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Exclusive: co-founders of Duggan Morris part company

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The co-founders of Duggan Morris Architects, Mary Duggan and Joe Morris, have agreed to go their separate ways and split the business they founded nearly 13 years ago

The pair, who had been a couple until early 2016, described the move as an ‘amicable demerger’ and confessed to having ‘increasingly pursued diverging professional interests’.

The Duggan Morris Architects brand will continue under the leadership of Morris, while Duggan, who was shortlisted for Woman Architect of the Year in 2013, has launched a new venture under the name Mary Duggan Architects.

No redundancies are planned, though nine existing staff members will join Mary Duggan Architects.

Regarded as one of the brightest young lights on the UK’s architectural scene, the practice had won numerous awards and in the last few years had picked up larger and higher-profile projects.

The firm’s 14,000m² R7 office building at King’s Cross, the practice’s largest built project to date, will open its doors later this year.

Meanwhile work is progressing on an even bigger scheme in south-east London: the 220-home, Plot 18.03 West Parkside scheme on Greenwich Peninsula (pictured bottom).

Morris and Duggan studied together at the Bartlett before joining forces in 2004, the pair having worked for Allford Hall Monaghan Morris and Gollifer Langston respectively.

Joe Morris said: ’During more than 12 years of practice we have forged an increasing reputation for design excellence across many sectors, receiving more than nine RIBA Awards, and multiple construction sector awards.

’We will build upon this legacy of excellence for the many existing clients and projects, as we simultaneously expand into new markets and territories. We remain a committed and internationally diverse team, which will continue to foster a collaborative and inclusive approach to design, following the practice restructure.’

Mary Duggan said: ‘This is an exciting opportunity to inaugurate a new practice to reflect upon my personal experience during 12 years at Duggan Morris Architects, the quality of practice and research, established notions of ‘value’ and to bring forward those aspects that are meaningful, forward thinking and culturally enriching.’

Practice statement in full

Since its inception by Joe Morris and Mary Duggan in 2004, Duggan Morris Architects has grown from two founding directors to a practice of over 50 talented and skilled architects and designers. The pattern of growth and the many opportunities that have arisen as a result, has led to changes in the workings of the practice across a broad range and scale of projects.

Through this twelve year period of successful collaboration, across many award winning projects, the two founding directors have increasingly pursued diverging professional interests whilst continuing to ensure the practice delivers work to the highest standards.

Accordingly, after a period of mutual and positive reflection the directors are moving into new arenas operating separate practices and exploring distinct interests.

This amicable demerger means that Duggan Morris Architects will continue under the direction of founding director Joe Morris, whilst Mary Duggan will be moving forward with her own practice ‘Mary Duggan Architects’.

There are no resulting redundancies as a consequence, with nine existing members of staff moving with Mary Duggan.

All remaining staff will continue to work with the founding practice.

1 elevated view from south

1 elevated view from south

Source: Forbes Massie

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