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GRID to target South America from new Madrid studio

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London-based GRID Architects is to open a Madrid office next month as it targets work in Europe and South America

The Southwark firm is due to sign a lease on an office in the Spanish capital next month, and will look to hire four people locally as well as transferring two from London.

GRID, which recently submitted plans for a 738-home mixed-use scheme on the site of the iconic gasholders next to the Oval cricket ground (pictured below), will also open a studio in Birmingham.

The practice, formed in 2010, has worked across the UK and on a number of projects further afield but always from its London base.

Director Craig Casci told the AJ: ‘Some of our senior staff have links to Madrid, and the whole office went out there last summer on a research trip.

‘We will look to work Europe-wide and in South America. It’s a front door to other markets. Spanish architects translate into our working systems very well – they are often well educated and multilingual. It is an easy step to look at Madrid.’

Casci said GRID would continue to focus on the complex residential market as well as pursuing partnership opportunities to work on infrastructure schemes.

‘We have a meeting at MIPIM to discuss partnering on an infrastructure scheme,’ he said. ‘There is a lot of rail and road work planned around Madrid.’

He added that as the cost of office space in London has soared over the past few years, so the attractiveness of the residential market elsewhere in the UK had grown.

‘We have to stop being so London-centric and look at other opportunities,’ he said. ‘If we expand, we will do so outside London.’

In Birmingham, as in Madrid, the practice will look to move a couple of staff and hire a handful locally. But major growth in staff numbers is not on the cards.

‘We try to avoid becoming a big practice,’ said Casci. ‘We try to stay under 50 people and if we expand it is organic.’

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