There is no doubt that 2009 was a challenging year for all and so it was encouraging to see Benoy – the award-winning, international architectS, masterplanners and interior designers – working tirelessly to consolidate and indeed extend its well-established global trading position.
As a result, the practice has announced that International work constituted around 75 per cent of its annual turnover last year. Graham Cartledge CBE, Chairman of Benoy and now a recognised ambassador for the British Creative Industries, said: “The UK has long since been acknowledged as a hotbed of talent with a diverse range of skills and a great deal to offer the world economy. Ten years ago we took the decision to ‘internationalise’ – a decision that was and continues to be embraced by the wider Benoy Team. This global enthusiasm has allowed us to remain successful in one of the most difficult economic environments the world has seen for decades.”
The tenacious and talented international team credits its visionary clients as a key component of its ongoing success and it is perhaps through their belief in Benoy, that the company has been able to maintain its enviable reputation for international retail, leisure and commercial design in these testing times.
The company’s global standing has its roots in award-winning schemes such as Bluewater in Kent, the Bullring in Birmingham and more recently, Elements in Hong Kong. Despite being open for, in some cases, a fair number of years, these benchmark schemes have an enduring quality and have certainly stood the test of time.
Difficult times are not, however, a time to sit back and bask in past glory. According to Cartledge, quite the opposite.
The past 18 months have seen the completion of a number of prominent projects around the world and the company has been working hard to maintain and develop its pipeline of exciting new work.
The end of 2008 saw the opening of the landmark Westfield development in London – Europe’s largest urban retail mall. Success continued into 2009 with the completed renovation and extension of the historic Renoma building in the city of Wroclaw, Poland in April and the opening of the St David’s Centre in Cardiff – the largest private investment development in Wales.
Benoy was also delighted to see signs of a resurrection in the European market towards the latter part of the year, with projects in Belgium, France, Germany and Sweden beginning to gather momentum as the industry began to defrost.
In the Middle East, Benoy has newly confirmed projects in Bahrain, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Sudan, Syria and the UAE. Indeed, it’s well established office in Abu Dhabi is now exploring new opportunities in Nigeria and Pakistan.
For the full article, please see the March 2010 issue.