Architect who helped rebuild Manchester after IRA bomb honoured as University marks its Foundation Day

Architect, Rachel Haugh has been awarded an honorary doctorate by The University of Manchester as part of its annual Foundation Day event.

After graduating from the University of Bath, Rachel Haugh returned to the northwest, co-founding SimpsonHaugh in 1987. Inspired by the belief in the power of high quality design to lead to the regeneration of post-industrial cities and a passionate advocate for her home city, Rachel has played an integral role in building the practice‘s strong portfolio and reputation as leading urban and civic architects.

Having spearheaded the masterplan for the rebuilding of the city centre after the 1996 IRA bomb, notable Manchester projects include Urbis (The National Football Museum), No 1 Deansgate, Beetham Hilton Tower, the Town Hall Extension, Two St Peter’s Square and No 1 Spinningfields, and in London, Battersea Power Station, and One Blackfriars. Internationally, Queen Elisabeth Hall, a new world-class and acoustically exemplary concert hall in Antwerp, has recently completed.

Rachel was a finalist for the AJ Women in Architecture, Architect of the Year Award 2015, is a key representative for the Women in Architecture (WIA) campaign, an Age Friendly Manchester Ambassador and a member of the London Legacy Development Corporation Quality Review Panel.

She said:

“I feel very honoured and proud to receive such a prestigious award. It’s fantastic to have 31 years of our practice recognised in this way.”

“I am passionate about improving our environment and excited about what the future holds. It continues to be a privilege to be an architect both living and working in this city.”

At the event yesterday, scientist and businessman, Dr Gerald Chan delivered the keynote lecture yesterday, as he was also awarded an honorary doctorate alongside actor Sarah Lancashire, scientists CNR Rao and Emmanuelle Charpentier.

Dr Chan chose the subject of ‘Biotechnology and the Conflation of Science, Business and Ethics’ for his speech and told the audience in the University’s Whitworth Hall how his work as an investor and scientist has made him reflect on the limitless possibilities of science and medicine and how this interacts with economics and ethics and the ways in which we make decisions about funding our healthcare.

The speech was the centrepiece of the Foundation Day, which the University holds each year to mark the bringing together of the Victoria University of Manchester and the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST) in 2004.

Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, President and Vice-Chancellor of The University of Manchester, said:

“This year’s five honorary graduates share with the University a fundamental commitment to improving lives through science, medicine, industry, the built environment and the creative arts.”

“Foundation Day marks an important annual milestone in our history and highlights our identity as a global institution anchored in the city of Manchester. We are delighted to award these honorary doctorates to such inspirational individuals on this special day.”