Mission: To be a practice with a tenacious, analytical and contextual approach to architecture. Vision: To be renowned for exceptional quality in design, reliability in execution and integrity in all matters.
RECENT PROJECTS AT this innovative London practice include a prize-winning redevelopment of the Royal Academy of Dance in Battersea and the design of new company offices at the start of 2016.
Open-plan spaces and a “no lunch at desks” policy at Assael Architecture encourage social interaction, and an indoor garden ensures staff can take a break. On the first day of moving into the new premises, everyone was welcomed with a surprise box of gifts. Employees say they are not under too much pressure to perform well (82% positive, and in second place on our small list).
The firm in its current form began life in 1994 with four people who are still there today, including chairman John Assael. Staff are happy with their pay and benefits, such as bonuses, sabbaticals and private healthcare, putting the practice at the top of our list (88%).
Everyone receives £350 and an extra day of holiday a year for a long weekend with colleagues. In 2016, employees built snowmen in Switzerland, cycled through Holland and sunbathed in Barcelona. Assael wins two special awards this year, for Discovering Potential and Innovation in Engagement.
Almost everyone — 95% — volunteered during work time last year and staff say the firm encourages charitable activities (99%, also ranked first).
Male : Female