The UK's largest architecture practice, Building Design Partnership (BDP), is set to grow even larger following a merger agreement with Whicheloe Macfarlane MDP.
BDP, ranked number one in the AJ's top 100 list of practices, will add Whicheloe Macfarlane's 80 staff to its 807-strong practice. Two directors from Whicheloe Macfarlane will join the board of BDP.
Chairman of BDP South Peter Drummond said the firm wanted to develop its work in the health care sector, and would benefit from Whicheloe Macfarlane's experience in hospital design.
'We see an enormous amount of hospital building about to take place and we want to push up the quality. We believe together the two of us can do something better, ' he said.
Drummond said that taking on Whicheloe Macfarlane's offices in Bristol and Southampton will help BDP to strengthen its network, adding that the two practices shared a common philosophy. 'There is a similar culture.We both believe in multidisciplinary integrated working.'
The merger by acquisition is BDP's first for 30 years. The practice has expanded by organic growth over the past 10 years as it has developed a variety of specialisms.
However, Drummond ruled out any suggestion that the firm might float on the stock exchange.
'It's not in our culture.And I'm not sure it's been a blessing for those who have.'