This year’s AJ100 survey revealed an unexpected focus on EU countries as a source of work
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2016.09.07 AJ100 Graphs Overseas EU RUSSIA
Sixteen practices reported opening offices overseas last year, and Populous, Scott Brownrigg and Zaha Hadid Architects all set up outposts in New York in 2015.
Despite this, one of the surprise findings of this year’s data is an increased and renewed focus on the EU as a source of work with a 12 per cent increase in those working in the old EU (as it was before 2004) between 2014 and 2016. Interest in Africa, Singapore and the Americas has also edged up.
2016.09.07 AJ100 Graphs Overseas AMERICA
However, there has been little or no growth in the number of practices looking for jobs outside these areas, with a particular dip in the number of firms heading to China and Saudi Arabia. The number of companies active in Russia, meanwhile, has almost halved over the past four years.
Malcolm Reading of Malcolm Reading Consultants says the fluctuations are probably a result of ‘the investment hiccups in Asia and the oil states rather than countries being disillusioned with UK designers’. He adds: ‘These recently fertile markets for UK design may return when the money does.’
2016.09.07 AJ100 Graphs Overseas ASIA
The increasing reliance on Europe could explain, in part, why 78 per cent of architects in a recent AJ poll wanted the UK to stay in the EU. Reading adds: ‘The numbers next year could look very different under Brexit. The common working procedures and open procurement of services across the EU might be closed or limited for UK architects. This might not stop commercial clients but could curtail public work opportunities.’
2016.09.07 AJ100 Graphs Overseas AFRICA
2016.09.07 AJ100 Graphs Overseas MIDDLE EAST