Sidell Gibson Architects and Sidell Gibson Interiors arrive at MIPIM 2010 with several significant projects signed off and a clutch of new instructions in the bag.
Looking back, it’s been a busy 12 months for Sidell Gibson, seeing them deliver three office schemes, two in London and one in Birmingham.
And there’ll be no let up in 2010, with two City of London schemes due for delivery before the end of the year end: 1 Bartholomew Lane, a 7,400 m2 office building next to the Bank of England will make practical completion by June, while One New Change, Land Securities’ 50,000 m2 mixed–use scheme next to St Paul’s Cathedral, will open in time for Christmas.
One New Change is Overall Winner at the MIPIM Architectural Review Future Projects Award 2010. The award will be presented in Cannes on the evening of Thursday 18th.
In Birmingham, the completion of One Snowhill, a 30,000 m2 Grade A office building is just the latest in a long line of Midlands projects by Sidell Gibson.
The building is now occupied, with Sidell Gibson Interiors providing a stunning HQ interior design and fit out for Barclays Commercial Bank. Barclays has relocated 1,000 sales and operations personnel from number of locations across the Midlands to 9,000 m2 on four floors at Snowhill One.
Geoff Barrett, partner in charge of Sidell Gibson’s Birmingham office, says: “Barclays have been impressed by the solutions our interiors team devised for them. It takes a lot of skill to design a work environment which will initiate, and help sustain, a change in working practices. Our design team, led by Patrick McGirr, is very experienced at it, and Barclays is delighted.”
Thoughts are now turning to Building One’s identical twin Two Snowhill (pre-let to Wragge & Co): cores are completed and it’s expected that construction will resume this year.
Meanwhile Chris Curtis, Sidell Gibson’s lead architect on the Snowhill scheme, is venturing further afield for his next project: a 40-story 200,000 m2 mixed-use scheme in Tripoli, Libya. The €300m development, known as Medina Tower, is now under construction. More details are due to be released at MIPIM this week.
Sidell Gibson is also instructed on a large scale project for a private client in Saudi Arabia, and Barrett, while continuing to head the Birmingham office, has not been a homebody himself, completing several trips to Russia to secure work on a lifestyle and leisure scheme close to Moscow.
To be franchised under a well-known European brand, this will be the first project of its type in Russia and one which the developers hope to roll out fully around Moscow and St Petersburg.
So how does a UK firm manage to pick up a host on international instructions, just when the home market falls away? Barrett says: “Appearances can be deceptive. Although we’ve built a strong UK track record over the last few years, and are especially known for our UK city centre offices, in fact Sidell Gibson has been active abroad for many years.
“The firm’s first work was in Frankfurt and our London office was set up at a later stage with our work on the European Bank of Reconstruction & Development. We’ve also opened offices in other locations when work necessitated it, including Berlin in the 1990s and Tehran for several years during the 1970s.
“So we don’t see ourselves as a purely British practice: we’ve always recruited internationally and our complement of staff now attests to this. It’s this international outlook, both with projects and people, which gave us the adaptability to move to other areas when the recession cut the pipeline of UK work. And going forward it’s this experience which will stand us in good stead for the future.”
* Sidell Gibson is hosting Breakfast on the Beach each morning from 8.30am to 10.30am at the Long Beach Restaurant, Boulevard de la Croisette (opposite the Carlton Hotel).