The year 2015 was one of growth for the design-led practice. But, while its reputation has not suffered, it has since shrunk in size, losing 10 architects in the UK and dipping from eighth place in the table. However, the practice expects to grow again as the result of projects in the pipeline. In 2016, Grimshaw completed £8 million-worth of work, but won £35 million-worth.
Unusually, the practice has four UK offices, all in greater London – two centrally in Farringdon and London Bridge, one in Canary Wharf and one in Croydon. The largest overseas offices are in New York and Melbourne, each with 34 architects. Twenty architects are based in Sydney.
Projects completed last year include the refurbishment of a student union building at Duke University in North Carolina, a new laboratory for Dulwich College in London, and an arts and innovation centre at the University of Bangor. Grimshaw also completed the reordering of London Bridge Station while keeping it open.
The Fulton Center in New York, a previous AJ100 Building of the Year winner, won an RIBA International Award for Excellence last year for pulling together a number of transport links at different levels into a single, well-ordered hub. The judges were particularly impressed by the ‘Sky Reflector-Net’ in the central atrium, which reflects sunlight from outside and casts it downward at a precisely calculated angle that changes with the time of day.
Last year deputy chairman Andrew Whalley claimed the practice did not prioritise growth, saying: ‘We just try to win good projects and the rest takes care of itself.’ With the current order book, those good projects should return the practice to the top 10 soon.