Stirling prize-winning architect Lord Rogers has asked two of his protégés to add their names to the title of his practice

Ivan Harbour, 44, and Graham Stirk, 49, who are widely recognised as the rising stars of the firm, were told of the plan this week.

Rogers said: “I have invited Graham Stirk and Ivan Harbour to join me, adding them to the name of the practice. I will remain active as chairman.”

The decision was announced two days after Richard Rogers Partnership (RRP) won the coveted Stirling prize for the first time with Barajas airport in Madrid, Spain. Harbour was design director on the project.

Andrew Morris, commercial director at the practice, said the announcement would not change the commercial running of the business.

He said: “There is no major upheaval here. This is the simplest way to show to the outside world that we are evolving.”

An RRP spokesperson added that Rogers had no intention of retiring. He said: “This represents a generation change, not a succession change; a natural evolution of the practice.”

Rogers’ move is significant because the issue of succession has dogged his generation of architects. At 73, he is still going strong, but some have argued that he should lay out a clear plan for his eventual retirement.

Many of the details, including the order of names, will be finalised in the next few weeks once it has been formally approved by the RRP board.

In 2003, architect Michael Hopkins, then 68, changed the name of his practice from Michael Hopkins and Partners to Hopkins Architects, in a bid to start a succession plan. And three years ago, at the age of 65, Nick Grimshaw changed the name of his practice – from Nicholas Grimshaw & Partners to Grimshaw.