WilkinsonEyre’s modest rise up the rankings belies an impressive performance for 2018, with architectural fees up 29 per cent and architect numbers rising from 85 to 98.
‘It’s pretty good,’ says founding director Jim Eyre. ‘We seem to be very stable and we’re optimistic about the current year – the political hoo-ha hasn’t affected any of our projects. The only uncertainty going ahead seems to revolve around residential schemes, with new ones not committing.’
In the UK, Eyre reports a particular focus on culture, transport and infrastructure, sports and leisure and tall buildings. Recent milestones include the completion of Gasholders London, a residential development within three listed gasholder frames at King’s Cross; and Eddington, Lot 1 at North West Cambridge for the University of Cambridge. The practice is designing the new Compton and Edrich stands at Lord’s for the Marylebone Cricket Club and is busy on both HS2’s Old Oak Common Interchange and Battersea Power Station. It recently broke ground on 6-8 Bishopsgate, a 51-storey office block for Mitsubishi Estate London and Stanhope. Significant completions coming up next year include the remodelling and refurbishment of the Grade II-listed Fry Building at the University of Bristol, an opening cycling and pedestrian bridge across Copenhagen Inner Harbour, and the Medicine galleries at the Science Museum.
Overseas, the practice is seeing progress in Hong Kong in particular and is also hoping to grow its business in North America and Australia, where it is already working on the high-rise One Barangaroo in Sydney.
‘We’ve had an office in Hong Kong for two or three years and it’s just beginning to gain traction, and we want to grow that more,’ Eyre says.
Looking ahead, he says that while the practice is not complacent, it remains optimistic with lots of prospects still coming through. ‘We plan a similar turnover in 2019 as a base line, but hope to grow it.’