Architect looks to expand overseas after announcing closure of Edinburgh office earlier this week

Make Architects has opened an office in Beijing in a bid to overcome the downturn that saw it announce the closure of its Edinburgh office earlier this week.

Shuttleworth confirmed that Make had opened its first overseas office on the back of masterplanning work won in the Chinese capital.

Ken Shuttleworth
Ken Shuttleworth

To begin with four staff members will be based there, with the opportunity to expand depending on the amount of work the office attracts.

Shuttleworth said: “You’ve got to be looking globally at the moment. There are opportunities out there, and we thought why not give it a go?”

Make issued a statement earlier this week announcing the closure of its Edinburgh office and a headcount reduction of around 30 staff.

Shuttleworth said the statement had been sent out to counter rumours that the practice, which has had some high profile schemes scrapped, was having to make most of its staff redundant.

He said: “I was sick and tired of being rung up by journalists asking if we were laying off 100 people. It’s nowhere near as bad as that, but we have been forced to scale back. If there was more work, I would have kept the Edinburgh office open.”

“Anyone who’s not looking at their staff numbers at the moment isn’t being sensible. This is the biggest downturn in living memory, and you can’t predict what’s around the corner.”