Featherstone Young is an award-winning architectural practice headed by Sarah Featherstone and Jeremy Young, founded in 2002. The practice is recognised internationally for innovative and inspiring architecture, and for bringing design ingenuity to civic and community projects, new-builds and heritage renovations. Featherstone Young sees architecture as a process of place-making; capturing a sense of place and identity is a crucial part of their design thinking. As a result, each of their buildings has unique and distinct qualities that respond both to a sense of place, as well as to the ethos of the building commissioner and end user.
The practice has earned a reputation for designing successful community and cultural projects that are credited for listening to various users, and navigating a complex brief to create inspiring and beguiling spatial sequences. Other built work includes Tŷ Pawb, the refurbishment of a 1980s market hall into a flexible and dynamic cultural and community resource in Wrexham, Wales (2018); Waddington Studios art gallery and photographic studios in London (2015); installations at Central St Martins King’s Cross and Byam Shaw, London (2014); Dellow Arts and Activity Centre, a flexible new-build for a homeless charity in East London (2011); and SERICC (South Essex Rape and Incest Crisis Centre), a building renovation which branded the centre with its signature ‘listening ears’ (2007).
The practice is also evolving development strategies and new housing typologies for rural settlements, most recently with VeloCity, a reimagining of the 21st century village, which won the National Infrastructure Commission’s Cambridge to Oxford Connection competition (2017). Housing typologies take cues from local vernacular and site-specific contexts, among them Jack Windmill, South Downs National Park (2017) – which won an RIBA South East Award and RIBA South East Conservation Award 2017, and Sarah and Jeremy’s own house, Ty Hedfan (2010), which is celebrated as an exemplar approach to a national park site by Pembrokeshire Council.
Featherstone Young combines teaching with practice: Sarah teaches on the MA Narrative Environments course at Central St Martins, University of the Arts London (UAL), and is a visiting critic and external examiner at various UK architecture schools.