Investment by venture capitalist R Capital keeps architect afloat.

A venture capitalist has brought a 40% stake in Alsop Architects after the practice was forced into administrated receivership.

Directors at the architect sold two-thirds of the practice to London-based R Capital in exchange for a cash injection that will keep the company afloat.

R Capital’s intervention has led to the formation of a new company Alsop Design Limited, which will trade as Alsop Partners. R Capital has appointed Andy Thomson as financial director, who will work alongside Will Aslop, Stephen Pimbley and new managing director Colin Gilmore-Merchant.

The dramatic news follows a turbulent year for Alsop, which saw the cancellation of three major projects including The Fourth Grace in Liverpool and a mixed-use scheme in East Manchester for developer Isis. Alsop has also been forced to make 26 redundancies including the departure of managing director James Allen.

Alsop Architects had not posted any financial results since abbreviated accounts for the year ended 30 April 2002 were published in summer 2003. These stated that creditors were owed £1,712,829 while fixed assets stood at £290,083. The last accounts were due to be published on 31 May 2004.

The upheavel has led to the resignation of design director Christopher Egret who has left to set up his own practice. Egret said that since the collapse of the Fourth Grace project there had been not much work left to interest him.

Alsop said that the investment by R Capital would not alter the direction of the company. He said that the practice would be focusing on North American and the Far East and Moscow as work had dried up in its traditional European markets.