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Based on deep insight about long-term desired outcomes, our confident and creative community of designers deliver elegant solutions that care about the interests of our clients and the broader society
Paul Rogers, Senior Partner
Over 30 years ago one of these “chance” encounters started my journey with BuroHappold. I was attracted by the creativity and engineering ingenuity of
Professor Sir Ted Happold and his fellow partners.
I was especially fascinated by their exploration into
lightweight, innovative and long span structures. For me they were the engineering pioneers and thought leaders for my generation of young engineers.
Ted and Partners, together with collaborators, designed buildings and unique structures that cared for the environment long before the word “sustainability” became mainstream. They also pioneered new technology, combining untested materials with data and analytics they themselves developed.
Cut to May 2017, when I became BuroHappold’s Senior Partner. Our firm today operates on a global scale but our ethos and design philosophy essentially remain the same. In fact, our vision for 2025 is based on what we now call Forward Integration.
There is joy in this project, the award-winning, Japan Pavilion built for the Expo 2000 trade fair in Hanover. It involved working with Frei Otto and the ecologically progressive architect Shigeru Ban. The vision, ethics, innovation and collaboration stand as a precursor to the principles of BuroHappold today.
The Pavilion was designed to ‘touch the ground lightly’. Its unique timber, cardboard tube and paper construction created a building which at night became an elegant lantern. Yet extraordinarily, its structural design and the selection of materials meant that over 80% of the entire building could be recycled at the end of the expo.
It provided a total area of 3500sqm and the main exhibition hall was 72m x with a span of 35m made with timber arches stiffened by wire bracing and shear-stiffened by a diagonal grid of paper tubes. In fact, the German authorities refused to allow a structure made only of pressed paper tubes held together at the joints with tape, so that it took the second reinforcement, this time made of wood, to serve as a support structure and thus obtain legal permits.
We investigate performance outcomes at the edge of projects that have wider social impact and verify our theories using data and analytics developed by our own communities of engineers and planners. Based on deep insight about long-term desired outcomes, our confident and creative community of designers deliver elegant solutions that care about the interests of our clients and the broader society.
BuroHappold remains an independently owned Partnership operating in a global market dominated by corporate consolidation. Our clients and collaborators value our coherent but independent culture. The benefit of our culture is the ability to lever our skills and creativity to add value to our consultancy. We are able to leverage our knowledge efficiently, an advantage in a competitive commercial market.
The potential value of data driven analytics is to deliver much more than just operational efficiency within a predefined and industry standard project life cycle. Therefore, we will continually invest in collaborative relationships and design tools that leverage the potential of untested knowledge blended with a unique approach to problem solving.
Our authentic culture is what attracts our people to BuroHappold to build their careers within our firm. We challenge our leadership to nurture the skills and motivation of the communities that form our offices and project teams. Our principles strive to overcome boundaries, to build on a culture that listens to experiences, ideas and the spirit of exploration of all of our people. We are certain this will build the confidence that our organisation needs to respond to the challenges of tomorrow.
Our authentic culture is what attracts our people to BuroHappold to build their careers within our firm
I am delighted you have chosen (or have been unconsciously attracted) to read our Annual Review. We are proud to share with you an insight into the exciting year ahead. I believe just some of the award winning projects presented here demonstrate this ethos and commitment to excellence across the built environment.
WHO DOES WHAT?
BuroHappold is a Partnership. Partners are each legally able to “commit the firm”, a very different form of responsibility from even the most senior executives in a corporation.
• Our CEO, Roger Nickells, is elected by the Partners and is accountable for the strategy for the firm and its successful operation as a business.
• Our Senior Partner, Paul Rogers, is also elected by the Partners. His role is to look after the interests of Partners and staff, to ensure the relevance and vitality of the firm’s Culture and Principles.
• Our Chief Design and Technology Officer, Neil Billett, has a key board-level role steering our Design approach and challenging the why, what, and how we do it. Strengthening our agile Technology platform to support current and future relevant offers.