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Grimshaw to open Dubai office as turnover booms

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Grimshaw Architects has confirmed it is opening an office in Dubai, where it is designing the Sustainability Pavilion for the Dubai Expo 2020

The practice joins other practices, including Zaha Hadid Architects, Foster + Partners and Santiago Calatrava, all of which have announced office openings in the emerging D3 design district in the past six months. A spokesperson for Grimshaw said the office would not be fully open until next year.

The announcement came in a financial statement for the year to March 2016, showing turnover rose by 40 per cent to £51.5 million last year - although profits were dampened by increased staffing costs.

In August, the AJ reported that Grimshaw was set to make 16 redundancies owing to uncertainty on projects caused by the UK’s vote to leave the European Union.

However the company said the 12-month performance to March put it in a good position to weather current economic volatility caused by political upheaval and other economic influences.

Grimshaw’s chief financial officer Neil Boyde said: ‘Notwithstanding the current uncertainties created by Brexit and other factors, the global nature of the business and the diversity of our work position us strongly for continued success.’

The firm reported a rise in operating profit from £4.9 million to £5.3 million over the previous year.

It spent £20.6 million on wages, tax and benefits for staff, up from £15.2 million over the previous year.

UK turnover was up from £10.8 million to £12.7 million, despite a number of short-term delays in projected work - an issue offset by new commissions, according to the statement.

The practice is now working on a major new Eden Project destination in China and was appointed as concept architect for Heathrow’s Expansion Programme.

In Europe its turnover rose from £302,000 to £1.3 million.

During the past year, Grimshaw grew its Asian and Middle East operations, opening offices in Kuala Lumpar, where it is designing a new lifestyle quarter, as well as Dubai.

The statement showed that turnover increased across all regions of the world.

In the US, turnover was up from £8.5 million to £11.9 million, with project wins including a masterplan for the redevelopment of Washington DC Union Station.

In the UK, projects reaching completion included the SUEZ Energy-from-Waste facility in Suffolk, the first phase of the University of Southampton’s Boldrewood Innovation campus, and the Pontio Arts Centre at Bangor University.

The practice also set up a new subsidiary, Grimshaw International, which is intended to act as an intermediate holding company for overseas investments and to manage some overseas work.

Grimshaw partners

Grimshaw partners

 

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