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New-look City guild to bang drum for architects overseas

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An historic network of City of London architects is planning an overhaul that would see it play a bigger role in promoting the work of UK practices overseas

Next year Peter Murray, chairman of New London Architecture, will take over from Geoffrey Purves as master of the Worshipful Company of Chartered Architects.

Murray told an AJ100 breakfast event at Claridge’s this morning that the company would seek to recruit younger architects and play a more active role in promoting design quality in the City and elsewhere.

A crucial element of this is promoting architects’ work overseas, he said. This involves the company’s connection to the Lord Mayor of London, who supports the guilds and livery companies and regularly leads trade delegations abroad in association with UK Trade & Investment (UKTI).

Murray added that few CBDs across the world can boast ‘such a rich mix of architectural styles as the City, as developed under [former City of London planning chief] Sir Peter Rees’ and suggested that the company could encourage clients to become even more focused on design quality.

Unlike other cities across Europe and beyond, London’s historic core has remained its central business district, rather than being conserved and protected primarily for tourism purposes.

He also noted the growing mix of occupiers in the City, after the AJ revealed that Rogers Stirk Harbours + Partners were considering taking a floor in their own-designed ‘Cheesegrater’ building in September.

‘A wider mix of uses is developing in a part of London that was traditionally the sole domain of financial and insurance companies,’ he said.

Murray takes up his post at the Worshipful Company of Chartered Architects in 2015.

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