Gensler has made another major signing after snapping up former Conran & Partners’ big hitter Nigel Lea as its London office’s design director
The news comes just days after the practice swooped for ex-John McAslan + Partners duo Hiro Aso and Paul Rea to lead its UK transport team (see below).
Lea had been with Conran & Partners since early 2010, having previously worked at RMJM and Eric Parry Architects.
He will bolster Gensler’s expertise in commercial, retail and mixed-use sectors.
Gensler’s regional managing principal Duncan Swinhoe said: ‘Nigel’s addition to the London team expands the diversity of our architectural capability.
‘His wealth of experience working with prominent developers compliments our team’s expertise and will enable us to continue to deliver the highest level of business value, design quality and innovation to clients.’
Previous story (AJ 22.08.15)
Gensler swoops for ex- McAslan duo
Gensler has appointed former John McAslan + Partners director Hiro Aso as its regional head of transport and infrastructure
The global big hitter has also swooped for Aso’s former McAslan colleague - transport expert Paul Rea - who joins as major projects leader.
Earlier this year John McAslan + Partners let a number of senior staff go, including Hiro who was in charge of transport and infrastructure at the practice, after a major management restructure,
Aso - the lead programme architect for King’s Cross Station, will spearhead Gensler’s projects in the railway and infrastructure sector in his new role.
Upon his appointment, Aso said: ‘Transport interchanges have established themselves as crucial catalysts for urban development and renewal – I am excited by the opportunity to be at the heart of this ongoing evolution and to further inform the future growth of cities and communities.’
Duncan Swinhoe, Gensler’s regional managing principal, said Aso’s appointment demonstrates the firm’s recognition of London as a global centre of transportation excellence.
Aso is currently a member of the Greater London Authority’s Design Review Panel, as well as a committee member of the UK Rail Sector Advisory Group to the government’s UK Trade & Investment department.
He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, as well as the Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation and senior lecturer at the College of Engineering, University of Birmingham.
Previous story (AJ 02.06.15)
McAslan shake-up: senior staff depart and Manchester office shuts
A number of key staff have left AJ100 firm John McAslan + Partners after a major management restructure
The company’s Manchester office has also shut its doors in the wake of the reshuffle which has seen the departure of three of the practice’s longstanding directors.
Managing director Tony Skipper, who headed up the Manchester studio, has since been appointed as a director at Ellis Williams Architects.
Equity director Kevin Lloyd and Hiro Aso, who had been at the practice for more than 20 years and worked on the transformation of King’s Cross, have also gone.
Under its new structure, the practice will be led by a four-strong management team including John McAslan, Aidan Potter, Natasha Manzaroli, and 2012 AJ Emerging Woman Architect of the Year Hannah Lawson.
The practice, which employs 47 architects, now has just two UK bases – in London and Edinburgh.
This year the firm saw its turnover drop by 11 per cent amid a slowdown in its UK work.
The decision by communities secretary Eric Pickles to veto the McAslan’s £160 million regeneration of Smithfield Market was a set back during the year, although a retail-led alternative for the same client is now in the pipeline.
It is understood the practice is also working with the Museum of London on future plans which, coincidentally, could see it relocate to Smithfield Market.
In a statement executive chairman John McAslan said: ‘The practice has restructured in recent months.
‘In addition, the practice has consolidated its activities within its London and Edinburgh studios.
‘Within this restructuring process, a number of directors - Kevin Lloyd, Tony Skipper and Hiro Aso - have left the practice. .. We wish them all success for the future.’