch to the point of exploring the spaces with them for the first time. I remember when we were doing the Ben Ainslie Racing Building, walking around the building with Ben when it was finished and he was just so happy with the way the staff interacted with the building. They had moved from temporary accommodation to this fantastic purpose designed facility and they were saying how unbelievable it was to see its impact on productivity with staff in a relaxed mood. The ne