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Hamiltons off-shoot sets up new masterplanning practice

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A 35-strong breakaway group of masterplanners and housing experts has left Hamiltons to set up a new practice called GRID

The news comes as Hamiltons, ranked seventh in last year’s AJ100 list of the UK’s largest practices, continues its restructuring following the departure of founder Tim Hamilton and design figurehead Robin Partington (AJ 05.11.09).

Led by Craig Casci (pictured above), the new ‘autonomous’ outfit is billing itself as ‘an evolution of the former Hamiltons housing and masterplanning division’.

David Lawrence, a director at Hamiltons, claimed the split was amicable and had been planned for more than a year. He added that, despite the departure, Hamiltons would continue to ‘engage in residential and masterplanning projects’. Casci, who is joined by former Hamiltons directors Colin Veitch, Laurence Osborn and Chris Cockrell, will continue to work out of the same building.

‘While we are looking globally at the way the company develops, Casci wanted to stay UK-focused and, in particular, London-focused,’ said Lawrence. ‘With the founder moving on, we have had to think about what the new structure of the practice was going to be. What are emerging are strong architectural practices.’

Hamiltons is expected to unveil its new name, the final piece in its restructuring ‘jigsaw’, at the international property fair MIPIM next month.

Meanwhile, medium-sized London practice A-EM has decided to split after 15 years.

Practice co-founder Pascal Madoc-Jones has set up a new off-shoot called Madoc Architecture while his former partner Glyn Emrys has retained most of A-EM’s staff under the banner of Emrys Architects.

Madoc-Jones said: ‘The parting of the ways just came out of conversations – a process that emerged rather than a big thing that happened.

‘We have split the workload – I’ve got my jobs and he has got his. I’m quite enjoying myself. ‘

Madoc-Jones admitted he was working with Paris-based RFR and Chapman Taylor on a submission for the high-profile V&A contest in Dundee.

This week, AJ 40 Under 40 star practice Nissen Adams also announced it will split into two new companies: Pippa Nissen Studio and Ben Adams Architects.


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