Richard Rogers Partnership (RRP) has unveiled further details of its succession plans just days after its former managing director filed a civil court claim in a row over the ownership of the firm’s office in west London.
In the first joint interview given by Rogers and his two chosen successors, Graham Stirk and Ivan Harbour, Stirk said RRP would next week ratify its new name, which is believed to be the Rogers Stirk Harbour Partnership.
Rogers added that his name would be removed entirely from the practice two years after his eventual retirement, as is required by the practice’s constitution.
Meanwhile, RRP faces a possible rent rise and even eviction as the result of a £10m legal claim by founding partner and former RIBA president Marco Goldschmied.
Goldschmied’s claim has been lodged against the owners of the riverfront site in west London that contains the practice’s office building. The owners include Rogers and Goldschmied himself.
Stirk downplayed possible eviction. “Even if we get chucked out, we’ll find somewhere else. It’s not a doomsday scenario.”
Goldschmied has confirmed that the practice faces a rent rise, even though it is not named in the writ, which was taken out against the site owners. But he dismissed a rent rise as “no big deal” for the practice, as he reckoned that a likely rise of 10% would “amount to 1% of directors’ salaries and bonuses”.
The promotion of Stirk, aged 49, and Harbour, 44, was announced by Rogers last month after Harbour’s Barajas airport terminal in Madrid won the Stirling prize.
The 73-year-old Rogers will continue indefinitely as practice chairman, although the only other founding member remaining in the practice, the 64-year-old Mike Davies, has been asked to go part-time.
The practice is constituted as a charity, which requires Rogers to seek re-election as chairman every year. Rogers said: “One day, the board is going to say: ‘Now you’re too old, my dear.’”
Both Stirk and Harbour intend to continue designing while running the practice. Harbour is working on a pair of speculative office buildings near Capitol Hill in Washington DC. The first image of one of these, 300 New Jersey Avenue, is pictured.
Stirk has expanded from City office blocks to upmarket flats overlooking Hyde Park in west London and a vaulted winery in Spain.