On 1st March, The Architects’ Company held an audience with the Rt Hon The Lord Mayor Alderman William Russell, and Alderman Sir Charles Bowman, to brief them on the importance of the architectural sector, so they are fully equipped to promote Architectural services when they embark on international trips to create post-Brexit Trade Agreements for the UK. “London is THE global hub for Architecture and international architectural services, far greater than any other city or country in the world, and the Architects’ Company is shouting this out loud, to help attract more inward investment into our sector and support further business development and growth for Architects,” said Valerie Owen, Master of the Company.

Richard Brindley, Architect and Past Master of the Architects’ Company said “We shared key facts with the Lord Mayor on the power of our sector. London has the greatest concentration of international and UK architects in the World. 67 per cent (£2.2bn) of the £3.6bn annual income from all UK chartered architects’ practices is generated in London. Over 30 per cent of the world’s largest and most renowned architects ‘Top 100’ practices, and 57 per cent of all UK architectural staff, are based in London.’

The strength of the sector was demonstrated with a series of short presentations on recent, exemplar London architecture projects delivered by six Architects’ Company members, five award winning, internationally renowned architects and one developer. Speakers:
Paul Monaghan, AHMM. 1 Finsbury Avenue Square.
Graham Morrison, Allies and Morrison. 100 Bishopsgate
John Bushell, KPF. 70 Gracechurch Street
Paul Williams, Stanton Williams. Museum of London
Geoff Harris, Nuveen. 70 St Mary Axe
Grant Brooker, Foster + Partners. Bloomberg HQ

There followed a discussion with the Lord Mayor about how to get people back into the City. Paul Monaghan said that “we have to make offices more attractive than home; but we are going to have blended way of working in the future and we have to work out how to deal with that”.

Geoff Harris said that flexibility of leases was essential: “It’s the most dominant question new tenants are asking” while Graham Morrison said that building flexibility is also important. “Whenever we get a building to design, we ask if there is an alternative use for it in the future,” he said.

Grant Brooker said “Companies around the world are keen to recruit the best talent and need the buildings to do that. Designers in this city are leading the thinking about the evolution of the office.”

John Bushell commented, “Today’s event demonstrated the evident strength of London as a centre for architectural creativity, together with the clear intent of the City to meet ambitious sustainability targets and to create an active exciting place to work and visit. It was an optimistic message, recognising the international connectivity that is so important to innovation.” The Rt Hon, the Lord Mayor’s closing comments included, “I’ve just come back from a virtual tour of the US & Canada. Businesses there are so positive about London and want to continue to have a footprint in our great city.”

Past Master Peter Murray, Curator-in-Chief of New London Architecture and Chairman of the Temple Bar Trust, closed the discussion saying “The Architects’ Company was delighted to convene a world-class platform of speakers, to promote our world-class profession. London is without doubt the preeminent City for the Architectural profession.”

L-R line 1: The Lord Mayor; Sir Charles Bowman; Paul Monaghan
L-R line 2: Graham Morrison; John Bushell; Paul Williams
L-R line 3: Geoff Harris; Grant Brooker; Valerie Owen

Valerie Owen Le Vaillant OBE

Master, Worshipful Company of Chartered Architects.