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Foster + Partners plans redundancies after 'market uncertainty'

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Foster + Partners, the UK’s largest architectural practice, has confirmed it is planning redundancies as part of a restructure

According to the AJ’s sister title Construction News, ‘under 100’ staff were at risk of redundancy, primarily based at the company’s London HQ in Battersea.

In a statement released by the AJ100 top-ranked company, a spokesperson said: ’Foster + Partners has grown significantly over the last two years with a record number of projects, many of which are now close to completion.

‘This, coupled with some uncertainty in the construction market, has led us to make some adjustments to our practice, which regrettably includes some redundancies enabling us to balance numbers with our current and foreseeable workload.’

The practice, led by the Norman Foster, employed 1,265 staff in its London campus in Battersea in the year ending 30 April 2016, according to accounts filed with Companies House (see AJ 03.11.16). Globally it has around 1,500 employees with offices in London, Abu Dhabi, Beijing, Hong Kong, New York and Shanghai.

Although its turnover rose by a quarter to £257 million during the last accounting period, a statement released with the figures in November revealed a surprise drop in the group’s EBITDA from £51 million last year to £41 million.

The accounts also showed that the average annual earnings per employee had risen from £160,000 in 2015 to £174,000.

The practice last made a major round of redundancies in 2009, with around 300 staff cut worldwide, when it also closed offices in Berlin and Istanbul.

Fosters is among the finalists for the UK Holocaust Memorial as well as for the role of client adviser on the multibillion pound project to revamp the Houses of Parliament – a contest that faces further delays following the announcement of the snap general election.

Last month the company also won the job to design three waterfront bridges in Ipswich, the home of the practice’s breakthrough Willis Faber & Dumas Building of 1975.

Internationally, Foster + Partners bagged a deal to design the 80,000-seat Lusail Stadium in Qatar, a key venue for the country’s 2022 World Cup bid; and is working for Apple around the globe.

The company also won a deal to design Cairo’s Maspero Triangle District last year, and scooped a competition to design the second phase of the Dubai Design District in the UAE.

It is also working on the Jedah Metro and in Hudson Yards in New York.

3024646 hellman aj100 2016

3024646 hellman aj100 2016

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Readers' comments (1)

  • Now a few budding or budded architects will have the opportunity to learn something about the building trade and spend a year or two working for a contractor.

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