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 percentage of small and medium sized house builders that believe a shortage of skilled workers is impacting their ability to build new homes, according to a survey by the Federation of Master Builders. This number has risen from 42% in 2017. Available land is also a key concern, cited by 59% of those surveyed.


The amount Dame Zaha Hadid's private residence in Miami, the US, was sold for in an auction at Sotheby's this September. The three bed, four bath residence opens onto the Atlantic Ocean, and features a typically futuristic aesthetic.


The number of years that global design, architecture, engineering and planning firm HOK International has posted operating losses. The company, which saw 400% losses in 2017, cited Brexit as central to its 2018 losses. 


The drop in operating profit Foster + Partners saw this year, despite being one of the most in-demand and celebrated practices in the world. The firm also saw a drop in pre-tax profits of 17%, and a drop in staff from 1,425 to 1,266. Norman Foster cited Brexit as a key threat to his business. 



The amount earmarked for housing associations to build low-cost homes, under plans announced by Prime Minister Theresa May in September. The money will be available to apply for over the next decade, and is designed to tackle the shortage of, and stigma associated with, low-cost homes.

Top Stories:

The Key Architecture News This Month

UK Government bans combustible cladding

The UK government is issuing a ban on all combustible cladding following the Grenfell Fire in 2017. The ban will mean only A1 and A2 class materials, such as metal, stone, glass or plasterboard are allowed to be used as cladding. However some argue the ban does not go far enough as it does not cover existing buildings. 

Source: Dezeen

Richard meier steps down following allegations

Richard Meier has stepped down from the architecture firm he founded following allegations of sexual harassment. The allegations, which were made in March in the New York Times, inititally prompted Meier to take a six-month leave of absence. He has also seen some of his past awards rescinded. 

Source: Fast Company

Foster + Partners' Bloomberg HQ Wins 2018 RIBA Stirling Prize

The RIBA Stirling Prize has been awarded to Foster + Partners for its £1bn Bloomberg headquarters project in London. The award is the third Stirling Prize netted by the architecture practice, an unmatched achievement. The RIBA praised the project for "unprecedented levels of research, innovation and experimentation" during the design process. 

Source: Architects' Journal

Fall death plagues Corniche tower

Corniche tower, a recently completed 26-storey housing block by Foster + Partners, has been linked to the death of a man in his fifties. In October the man died after a window fell from the luxury block. Following the news, it emerged that a similar but non-fatal incident had occured during construction in 2017, prompting an overhaul of the construction process.


Mergers and Moves:

Industry happenings from around the globe

Ryder Architecture 'Brexit-proofs' businesses 

Ryder Architecture has announced plans to open an office in Amsterdam before the end of 2018 in a bid to protect the firm from the negative impact of a no-deal Brexit. The practice, which is based in Newcastle, draws 10% of its employees from the EU. 

Source: BD

S/L/A/M Collaborative,  frank webb merge

The S/L/A/M Collaborative has merged with Frank Webb Architects. The merger sees the two firms widen their spread across the US, joining SLAM's Connecticut, Georgia, New York and Massachusetts offices with Frank Webb's Los Angeles headquarters.

Source: Healthcare Design

RIAS appoints Robin Webster as president following scandal

The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland has appointed Glasgow Architect Robin Webster as its new president. It follows the stepping down of Neil Baxter from the role amid a scandal involving financial mismanagement. Webster has vowed to reform RIAS.

Source: Dezeen

Storefront for Art and Architecture appoints chief

New York non-profit Storefront for Art and Architecture has appointed José Esparza Chong Cuy as the new executive director and chief curator. He takes over  from Eva Franch i Gilabert, who moved to direct the Architectural Association.

Source: archdaily

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