I write with reference to AJ 29.1.98, p13, which includes a small feature on the proposed new headquarters for GCHQ, for which our firm has been short-listed. You refer to us as an 'American architect' which I should like to clarify.
Gensler is indeed a US-owned company. However, I should like to point out that we employ 116 professionals in London of whom 73 are citizens of the UK. Compare that with the fact that only 14 of our staff members are US citizens and that the rest belong to other European nationalities. As a founding partner of the firm some 30 years ago, and the MD of the Gensler London office, I myself was born in the UK where I was also educated. Well over 80 per cent of our business is for UK or other European companies.
As for the GCHQ project mentioned in your article, whatever firm wins the project can only use UK subjects on the assignment - a condition imposed by the client which we fully support and which we will continue to endorse.
ANTHONY HARBOUR Gensler