Currie & Brown owner hopes to start work on Holborn job early next year

150 high holborn

Dar, the Lebanese firm that owns consultant Currie & Brown and architect Perkins + Will has begun the hunt for a main contractor to build its new headquarters in London’s Holborn district.

The $2.7bn turnover firm wants to build a new 185,000 sq ft mixed-used scheme on a site at 150 Holborn next door to the grade II* listed Victorian gothic Prudential building and opposite the headquarters of supermarket firm Sainsbury’s.

Demolition work on the current 1980s building will begin this August with main construction work on its nine-storey replacement starting at the beginning of next year.

The new building (pictured), which has been designed by Perkins + Will, will house around 1,100 of Dar’s staff with 350 of them being from the architect.

A Dar spokesperson said: “Pressing the button on a new London HQ for Dar signals the beginning of a major push into the UK property and infrastructure worlds. Collecting all UK Dar staff under one roof is designed to make that rapid expansion as effective as possible.”

It will also include ground floor retail and an adjacent residential block comprising 13 apartments.

Dar’s UK managing director Andrew Loudon added: “We view London and the UK as a key area of our business in supporting our global clients and are actively pursuing a number of opportunities to further grow our business.”

The scheme was given planning by Camden council just before Christmas despite objections from the City of London because of its impact on neighbouring heritage assets including the grade I-listed 1-4 Holborn Bars, which date back to the 16th century and are part of a run of timber-framed buildings.

Currie & Brown bought rival consultant Sweett back in 2016 for £29m after gazumping a lower offer by WSP made earlier that year.

Dar employs 18,600 across the globe working out of 200 offices in 58 countries.