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.”

Indeed, RMJM has been on a bit of a tear lately, including a big push stateside when it acquired Princeton-based Hillier in 2007. As BD notes, they have been teaming up with renowned architects of late, including a project with Frank Gehry for Glasgow Metropolitan College—that job was won by Atkins, though Archial was also bidding—and “a number of undisclosed projects” with Jean Nouvel. The strategy could backfire, however, as it might subordinate RMJM’s generally successful work. Says a BD source: “I know they’ve been talking about working with a number of big names but it seems rather strange in that they have been pushing this notion that they are a number one design practice in their own right… a firm that can already compete with the Fosters of this world.”

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