Architect Archial Group has rebranded its international business as Alsop Sparch as part of a plan to win new overseas clients
Formerly known as Sparch, the group’s overseas arm operates in Asia, Canada and the Middle East, but it hopes to use the Alsop name to win more high-profile international clients for larger scale projects.
Will Alsop’s practice was sold to Archial in 2006, but Alsop himself left to join RMJM last October. The international arm accounts for about a third of Archial’s £33m turnover.
Chris Littlemore (pictured), managing director of the AIM-listed practice, said: “We are looking to share in growing economies such as Abu Dhabi and China where they are looking for schools, transportation, education and health skills. With our Alsop brand there is already a big synergy there. It has a reputation for award-winning, individual design, which is something international clients understand.”
The brand was launched this week at Mipim, and Littlemore aims to have two new offices by the end of 2010 in Vietnam and Toronto. The group has already won major infrastructure schemes in Toronto and a “very large” job in Vietnam.
It already has offices in London, Singapore, Beijing, Shanghai, Kuala Lumpur and Abu Dhabi.
Littlemore added that it was likely that staff numbers would rise from the current level of 112 as a result of the rebrand.
“We feel we need to invest, take on new people and grow,” he said, adding that the offices would be a mix of local and UK staff.
Meanwhile, architect Building Design Partnership (BDP) has continued its international push by opening offices in Delhi and Abu Dhabi and hopes to have about 20 staff in both by the end of the year. The Abu Dhabi operation opened last week after December’s acquisition of Syna, an eight-person practice that has been rebranded as BDP.
The Indian office also opened last week. The firm is designing a £266m mixed-use scheme in Mumbai for Abu Dhabi Investment House (ADIH).
Peter Drummond, BDP chief executive, said: “We don’t aspire for explosive growth but both India and Abu Dhabi are places that are urbanising and where we thought we could play a useful role.”