Company – London, Hereford, United Kingdom

1985 onwards

Architype was established as a co-operative in 1984 by architects Jon Broome and Bob Hayes, specialising in environmentally friendly buildings and self-build projects, later becoming a commercial practice. Both Broome and Hayes previously collaborated with Walter Segal, with Broome acting as project architect on his self-build housing in Lewisham. This influence has carried through in the work of Architype who have used the Segal system in their self-build projects in Brighton. Broome has always been a fervent advocate of architects acting as agents on behalf of others and he has promoted self-build as a participatory technique that can empower users. Since his departure, Architype has switched emphasis away from self-build, whilst Broome still enables self-build projects through his own practice Jon Broome Architects and has also published a book on the subject, The Green Self-build Book.

Architype are committed to using locally sourced materials and designing buildings that lower energy consumption, often pioneering new techniques; for example their Diggers self-build housing of 1996 was the first use of a grass roof in the UK. There is also a pedagogical approach to many of their projects; their school buildings are thus designed to also teach children about the need to save energy. They incorporate communal gardens, use bio-mass boilers and solar panels. Their Genesis project for Somerset College of Arts and Technology also leads by example, using construction techniques such as cob walls, rammed earth walls, straw bales and clay blocks, as well as including a biomass boiler that runs on waste wood shavings and saw dust from the college.

Most of their projects are in the social sector and Architype were the designers of the first new-build cohousing project in the UK. Their approach shows that with commitment the architectural profession can adapt itself to the environmental challenges of today and can also lead by example, encouraging clients to opt for more sustainable solutions.

Other Work

'Jon Broome Architects',, [accessed 2 June 2010].

Jon Broome, The Green Self-build Book: How to Design and Build Your Own Eco-home, illustrated edition (Totnes: Green Books, 2007).

References About

'Architype', Community Channel, [accessed 12 May 2010].

Barrie Evans, 'Architype: Genesis', Architects Journal, 223 (2006), 28-37.

'Green credentials: Housing in Brighton by Architype', RIBA journal, 106 (1999): 142-143.

'Liberal renewal: a Victorian building fallen into dereliction is renovated and adaped by Architype', Architecture Today, 2008, 81-82.


Loading, please wait...

  • Concept
  • Event
  • Organisation
  • Project
  • Show /Hide Connections
  • Lock /unlock Position
  • View entry in database
  • Remove from map