Scotch on the Rocks.  Scotch on the Rocks RMJM may have been pushed into a corner financially over the last few years, but the firm is coming out swinging, with talking points that channel the British Bulldog himself, Winston Churchill. In a recent interview with Forbes.com, RMJM CEO Peter Morrison counts Churchill’s famous “We shall never surrender” speech as a source of inspiration and has taken to referring to the firm’s offices as “the War Rooms.” When asked about his goals, Morrison said, “Success, at all costs. We have sacrificed much, invested heavily, and we now find ourselves in a strong position post-recession with a global platform poised to support clients in all corners of the Earth.” If the RMJM outlook doesn’t improve, we wouldn’t be surprised if the Scottish management takes it up a notch by donning blue and white face paint, Braveheart-style.

 

Safe Harbor?  Safe Harbor? If you need to turn around an aircraft carrier, it helps to have an experienced captain on board. Maybe that’s the strategy behind RMJM’s rumored choice of Danish shipping exec Jesper Bo Hansen to lead its New York office. Hansen has spent the last two decades not in architecture but in the shipping biz, first at cargo giant Maersk and most recently at Torm. Maybe he’ll instate some ship to shore protocols at RMJM, whose financial management woes have played out publicly in recent years. As Bjarke Ingels might say, held og lykke—good luck, Jesper!

 

SHFT+ALT+DEL: March 9

Shft+Alt+Del
Friday, March 9, 2012
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Vishan Chakrabarti joins SHoP Architects as a partner, but will remain director of the Columbia Center for Urban Real Estate, a position he’s held since 2009.

Peter Schubert becomes a partner at Ennead Architects, where he’ll be “enhancing international efforts”; Schubert was most recently at RMJM.

Robert Allen Design appoints Kerry Galloway as their new vice president of contract sales. Galloway was formerly vice president, sales and marketing for Contract Décor International.

In office expansion news, Aedas announces it plans to double the size of its London office (currently 80 staffers) in the next two years to keep pace with work in Russia and North Africa.

Have news on movers and shakers in the architecture & design universe for SHFT+ALT+DEL? Send your tips to people@archpaper.com!

Irving Convention Center Facade: RMJM with Zahner

Fabrikator
Friday, February 25, 2011
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Brought to you with support from:
Fabrikator
Fabrikator Brought to you by:

The facade will develop a patina over time (Courtesy Zahner)

A new convention center in Texas is wrapped in a skin of delicate copper circles that appear to float in midair.

Located halfway between sister cities Dallas and Fort Worth, the Las Colinas master-planned community is an ideal place for the newly opened Irving Convention Center. It is also a natural setting for the copper facade that architect RMJM Hillier designed for the 275,000-square-foot, $133 million project. Fabricated by architectural metal and glass innovator A. Zahner Company, its angular walls rise from the ground like a sun-baked geological formation.

Read more after the jump.

WWCOT to DLR: Merger Mania

West
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
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WWCOT's Indio Teen Center

We learn via email today that  California firm WWCOT has been taken over by midwest mega-firm DLR Group. WWCOT’s offices in LA, Modesto, Palm Springs,  Riverside, and Shanghai will be known as DLR Group WWCOT. The merger, says 500-person DLR, will give the firm a needed presence in California and Asia, and improve its education, healthcare, and senior community design. Like most businesses, architecture’s biggest firms are interested in the takeover, which gives them more geographic reach, more talent, and more clients. This move follows behemoth firm AECOM’s purchase last October of Ellerbe Becket, and in 2007 RMJM’s purchase of Hillier, and Arcadis’ purchase of RTKL. According to a 2009 survey by business management consultant ZweigWhite, Seventy-one percent of architecture, engineering, and environmental consulting firms plan to conduct a merger or acquisition in the next five years. Sounds high, but maybe there will be one giant firm running all of architecture the next time we check?

Als Well With Alsop

International
Thursday, October 1, 2009
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Will Alsop with his new boss, Peter Morrison of RMJM. (Courtesy RMJM)

Will Alsop with his new boss, Peter Morrison of RMJM. (Courtesy RMJM)

As suspected, Will Alsop wasn’t out of the game for long. The foul-mouthed StirlingPrize winner announced less than two months ago that he was leaving Archial, né SMC, the British architectural conglomerate that had bought up his smallish practice but three years earlier. Now BD reports that Alsop has teamed up with RMJM, and he will launch an atelier within the international powerhouse based in Battersea called Will Alsop at RMJM. “I like the overall vision they have for the future and the fact that it’s really global,” Allsp told BD. “In Archial, the only international bit was me.” Read More

Up, Up, and Abu Dhabi!

Other
Thursday, May 28, 2009
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RMJMs Capital Gate tower in Abu Dhabi will lean more than the Tower of Pisa. (Images courtesy RMJM)

RMJM's Capital Gate tower in Abu Dhabi will lean more than the Tower of Pisa. (Images courtesy RMJM)

When I was out in LA at Postopolis!, one of the most interesting and memorable talks I heard was Christopher Hawthorne’s, on the chilling, almost creepy, effect the recession has had on the United Arab Emirates, in particular Dubai. While he still hasn’t written up his version of his trip–and we wish he would, because the talk was so interesting–the basic gist was that construction had all but stopped in Dubai, and to some degree in Abu Dhabi (to say nothing of New York and LA), because the spigot of liquidity-né-money had dried up with the collapse of the financial system. He termed it Ponzi-scheme urbanism. Well, it seems some things are still moving out in the wild, sandy yonder, as RMJM’s Princeton office (formerly Hillier) just passed along the following impressive photo of its Capital Gate tower passing the half-way mark. Read More

HOUSEpital

Other
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
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The RMJM/HOK-designed University Medical Center of Princeton at Plainsboro

The RMJM/HOK-designed University Medical Center of Princeton at Plainsboro (Courtesy RMJM)

On the popular Fox doctor drama House, actor Hugh Laurie plays an acerbic, yet ingenious infectious disease specialist whose curmudgeonly ways, drug use, unrepentant machinations, and sadistic treatment of patients has earned the show—now in its fifth season—an enormous and dedicated following. The series unfolds at the fictitious Princeton-Plainsboro Teaching Hospital, where, segment after segment, Dr. House and his team bicker, sneer, and get to the bottom of rare medical afflictions, killing off the odd invalid from time to time. Well, the stage for this gripping serial need not remain a figment much longer: the utterly factual Princeton hospital has recently announced that it will soon move its facilities to a brand new home in none other than Plainsboro, New Jersey! Read More

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