PLP moves three places up the AJ100 rankings, having added 14 UK architects to the roster in 2017. However, architectural fees were, at £25.69 million, marginally down on the previous year.
The practice is looking to boost international work from approximately 20 per cent of total turnover in 2017 to 50 per cent in 2018 after detecting a slowing in its core London market, according to company president Lee Polisano.
He says: ‘It’s no secret that a large percentage of our business has been in London and the UK. That’s set to continue, but it has tapered off quite a bit in terms of new projects of considerable size. As a practice we’re looking at the international side more to try to offset some of the work we lost in London.’
In 2017, PLP opened an office in Japan, and it has also been active in China and other parts of Asia as well as North America, Milan, Amsterdam, Paris, the Middle East and India. The Japan office has initially been involved in research projects and urban design consultancy.
The firm’s international ambitions are assisted, says Polisano, by its diverse staff profile – 70 per cent of its staff are from outside the UK, including 43 nationalities and a high BAME percentage of 24 per cent of PLP’s architects in the UK.
Several major London commercial projects got under way in 2017, including the 62-storey 22 Bishopsgate in the City of London and the 1.4 million sq?ft Bankside Yard project. As well as masterplanning the latter, PLP is designing six of its eight buildings. Significant completions over the year include Chiltern Place, a 16-storey residential tower in Marylebone, and 73 Brook Street, a Mayfair headquarters for developer Clivedale.
Despite uncertainties in the London market, Polisano says the practice remains optimistic, with hopes for a slightly improved overall performance in 2018.