Llewelyn Davies Yeang’s (LDY) former masterplanning unit has been sold on for the second time in two years
The 13-strong team, which was offloaded by LDY in February 2008 to consulting giant the Tribal Group, has joined multi-disciplinary design and engineering outfit Scott Wilson.
According to unit head Patrick Clarke, Tribal decided to release the team after ‘making a strategic decision’ to withdraw from the planning and regeneration sectors to refocus on ‘core consulting’ in health and education.
Following that decision the unit, which had previously worked on the Urban Design Compendium and strategy for Cardiff Bay, as well as the masterplans for the Holy City of Najaf in Iraq and for the Woodbrook eco-village in Northern Ireland (pictured), was courted by five different organisations – including an architects’ practice – before plumping for Scott Wilson.
Clarke said: ‘We were very pleasantly surprised by the level of genuine interest [particularly] given the difficult market conditions.
‘We had thought of going it alone… but as a start up practice we would really have struggled to work in the public sector especially given the scale of projects we are interested in… so we thought it better to find a like-minded [parent] organisation with similar interests.’
He added: ‘We didn’t really get the synergy together with Tribal but we are very confident that Scott Wilson is a much better fit. The company has a clear passion and commitment for an integrated design approach.’
Intriguingly Clarke has shed new light on LDY’s original decision two years ago to sell its ‘strategic and policy planning arm’ – then a 40-strong unit. At the time LDY said it had made the decision to let the team go as part of a ‘strategic’ streamlining exercise to focus on ‘deep green’ eco-design strategies. However, Clarke admitted there had been ‘differences in design approach’ between that of the team and the approach of eco-starchitect Ken Yeang, who had joined the practice three years earlier (AJ 23.06.05).
The team brings to Scott Wilson ‘the majority of its existing contracts’ and will be based in both London and Belfast.