Architect appoints PFI expert James Berry as second-in-command in the UK

HOK International has poached a top Skanska director to be its second in command in the UK.

James Berry, design director at Skanska’s PFI division, will join the architect as director of management and operations, and right-hand man to Larry Malcic, the practice’s design director.

Berry was responsible for design appointments on contractor Skanska’s PFI contracts, including the £1.2bn Bart’s and Royal London hospital, which HOK designed.

Berry is the third director to depart in six months, after vice president Nick Pollard left in August to move to Bovis Lend Lease. Simon Hipperson stepped down as chair in October.

James’ insight into the motivations and expectations of clients will be a huge advantage

Larry Malcic, HOK

Berry will replace Sam Spata, a former principal at HOK’s New York office, who is likely to return to the US. Spata, who was installed as director of operations in September 2006, effectively replaced then-managing director Ralph Courtenay, who departed from the practice in March 2007.

Berry joined Skanska as design director in 2004 from BAA, where he was on the management team for Heathrow Terminal 5. He has also worked at Crossrail, overseeing station designs and negotiating air rights.

His experience of large infrastructure and PFI projects appears to indicate a renewed interest by HOK in taking on more schemes such as Bart’s.

Larry Malcic, design director at HOK, said: “James has a real commitment to client service and design. His insight into the expectations of clients will be a huge advantage.”