Penoyre & Prasad’s 40-strong workforce has become a division of the US design giant Perkins and Will, with senior partners Sunand Prasad and Greg Penoyre stepping back from day-to-day leadership
The deal, almost a year in the making, was completed last Friday (November 1).
Penoyre & Prasad, which was founded in 1988, will become part of Perkins and Will’s London office. It said it would retain its brand name, adding that the deal would boost it by drawing on Perkins and Will’s capacity in research and development and sustainability.
Its two founders have been withdrawing from day-to-day leadership roles at the practice for some time with Penoyre expected to retire imminently.
Penoyre & Prasad partner Ian Goodfellow said: ‘With the growth of the knowledge economy driving ever closer collaboration between higher education, scientific research, and health sectors, Penoyre & Prasad will be able to draw on Perkins and Will’s global expertise to upscale our collective offer to higher education institutions, health, and research institutes.’
Perkins and Will, meanwhile, has been seeking to augment its design credentials in the UK’s relatively buoyant healthcare and education sectors. In recent years the practice, founded in the US in 1935, has acquired Pringle Brandon, Portland Design Associates and, most recently, the Danish practice Schmidt Hammer Lassen.
The merging of the two workforces in the latest deal will create a 200-strong design studio in London, including around 80 architects, allowing it to compete for the largest hospital, education and masterplanning schemes along with housing, commercial and interiors work.
Penoyre & Prasad staff will occupy their own section of the Perkins and Will office with the brand name remaining ‘as long as it makes sense’.
The managing director of Perkins and Will’s London studio, Steven Charlton, said: ‘Civic projects are very much at the heart of our global business, but our London studio has the potential to play an increasing role in creating award-winning schemes nationally and across Europe.
‘The addition of Penoyre & Prasad’s brilliant team strengthens our offer and allows us to bring significant resources to the table at a time when investment in European knowledge industries is seeing an uplift … we acquire firms all the time – annually – and the aim is to learn and change as a business.’
Charlton added that Perkins and Will had been on the lookout for a suitable practice to join forces with for around three years.
Prasad stressed that Perkins and Will’s expertise in zero-carbon architecture and the circular economy was also a significant attraction for his practice.
‘They have really stepped up on post-occupancy evaluation and the circular economy,’ he said. ‘On climate change, we are raring to go and we want to find real answers and solutions. With Perkins & Will, we’re really excited about this.’
Along with many medium-sized practices, Penoyre & Prasad has suffered from ‘volatile’ workloads in the past but has won a string of large jobs in recent months, including Project Oriel – a major new eye-care, research and educational facility for Moorfields Eye Hospital and UCL at St Pancras Hospital.
Perkins and Will’s London studio, meanwhile, was recently part of the winning team for a huge new European Commission office complex in Brussels.