The Architecture and Construction News Roundup

The latest news and data from the architecture and construction industry

In Data:

Architecture and Construction News in Numbers


The number of people running small and medium-sized construction firms in the UK who are struggling to hire bricklayers, according to a survey by the Federation of Master Builders. The survey also found that 63% of firms were struggling to hire carpenters and joiners. The numbers are the highest since the annual survey began in 2008.


The average level of confidence British architects had in their prospect of future work as of November, according to the RIBA’s Future Trends Workload Index. The figure represents a significant drop from October, where respondents averaged +17. The perception of workload prospects was even worse it London, where it averaged -15.

1 million

The square footage of the newly unveiled Google campus in Sunnyvale, California. Designed by Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), the office campus will house 4,500 employees in the Moffett Park area of the city. The building will include a ramped roof and will target a LEED Gold rating.


The rate that planning fees have risen in England after new regulations came into effect on 17th January 2018. The rate increase, which has been planned for almost a year, has been allowed on the condition that local authorities re-invest the additional money into improving planning services.



The number of storeys cut from Frank Gehry’s Ocean View Avenue project in Santa Monica, California. Originally planned to be a 22-storey hotel and residential scheme, the project has been forced to slash its design to 12 storeys to meet strict restrictions as outlined in the city’s Downtown Community Plan.

Top Stories:

The Key Architecture News This Month

Neave Brown: 1929-2018

The architecture community was saddened in January with the announcement of the death of modernist pioneer Neave Brown. Having been awarded the RIBA 2018 Royal Gold Medal shortly before his death, Brown had been a key talking point in 2017, with many recalling his brilliant work on public housing during the 60s and 70s.

Source: Dezeen

Stock Exchange Collapse

The collapse of a mezzanine floor at the Indonesian Stock Exchange in January has been initially blamed on loose or corroded bolts, which resulted in weak joints. The conclusion is the result of a preliminary report, and may change with further investigation of the building, which was designed by BBGM and PT Arkonin, and completed in 1995.

Source: ArchDaily

Chips Not Fire Retardent

Will Alsop’s pioneering building Chips has been found to have panels labelled “non fire retardant”, despite passing inspection by a private building inspector in 2009. The findings were made during a risk assessment ordered in the wake of the Grenfell fire, with hundreds of other buildings across the country also being inspected.

Source: Dezeen

ZHA Skyscraper Criticised

Zaha Hadid Architects has attracted criticism for its proposed Vauxhall Cross Island project, a high-density skyscraper scheme. Critics have claimed that the project not only overcrowds the area, arguing that it will cause traffic congestion, but is also too tall, overshadowing the adjacent streets.

Source: Archinect

Mergers and Moves:

Industry happenings from around the globe

Perkins+Will Merges with Schmidt Hammer Lassen

Global architecture firm Perkins+Will has announced that it is merging with Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects, a practice based in Copenhagen, Denmark. The merger is designed to allow the combined company to expand in Europe and widen its cultural and civic practice.

Source: Architect Magazine

Norman Foster Named Royal Fine Art President

Acclaimed architect Lord Norman Foster has been named the next president of the UK’s Royal Fine Art Commission Trust. An independent charity, the trust is tasked with promoting “visual awareness and public appreciation of high-quality design" in the UK.

Source: ArchDaily

Nelson merges with FRCH Design Worldwide

Strategic design and architecture firm FRCH Design Worldwide has merged with Nelson, in a move that will bolster the combined company’s position in the retail and hospitality sectors. The move follows mergers between Nelson and both Wakefield Beasley & Associates and WB Interiors in 2017.

Source: Building Design and Construction

TRO Acquired by SmithGroupJJR

SmithGroupJJR, a major US planning, engineering and architecture firm, has announced that it has acquired TRO, a firm specialising in healthcare design. The merger will allow SmithGroupJJR to expand further into the northeast of the US, as well as improve its healthcare offering, and follows a period of collaboration between the two companies.

Source: Architect Magazine

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