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EPR HQ trashed by rioters

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Millbank Tower-based EPR Architects had its offices trashed and staff questioned by police following student protests against tuition fee hikes last month

A violent breakaway student group, which had forced entry into the London building (pictured, right) in search of Conservative Party headquarters, lashed out on neighbouring premises, including AJ100 practice EPR, after they were unable to find the Tory base.

Fire extinguishers were used to bash down doors to the 60-strong practice’s sixth and seventh-floor offices, while a lower-ground-floor model store was trashed.

Notices were pinned to entrances and trainee architects despatched to defend the perimeter, yet several models – including a Cardinal Place mock-up valued at between £20,000 and £30,000 – were destroyed.

One staff member – tasked with defending an eighth-floor IT room – stepped out onto the roof from which protestors dropped a fire extinguisher onto riot police below. His portrait was later found among the 30 faces featured in a parade of witnesses wanted for questioning, but was cleared of suspicion after an interview.

‘One of our chaps was inappropriately mixed up [in the event and] he was very sensitive about it,’ said Stuart Lowther, managing director of the practice, adding: ‘[He] was the least likely of our staff to actually be involved in that incident.’

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Readers' comments (1)

  • I am glad to say that both floors of our studio in 30 Millbank were in fact completely unharmed by the rioters largely due to the bravery and negotiation skills of many of our staff! It is true that some models stored in the basement were destroyed which was obviously extremely disappointing. However most of the young people I spoke to who had entered the building were clearly swept up in the moment and did leave our floors alone once we had explained who we were. I think that most architects who spend years at university training will have some sympathy with the concerns of students let's just hope that today's protests do not degenerate into violence again.

    Christopher Castle (Director of EPR Architects)

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