NBBJ and Chan Krieger Sieniewicz to merge

NBBJ, a global architecture and design firm, and Chan Krieger Sieniewicz, internationally-known for urban design and architecture excellence, announced today a merger of the two firms that will create an integrated team of over 700 architects, landscape architects, urban designers, planners and interior designers.

The Chan Krieger Sieniewicz team, including its five principals, will continue in their current roles. As part of the transition to the NBBJ name, the Cambridge office will operate as Chan Krieger NBBJ.

The merger gives NBBJ, which already operates a project office in Boston, a larger presence in New England. The Seattle-based firm has offices in several U.S. cities, including Columbus, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Seattle. Overseas offices include London, Beijing, Shanghai and Dubai.


Ole Scheeren leaving OMA to setup own studio

OMA (Office for Metropolitan Architecture) and Ole Scheeren announced today that Ole Scheeren will be leaving the firm in order to establish his own studio.

During his time at OMA, Scheeren has led several of the firm’s projects, including the design and construction of CCTV and TVCC in Beijing, the Prada Epicenters in New York and Los Angeles, the MahaNakhon tower in Bangkok and the Interlace in Singapore.

Rem Koolhaas commented: “Ole has played a significant role in the development of the office and has successfully led the realization of the CCTV project. After 15 years of collaboration, we have now decided to work independently. I am personally looking forward to furthering OMA’s activities in Asia.”

Scheeren, who has accepted a post as Visiting Professor at Hong Kong University, added: “My collaboration with Rem Koolhaas and OMA has been an extraordinary experience – we have generated some remarkable projects both in East Asia and North America. The time has now come for me to pursue new opportunities, and I am very excited about this next phase of my work.”


Will there be a shortage of landscape architects after the Crisis is over?

Over the past two years with the Global Financial Crisis hit nearly every nation across the globe and as a result landscape architects where laid off in large numbers. This was hardest felt in the USA due to lack of work and collapse of the home building market.

Governments from USA, UK, Canada, Australia, China and many other countries kick-started their economies with Financial Stimulus packages which has given some firms more work but has created just enough work to sustain the staff they had kept on.

At World Landscape Architect, however I have noticed in recent weeks that results for tenders and competitions seems to appear on the web more and more frequently.

Will there be a shortage of landscape architect with economies picking up and more work coming into companies? Well if we go back to late 1990’s to mid 2000’s there were many reports of shortages of experience staff at landscape architecture firms in UK, Australia, New Zealand, UAE, North East Africa and some parts of Asia which was driving up salaries and as a recent article by Mark Smulian at Planning Resource raised the issue that CABE has fears that a shortage will occur again….

Like planning, landscape architecture has never really recovered from the 1990s recession. People left the profession or chose not to enter it, leaving a gap in experience. CABE fears a repeat in this recession and say a minimum of 550 new entrants a year are needed on landscape courses.
[SOURCE: Planning Resource]

Will there be a shortage remains to be seen but the outlook looks good for landscape architects currently unemployed with more work and projects appearing daily and the growth in sustainable design and trend of developments and cities incorporating ratings systems such as LEED ND and Sustainable Sites. Also there is a large amount of work that will be generated with the explosion on new cities in Asia and North Africa and the renewal of many towns and cities throughout the UK and USA. Therefore, if your unemployed there is hope yet and if your employed help push your local Universities and Professional Institutions to keep promoting the profession even more so during the current times of stagnant or slight growth to encourage more students to go into the profession and encourage those thinking of leaving to rethink their long term careers.

By Damian Holmes

SIDENOTE: The article by Mark Smulian at Planning Resource titled ‘Greening our cities is a great article that looks at the role of landscape architects, our strengths and weaknesses.

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Johnson Pilton Walker & PWP selected for Barangaroo

Premier Kristina Keneally and Planning Minister, Tony Kelly, yesterday formally signed an authorisation for the $6 billion contract with Lend Lease for commercial development of Barangaroo.

At the same time as signing the contract Planning Minister Mr Kelly said that following an evaluation, Johnson Pilton Walker (Sydney based), in association with Peter Walker and Partners Landscape Architecture (California, USA) , have been selected to work with the Barangaroo Delivery Authority to design the new Headland Park and other public spaces.

This highly regarded team will design key open space features for the waterfront commercial, residential and leisure precinct, including the creation of the harbourside park and restoration of the entire harbour headland to a more natural shape. “We are determined to create a bold and inspiring precinct, which is diverse, dynamic and inclusive………..The Headland Park will include waterfront promenades, an open-air amphitheatre, area and places to picnic. It will be built to maximise its incredible location.” Mr Kelly said.

Barangaroo (previously known as East Darling Harbour) is the name given to the 22-hectare area  in Sydney that is planned to become a key commercial, residential and recreation precinct with over 22,000 workers and residents, and 33,000 visitors a day – a total of 12 million visitors a year.

[SOURCE: Barangaroo Delivery Authority] VIA Australian Design Review

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2010 World Architecture report released

Building Design has just released its 2010 World Architecture report and it has some interesting findings.

The some of the world’s architecture firms have shrunk due the Global Financial Crisis while others have increased in size due to the growth of cities in Asia.

Building Design states

The world’s biggest 100 firms has fallen by more than 3,200 in the last year………..

…..The world’s top five firms this year — ranked by number of architects employed — are: Nikken Sekkei, Aedas, Gensler, HOK and RMJM.

You can get your copy of the report from Building Design for £10 at bdonline.co.uk/wa100

Read the summary of the report at the SOURCE: Building Design – Top global architects lose 10% of staff in 2009

Atkins develops masterplan in Libya

Atkins Middle East has worked with Abu Dhabi based Al Maabar to develop the masterplan for the Al Waha development in Libya. The masterplan was unveiled yesterday and is expected to cost AED 1,400 billion (US$ 375 million) .

The development took inspiration form Libya’s rich cultural heritage including the oasis town of Ghadamis. The development covers 65,000 square metres(699,650 sq feet) and will have a floor space of 265,000 square metres. The development will include 31 storey luxurious hotel, 100 serviced apartments, a 28-storey office tower, 11 mid-rise residential buildings, a health club and a shopping mall that will include a supermarket, food court and a five screen cinema.


US companies on the M&A trail in the UK?

Building posted a report today that some large US firms the size of Jacobs, AECOM and CH2MHill maybe looking at acquiring firms in the UK. Many UK firms have established offices in Europe, Middle East and North Africa which makes their businesses more appealing as they have established company structures and trained personnel. They also have large infrastructure projects such as Crossrail and work in North Africa already on their books.

US Companies are seeing that the recession has abated in the US and Europe so its the most opportune time to acquire companies at low valuations and increase their personnel count and revenues across the world.

Read the article at Building for a list of targeted companies, analysis and interviews.

[SOURCE: Building.co.uk]

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