“North American design firm Stantec announced today it has offered to acquire Jacques Whitford, an environmental consulting services firm with more than 1,700 employees and 40 offices principally in Canada. The company’s trailing twelve month gross revenue is approximately C$230.0 million and net revenue is about C$170.0 million.
“Jacques Whitford is a leading provider of environmental management, remediation, and geotechnical engineering services and their addition will significantly strengthen our core capabilities in our Environment practice,” says Tony Franceschini, Stantec President & CEO. ”
JSonline reports that
“The recession and credit crunch, which have killed plans for new condominiums, hotels and other projects, are forcing some Milwaukee-area architectural firms to cut jobs.
In recent weeks, Kahler Slater Architects Inc. and Eppstein Uhen Architects Inc. have eliminated 20 positions and 15 positions, respectively. Other firms have made smaller trims as they deal with declining work from developers and other clients.”
SOURCE: JSOnline.com – Construction slump forces architecture firms to cut jobs
“As sales of new homes and villas slow to a near-halt, developers are struggling with a situation that would have been unthinkable just a year ago: no cash flow.” – UAE
SOURCE: The National Newspaper – As cash slows, developers face challenges
“Ron Triffo, Chair of the Board of Directors for Stantec announced today that Robert (Bob) Gomes will succeed Tony Franceschini as the Company’s next President & CEO, effective May 15, 2009. Tony Franceschini, who has led Stantec since 1998, will continue to be associated with the Company as a member of the Board of Directors.
Stantec provides professional consulting services in planning, engineering, architecture, interior design, landscape architecture, surveying, environmental sciences, project management, and project economics for infrastructure and facilities projects. Our services are offered through approximately 9,000 employees operating out of more than 150 locations in North America.”
SOURCE: Marketwire – Stantec Press Release – – Stantec Announces New President & CEO
Westfield London – a new 1.7 billion pound shopping centre has opened to mixed reviews. Many think that the architecture may be understated and could be more grand and uplifting and that it feels like a place just for retailers to push their wares.
In recent years more and more shopping malls are becoming the ‘town squares’ of suburbs and cities with more and more emphasis placed on the secondary uses of shopping malls such as dining out, concerts, people watching and general passive recreation rather than consumption. Although these secondary activities are not welcome by some shopping centre managements.
What do you think of the new Westfield London merely a place to shop or does it add more to the community and area?
To all our readers and subscribers we are closing Hong Kong Landscape Architect as we feel our existing site China Landscape Architect.com and
our newly launched Asia Landscape Architect.com will service the needs of landscape architects and built environment professionals in Hong Kong.
We will cease service on November 30. Thank you for your participation and readership.
We hope you will continue to read our other websites China Landscape Architect.com, Asia Landscape Architect.com and World Landscape Architect.com
Anecdotal reports are starting to trickle out that the current crisis is starting to bite into architectural and multi-discipline firms around the world from USA, Europe and Australia. It’s not just the multi-nationals who are hurting but local firms also.
Many of the large multi-national firms are starting to lay off staff as projects are being put on hold or starting to dry up. This is due to the financial crises with credit being hard to obtain for starting new projects and many development companies having their market capitilisation slashed by the falling stockmarkets.
The housing bubbles in USA, Europe and China are starting to burst with housing prices dropping, auction clearances heading into single figures and consumer confidence down as access to credit gets tighter with many people are putting off buying new property.
When will the crisis end? Many are saying that it is merely a 6–8 month pause in booming countries such as China where developers from Hong Kong have placed projects on hold until mid-2009. Others say this is the just the start of the bottom and the final outcome won’t be known until mid-late 2009 when the market will fully know the issues and problems and that the credit card and car loan defaults are yet to come in the next few months.
Some seem certain that the market will contract, there will be lay offs and competition will get harder for all who are looking for new projects.
So what is the ‘silver lining’ of the crisis?
Clients of current projects will be the winners as the levels of service will increase and projects will have the design and detail resolution that is often lack in boom periods.
Many architecture and multi-discipline firms are starting to look for other sources of revenue income and use some of their cash reserves to head to China and UAE(as visits to existing companies by newcomers to the market are up). However they could be in for a rude surprise by some accounts that staff in major developing cities in China and UAE are also seeing a slowdown due to the crisis.
Those firms who only lay off small numbers and then take this slow time to start training key staff to be better prepared and ready for when the market turns up. Many firms complain about the lack project managment and people management skills in by their upper and middle management well here is the opportune time to train key staff and up and comers to prepare your firm for the future.
How is the crisis hitting your firm or employer? Leave comments below.