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In pictures: AJ100 Awards Dinner

What the architects from the profession’s top 100 practices are saying at the AJ100 Awards Dinner

Stephen Hodder, RIBA president elect ‘[Foster’s victory and the fact that 90 per cent of his income comes from overseas] simply demonstrates that the UK construction industry is largely static and that the larger practices have to seek work internationally in the growing economies. The issue for me is how we can make those markets accessible to smaller practices because I fear that the prevailing situation will be with us for two or three years yet.’

 

Mark Goldspink of recently rebranded Purcell ‘Overseas work makes up about 10 per cent of our work and we want that to grow. We have a ten strong office in Hong Kong and, perhaps unlike Foster + Partners we believe in sourcing work out there. We are optimistic for the next 12 months and are advertising for staff all the time. There is still money in cultural projects.’

Ron Bakker of PLP Architecture: ‘[The coming year in architecture] it’s not going to be good [but] probably not going to be as bad as people think it might be. It’s a strange bubble we’ve been living in the last few years.’

Chris Littlemore of Archial: ‘As a practice [Fosters’ win] is deserved. [This year in architecture will be] challenging but for those who have got opportunities the rewards are there.’

Dominic Eaton of Stride Treglown: ‘Foster is breaking all the rules, proving that great design can work in size and profitability. [The next year in architecture is] going to be quite good. There are very strong signs of regeneration. You’ve got to be nationwide, but there is work out there.  I’m very surprised Zaha Hadid didn’t get her Riverside Museum in Glasgow shortlisted.’


Christine Humphreys of Eric Parry Architects said: ‘Norman Foster is number one. He’s good at doing what he does and I have immense respect for him.’

Sarah Ichioka of the Architecture Foundation: ‘Foster is the ultimate example of a British architect exporting the product of architecture to multiple international markets.’

Graham Hickson-Smith of 3DReid ‘Over the next 12 months I see things getting better, strongly influenced by international work. High-end schemes for the overseas market will continue but I think our workload will be split into more, smaller jobs in the UK. Globally we are aiming to double our international turnover in the next five years. A lot of the front end stuff is currently being run out of the UK. Though we are looking at China we are taking a low risk model and internationally we always seek to partner up with local practices instead of setting up offices.’

John Assael of Assael Architecture: ‘[Foster’s AJ100 position] is fantastic and well deserved.  For most [the coming year in architecture] is going to be bad unless they are in London or doing international work. I’m very sad about that because the damage to the profession to the profession is [going to be] profound. It means lots of people are leaving the profession. We are losing all sorts of skills we should be harnessing for the long-term [future of the profession.]’  

 

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