With its impressive range of autonomous studios across the globe, Grimshaw was the stand-out winner of this category
The award considers key international business data from the AJ100 survey, such as the practice’s percentage growth in fees and the year-on-year increase in the number of architects employed in overseas markets.
Grimshaw excels on all measures. It employs 161 architects overseas, compared with 92 in last year’s survey – driven by substantial expansion in Australia – and 293 overseas staff overall, up from 252. Overseas fees are up from £29.5 million to £47.6 million – a massive 61 per cent uplift. In 2017 it opened a new office in Dubai, where its Expo 2020 Sustainability Pavilion has started on site, and earlier this year an LA office joined its substantial list of overseas studios.
The judges were particularly impressed with the range and balance of communication between its network of international offices
Blockbuster project completions included the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science in Miami, which opened in May 2017. This provides an expanded location on a prominent site which allows the museum to offer a greater scale and variety of exhibitions and programming.
Meanwhile Grimshaw’s £150 million scheme to create the Eden Project’s first overseas attraction received a major boost during Theresa May’s visit to China – with the chief executive of Eden Project International signing a deal with Zhao Lintao of China Jinmao Holdings in Beijing to set out the terms of the partnership’s development of Eden Qingdao.
As Brexit progresses, Grimshaw is also boosting its European presence with its Paris project office, which is now working across the continent.
In terms of award wins, Grimshaw’s Duke University West Campus Union in North Carolina took the International Project honour at the AJ Retrofit Awards 2017.
The practice prioritises learning from different places, and the judges were particularly impressed with the range and balance of communication between its network of international offices. When it comes to practice development, for example, a global intranet application has been launched to enhance the sharing of information between this international network. Staff take up regular secondments and transfers, and the company offers a global leadership development programme.
In all, said the judges, Grimshaw is a practice that ‘resonates’ internationally and ‘recognises its strength as a satellite organisation, leading from different places’.
Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science in downtown Miami, Florida by Grimshaw
- Chapman Taylor
- Foster + Partners
- Hopkins Architects
- MaccreanorLavington: MLA+
- Teresa Borsuk, senior partner, Pollard Thomas Edwards
- Max Farrell, partner, Farrells
- Tanvir Hasan, deputy chairman, Donald Insall Associates
- Roger Zogolovitch, chairman and creative director, Solidspace
- Emily Booth, editor (maternity cover), The Architects’ Journal