Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners becomes latest high-profile architect to make redundancies in face of slowing workload

The architecture practice of Lord Rogers has announced it is to cut 35 jobs at its London headquarters in response to the financial downturn.

In a statement, Rogers said it was one of the “saddest days” in his career.

Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, which employs 160 people in the capital, informed its employees this morning that it is to cut just more than 20% of its UK workforce. All the firm's other offices are under review.

Although the practice has high-profile projects such as Chelsea Barracks and Riverside South at Canary Wharf on the books, others, such as the “Cheesegrater” tower in the City of London, have been put on hold.

The firm had already shed contracts with temporary staff, but this morning’s announcement will see 35 redundancies made in the first quarter of 2009.

Rogers, the practice’s chairman, made the following statement: “In my long career as an architect, this is one of the saddest days. The economic downturn we are experiencing is the most ruthless and wide-ranging I can remember – particularly in the architectural sector – and it is impossible for us to be immune to its effects. Projects which seemed secure three months ago are now on hold or cancelled, and competition for existing work has become far more severe. As a result – and with deep and profound regret – we have been forced to make significant staff cutbacks at this time to ensure our long-term survival.”

Rogers is the latest in a long line of architects forced into making job cuts as a result of the financial downturn. The news comes just weeks after it emerged Foster + Partners was to make a quarter of its 1,100-strong workforce redundant.