Geoffrey Reid Associates has bought John R Harris Architects to pool resources, exchange expertise and become a major international player with more than 275 staff worldwide.
gra chairman Geoffrey Reid told the aj that the 'logical synergies' in the merger were to do with gra exporting its expertise in transportation, airports and leisure to the Middle East, where John R Harris already has a strong presence, while capitalising on the firm's uk experience. 'The advantage for us is to take the strengths from the two firms - geography and specialist knowledge of building types - and blend them,' said Reid. 'The next stage is understanding what we've just done. We have ambitions to make the firm more international. We do a lot of work for Marks & Spencer and baa, and if the client is in other parts of the world it makes sense that we should be there with them.'
John R Harris, which celebrated 50 years in practice last year, is now part of the Geoffrey Reid group but will retain its name and operate from its three offices in the Middle East and one in London. It is best known for competition-winning designs for hospitals, government buildings, town-
planning schemes and the Dubai Trade Centre.
Geoffrey Reid Associates has offices in London, Glasgow, Birmingham, Madrid, Melbourne and Sydney, and was ranked the uk's eighth biggest firm by numbers of qualified architects in the aj 100 last year, one place behind Foster and Partners. John R Harris was ranked in joint 88th place.