Architect Sophie Hicks places white boxes into grey urban environments.

Hicks founded her architecture firm in 1990. Since then, the company has developed Paul Smith’s Westbourne House and a store concept for Chloé, as well as a handful of high profile residential projects. The most recent one, situated at 1A Earl’s Court Square, London, is a bright and compact two storey house, and afforded Hicks numerous award nominations, and also won her the RIBA London Award 2019.

Before entering the architecture game, Hicks had bylines in Tatler and British Vogue.

For Yohji Yamamoto’s old flagship store in Paris, Hicks needed to create a clear distinction between the outside world and the inside. To do this, Shojigami (shoji screen paper) was folded into V-shapes and hung at the windows. While the paper sculpture was translucent, it obscured the view, giving the interior a very private feeling. 

For Acne Studios’ flagship store in Seoul, Hicks pushed all the building’s mechanics onto the roof to ensure that the interior is as clean as possible. Designed to combine Swedish “modesty and discretion” with the brand’s attitude, the store looks as much like a museum as it does a shop.
1A Earl’s Court Square won Hicks RIBA’s House of the Year Award 2019.

She’s obviously got friends in high places. Before entering the architecture game she was a young protégé at Tatler Magazine and British Vogue as a fashion editor, and has designed exhibitions of works by Miró and Picasso at the British Royal Academy of Arts. Her CV also mentions a small role in Federico Fellini’s 1987 movie Intervista. Her number two at the firm is Tom Hopes, an architect who has a background in public sector constructions.


Text: Nicholas Burman