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Outstanding Young Architecture Firms To Watch in 2023

Want to glimpse the future of architecture? Keep an eye on what these exceptional emerging practices do next…

Shona Jackson Shona Jackson

The latest edition of “Architizer: The World’s Best Architecture” — a stunning, hardbound book celebrating the most inspiring contemporary architecture from around the globe — is now available. Order your copy today.  

While experience can help guide architects to excellence, it is not a prerequisite. Fresh perspectives are the fuel that makes the industry evolve — interrogating traditional approaches can be a catalyst for extraordinary change. These eight young firms, established within the last 10 years, are proof of precisely that.

Each of these emerging practices was commended at the 10th Annual A+Awards, which gives every firm an equal opportunity to gain recognition for their craft, regardless of age, size or location. Their portfolios demonstrate a remarkable drive to innovate and disrupt the status quo. As well as challenging typology, form and process, they’re investigating new ways to make a positive social impact on the architectural landscape.

If you want to glimpse the future of the built environment, keep an eye on what these pioneering young firms do next…

Jonathan Burlow

Jury Winner, 10th Annual A+Awards, Best Young Firm

Over the Edge by Jonathan Burlow Over the Edge by Jonathan BurlowFirm Location: Kent, UK

Founded: 2019

Pictured Project: Over the Edge, Kent, UK

Established in only 2019, this emerging English practice made waves at the 10th Annual A+Awards, receiving the coveted Jury Winner prize in the Best Young Firm category. The studio’s modus operandi balances architectural artistry with an uncompromising dedication to problem-solving.

While based in Kent, a plethora of cultural influences are brought to bear on each project they encounter. Experimental in outlook, the firm playfully negotiates the relationships between shelter, locale and the wider social and historic context. The result is a growing portfolio of astounding spaces that evoke existing typologies, while furthering the narrative in exciting new ways.


Popular Choice Winner, 10th Annual A+Awards, Best Young Firm

Khat by STUDIO TOGGLE Ternion by STUDIO TOGGLEFirm Locations: Kuwait City, Kuwait and Porto, Portugal

Founded: 2012

Pictured Projects: Khat, Medina, Saudi Arabia ; Ternion, Hawalli Governorate, Kuwait

The remit of this flourishing firm is impressively broad, encompassing residential, commercial, municipal and hospitality spheres, as well as interior design projects. Founded in 2012 and based in both Kuwait and Portugal, the studio embraces an equilibrium between contrasting values, balancing form with function and simplicity with complexity.

They handle the urban landscape with particular dexterity, deftly carving out spectacular spaces in built-up locations, as well as reacting to challenging climates. Solution-driven in their approach, this young firm reads the terrain, responding to its history and ecology in a bold, graphic language. It’s no surprise then that they garnered the title of Popular Choice Winner in the Best Young Firm category at the 10th Annual A+Awards.


LAB Art Museum by CPLUS Lost&Found Store by CPLUSFirm Location: Beijing, China

Founded: 2014

Pictured Projects: LAB Art Museum, Chongqing, China ; Lost&Found Store, Beijing, China

This growing practice in Beijing believes architecture should be a conduit between spatial users and the environment. They take cues from Eastern philosophy and seek to intertwine built and natural topographies, treating the structures they craft as living organisms designed to shift and grow with their locales.

Their intuitive perspective is complemented by a preference for rational design — their guiding principle is that architectural poetry is born of simplicity and precision. Since the firm’s founding back in 2014, they’ve emphasized the importance of interdisciplinary collaboration, combining structural, interior, lighting and acoustic specialists for a thoroughly holistic outlook.

MAT Office

Beijing Muee Restaurant by MAT Office Cultural Activity Center of Beijing Guang’anmennei Community by MAT OfficeFirm Locations: Rotterdam, The Netherlands and Beijing, China

Founded: 2013

Pictured Projects: Beijing Muee Restaurant, Beijing, China ; Cultural Activity Center of Beijing Guang’anmennei Community, Beijing, China

Redefining the conventions of the built environment is the mission of this pioneering research and design office. Mindful of the problems faced by space-starved Chinese cities, their approach combines urban strategy and architectural acuity, with the aim of devising new building types to address these growing issues.

Since the firm’s inception in 2013, their body of work has had a strong focus on the public realm. From community centers to shopping precincts, commercial lobbies and restaurants, their projects debate the boundaries between individualism and collectivism, blurring the two polarities to meet the needs of spatial users.

Studio NOR

Eleven Walls : The Aranya Jin-Sheng-Long Restaurant by Studio NOR LVWA BOOKSTORE by Studio NORFirm Location: Beijing, China

Founded: 2020

Pictured Projects: Eleven Walls : The Aranya Jin-Sheng-Long Restaurant, Beijing, China ; LVWA BOOKSTORE, Shanghai, China

They may be one of the newest firms to be recognized at the 10th Annual A+Awards, but Studio NOR are already making a bold mark on the industry. The scope of their work is diverse, covering installations, interior design, landscape architecture and larger built developments.

Highly philosophical in their viewpoint, the practice is a proponent of what it calls the ‘middle way’. Their stance champions seemingly oppositional concepts — for example, old and new, collective and individual, beginning and end — and places these notions in dialogue with each other. Rather than creating conflict, this contrast serves to heighten the nature of both elements and shape palpable, engaging spaces.


Sun House by S H Λ D O W The D.H. Chen Foundation by S H Λ D O WFirm Location: Hong Kong

Founded: 2016

Pictured Projects: Sun House, Hong Kong ; The D.H. Chen Foundation, Hong Kong

Delivering precise and elegant schemes across Asia, this burgeoning practice promotes considerate and thoughtful problem-solving. Each project they undertake is tailored to its unique site and guided by a reverence for context and technology.

They work across commercial, residential, civic and cultural typologies, however, their skillful negotiation of light is a common thread throughout their portfolio. From illuminated ceiling panels seemingly embroidered with light to striking glazed stairwells that draw daylight down through numerous office levels, the firm’s architectural mastery is clear.

Mathison Mathison Architects

Hudson Valley House by Mathison Mathison Architects First Community Bank by Mathison Mathison ArchitectsFirm Location: Grand Rapids, Michigan

Founded: 2013

Pictured Projects: Hudson Valley House, Craryville, New York ; First Community Bank, Grand Rapids, Michigan

Rooted in the esthetics of modernism, this Michigan-based firm, founded in 2013, advocates for the symbiosis of the built and organic environments. Their work follows the belief that projects that are informed by their surroundings not only elevate the wider landscape, but offer spatial users a more meaningful experience.

This contextual mindfulness extends beyond visual design. Sustainable strategies and alternative construction delivery methods are integrated into the fabric of each scheme. Whether residential, commercial, educational or civic in their orientation, the studio crafts responsible, holistic spaces that respond to their site, regardless of scale or complexity.


Taishanyou Visitor Center by line+ Zhejiang Perfect Production Factory (Phase1) by line+Firm Location: Hangzhou, China

Founded: 2018

Pictured Projects: Taishanyou Visitor Center, Taian, China ; Zhejiang Perfect Production Factory (Phase1), Jiaxing, China

Their very name sets out the ambitious agenda of this boundary-breaking firm. Established in 2018, the studio aims to disrupt traditional industry frameworks and embrace interdisciplinary thinking to unify the fields of planning, architecture, interiors, landscape, product design and operations.

Led by a scheme’s unique geographical and cultural positioning, their portfolio to date is varied and rich in innovation. They bring high-tech construction techniques to bear on adaptive reuse ventures, draw on heritage typologies to inform contemporary commercial structures and amalgamate modern masterpieces into rural topographies.

The latest edition of “Architizer: The World’s Best Architecture” — a stunning, hardbound book celebrating the most inspiring contemporary architecture from around the globe — is now available. Order your copy today.  

Shona Jackson Author: Shona Jackson
Shona Jackson is Architizer’s A+Awards Content Fellow. An architecture enthusiast with an MA in Journalism, Shona writes about beautiful buildings and property news for a range of publications. When she’s away from her laptop, you’ll likely find her wandering around London with her Labrador, Teddy, in toe.
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