Jack Pringle, founder of Pringle Brandon
London-based architects to join Perkins + Will in bid to increase international presence
London-based architecture practice Pringle Brandon is in advanced discussions about a merger with major US design firm Perkins + Will.
The two companies are on the verge of a deal that would see the 90-strong London practice operate as Pringle Brandon Perkins + Will.
Jack Pringle, founder of Pringle Brandon and a former RIBA president, said the move would allow both firms the opportunity to expand internationally.
Pringle Brandon opened a Dubai office 18 months ago but is looking to secure more work in North America and in China.
While Perkins + Will has offices in London, Dubai and Shanghai, the majority of its 1,500 staff are employed in North America.
The practice ranked seventh in BD’s World Architecture 100 last year despite having only five overseas offices, the lowest number in the top 30.
Pringle said he believed large clients want architects with a worldwide presence. “The corporate clients we have, they are really not interested in dealing with boutiques,” he said.
“We’ve had major projects where we’ve been told we have to have a North American office to have a chance. This isn’t something we’ve intuitively grasped, it’s something we absolutely understand.”
“We are desperate to get into Shanghai,” he added. “It would be massively difficult and expensive to open there. Now I can just jump on a jet and go.”
Pringle added that the merger would help support Pringle Brandon’s increased focus on new-build projects, after several years spent specialising in interiors.
Phil Harrison, chief executive of Perkins + Will, added: “Pringle Brandon’s stature in corporate interiors, workplace strategy and more recently architecture is a compelling complement to Perkins+Will and would enhance our ability to provide local resources to clients throughout Europe.”
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