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HKR office closure gives birth to new practice

One-time AJ100 top 50 practice HKR has shut its Manchester office as part of a group restructuring 

In the wake of the closure, a clutch of former HKR directors have decided to set up on their own, working under the banner 5Plus Architects.

In a statement released on Friday, HKR chief executive Jerry Ryan said the group had ‘centralised its skill-sets and teams in the UK in the London design-hub and had closed its regional office in Manchester’.

He added: ‘Our UK clients will be served by a stronger and larger core team of experienced architectural and design specialists, all of whom will be based at our London office.The Dublin office will continue to serve its local market and both the Dublin and London practices, together with the other offices in the Group, will continue to drive our increasing geographic diversity and growing international project pipeline.’

HKR was ranked 50th in the AJ100 league table of the UK’s largest practice in 2007 but has slipped out of the rankings.

The new 5Plus offshoot is headed by ex-Manchester figureheads Phil Doyle and Jon Matthews. In a joint statement released to the local press, they said:

‘We are pleased to announce the formation of 5Plus Architects together with Adam Thornton, Paul Norbury and Carly Grice whom we have worked closely with for many years.

‘Each of the five directors at 5Plus bring strong, complementary skills and experience to the firm and have delivered many award winning projects throughout their careers.

‘We remain committed to providing award winning, best-in-class design solutions from our new Manchester studio.

‘We have had a very exciting and fruitful relationship with the team at HKR and look forward to maintaining and growing this relationship into the future.’

Examples of HKR Manchester’s work

- a masterplan for Ancoats in east Manchester

- an airport terminal in Bournemouth

- five-storey office block overlooking St Peter’s Square, central Stockport

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