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HOK loses another senior figure

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HOK’s director of performance, Andrew Barraclough, has left the practice and joined contractor the Wates Group

Barraclough’s departure is the second recent big loss for HOK - last year the AJ100’s former practice development head Rob Firth also moved on as the practice reshuffled its company structure (AJ 23.04.13).

In an intriguing move, Barraclough has become the Leatherhead-based contractor’s new group design director, claiming the appointment showed that Wates was ‘really serious about design’.

He said: ’The role… is a new position which signals a very strong commitment to add value and deliver truly integrated design and construction services to clients and the wider built environment.’

Explaining why he decided to quit HOK after 19 years to join a construction company, Barraclough added: ‘Wates has a fantastic reputation in the industry and because they are family owned they have the freedom and flexibility to make long term decisions in line with the best interest of the business. That made the opportunity very attractive.’

He added: ‘The message I want to get out is “Come and look at us”. We want to attract the best talent.’

Barraclough, who left HOK in April, took up his new role at the beginning of last month.

As well as taking responsibility for the firm’s design, design management and design supply chain duties, Barraclough will also oversee BIM implementation across all the Wates Group companies.

A spokesman for HOK said the practice would not be replacing the former director, with Barraclough’s responsibilities instead ‘…being distributed among the other directors.’

The spokesman added that the split was amicable: ‘We will let Andrew settle in; then hopefully we will have a new potential client [with Wates].’

Meanwhile HOK has revealed it is moving back into sport following the departure of its specialist stadium, venue and leisure arm - which became Populous - in 2009.

A HOK spokesman said: ‘Our sport and entertainment architecture group is one of several specific market teams within the London office. The new team will specialise in large-scale conference and leisure facilities predominantly focused in EMEA, helping to drive new business and build on a number of projects already completed by the London office, such as the master plan for Dubai’s winning bid for the World Expo in 2020.’



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