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Mecanoo lays off Manchester staff

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Dutch practice Mecanoo has made five redundancies at its Manchester studio

The firm has reportedly reduced its headcount to just two – one part time – following the completion of a number of projects.

The move comes just two years after the Delft-based practice said it was ‘strengthening its operations in Manchester’, signalling a ‘deeper commitment to the UK’.

Financial director Peter Haasbroek told regional business website PlaceNorthWest: ‘[We] have had to review the size of [our] Manchester office following the completion of the design stages of several projects. This has regrettably resulted in some redundancies. We keep our office in Manchester open and remain committed to the local support of our projects in the Manchester area.’

The Manchester office opened in 2012, run by Ernst ter Horst, formerly of SimpsonHaugh & Partners.

He left the practice last June, going to Feilden Clegg Bradley, and was replaced by Francesco Veenstra, who in turn departed in June of this year, to create his own practice, Vakwerk Architecten.

It is understood that associate director Mark Slocombe will continue to work in the office full time, while associate architect Chris Perry will work on a part-time basis.

The office won a number of schemes including the Manchester Engineering Campus Development and private-rented homes in Hulme.

In September, Oldham Council approved Mecanoo’s plans for a new £27 million home for Oldham Coliseum Theatre.

Mecanoo recently won a proect to revamp Perth City Hall in Scotland, despite its overall score being lower than other practices in a design competition, though it scored highest for design quality.

The estimated construction cost of Mecanoo’s bid, at £11.4 million was cheaper than rival quotes of £14.7 million and £16.9 million.

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