Birkin Haward was born in Ipswich in 1939 into a family where drawing and painting were regular activities. His father, Birkin Haward (1912-2002) was an architect, painter and antiquarian. His mother Muriel (1917-1955) was also a fine draughtsman and taught textile design at Ipswich Art School.

A practising architect, Birkin trained at the Architectural Association in London and worked with Norman Foster for many years.

Since 1983 he has been in partnership with Joanna van Heyningen as van Heyningen and Haward in London, working mainly on heritage, education and performance projects. A book of their work was published by Right Angle Publications in 2010.

He is currently represented by the Beardsmore Gallery.