The architect’s new firm will involve a number of other colleagues from Alsop’s studio at RMJM
One of architecture’s most lively personalities, Will Alsop, is to leave his firm RMJM to form a new practice.
The news - announced on Monday and the latest in a long series of career moves for Alsop - will see him exit the global firm alongside fellow principal Scott Lawrie, who has managed the “Will Alsop at RMJM” division since it was established nearly two years ago.
The new company, which is yet to be named but will cover architecture, masterplanning, interiors, landscape, product and graphic design, involves a number of other colleagues from Alsop’s Battersea-based studio at RMJM.
The Stirling prize-winner, who previously worked for fellow commercial giant Archial, told Building he was “very happy to be independent again”.
His practice Alsop Architects went into receivership at the end of 2004 following problems including the cancellation of his proposed Fourth Grace scheme in Liverpool.
“It has taken me six years to get back to where I feel comfortable,” he added. “I have learned a lot and because I’m independent again, I will be judged on the work that I do.”
Former RIBA president Marco Goldschmied - who in 2007 emerged as the financial backer of an aborted deal that would have allowed Alsop to leave Archial - said: “There is quite a tradition of architects with colourful financial histories but I’m not aware of any that have been partnered with these large organisations like Will has.”
He said that he wished Alsop luck, adding that signature architects rarely mixed well with commercial or listed firms.
“Big businesses get seduced by turnover and number of staff as a criteria for success - I don’t think that is a measure of good architecture at all.”
Peter Morrison, chief executive of RMJM, said he hoped to continue working with Alsop and Lawrie on a number of ongoing projects.
“We have been in discussion with Will and Scott for some time and all parties feel that this is the best way forward,” he added.