Aedas has laid off the high-profile head of its London interiors group while announcing it is to open a second US office.
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Ralph Courtenay has left the UK-based AJ100 giant less than one year after joining the company in a headline-grabbing move from HOK, where he spent 15 years specialising in workplace design.
In a statement, Mike Walters, managing director at Aedas’ London office, said workplace interiors – Courtenay’s speciality – had suffered during the downturn as corporate clients ‘put the brakes on spending’.
He added: ‘There has not been a sufficient work-stream in this area to justify further investment and we will continue to focus efforts on hospitality interiors, which is undergoing something of a boom.’
Overseas, Aedas has added an existing practice in Seattle to its network of offices, which now stands at 33 and already includes one in Los Angeles. The company is run as a series of connected offices each owned by their respective directors.
An Aedas spokesperson said: ‘The Seattle office will look to win work across the US. There are opportunities in the US and we want to have a presence in the country.’
Global CEO David Roberts said: ‘The addition of our arm in Seattle reflects once again that our global business model is a sustainable success for a brand that is moving forward. It also represents an important strategic extension of our capabilities into the Americas.
‘We look forward to engaging with the Seattle community for innovative spatial solutions designed to the highest international standards.’
Aedas loses London star but grows in US