Fred Pilbrow, one of the ‘breakway five’ who controversially quit US giant KPF in 2009 to form PLP Architecture, has left to set up on his own
More from: Pilbrow parts company with PLP
The architect hopes to have a 15-strong, commercially-led practice ‘up and running’ by the beginning of March.
Pilbrow jumped ship from KPF with long-term colleagues Lee Polisano, David Leventhal, Karen Cook and Ron Bakker in an acrimonious split following a failed management buyout (AJ 23.09.2009).
However he insisted that there had been ‘no animosity’ in his decision to leave and start afresh.
He said: ‘We wasted time and effort with the KPF/PLP [split]. Hopefully this will show you don’t need to fall out to do this kind of [operation].’
Pilbrow said he would be joined by a senior team from PLP at his new outfit Pilbrow and Partners. The architect, who has been working on the Crossrail over-site development at Bond Street station in Mayfair, hopes some clients would also join him but admits that convincing some to swap their design team for a second time in three years ‘may try [their] patience’.
Explaining the timing for the move Pilbrow added: ‘I’m at the right age to give it a go. I can’t say I was unhappy at KPF. But at PLP I had a much less passive role and found out I was OK at networking and getting out and about.
‘Now I want to take that experience and follow a similar trajectory to PLP while I still have the energy to seize the moment.’
Pilbrow, who will initially work from an office in Farringdon, added: ‘This isn’t about the fame and the glory. It actually feels like jumping out of a plane. You could crash and burn or your parachute could open and find yourself in a kernel of new opportunities.’
Although Pilbrow did not work on the Pinnacle tower – the KPF City of London skyscraper which stalled and is currently being eyed by a glut of possible new backers – he said he would not be shy about throwing his ‘hat into the ring’.
He told the AJ: ‘I’d love to have a look at it’.
He also said he would be looking to enter competitions to help raise the profile of his fledgling practice
A spokeswoman for PLP Architecture said: ‘Fred has worked with the four of us for over 15 years and has been a much valued colleague. We will be sorry to see him go, but wish him all the very best for the future.’