Buro Happold has been deeply involved as design engineers and/or consultants on many of the world’s most spectacular buildings. The only reason you may not know this is the fact that engineers, while confident, tend to be humble. “Maybe too humble,” said Matthew Birchall, “particularly when you consider the lead roles we have had in integrated design solutions like Olympic venue roofs and enclosures.” It’s interesting that Birchall’s trade is often referred to as “the unseen hand,” when engineers are the masterminds behind some of the most prominent design features out there.
These past months have understandably led to Buro Happold clients’ looking at how they can trim costs and increase revenue as we come out of lockdown. According to Birchall, “this has led to the inevitable question as to why it costs so much and takes so long to design and deliver an upgraded or new venue which still might not deliver the return on investment that was hoped for at the outset. As engineers designing most of the packages in any redevelopment project, and as consultants able to evaluate a joined-up venue planning and revenue generation strategy, we are uniquely placed to shake up the status quo and tackle this head on.”
In response to the shifting market, a lot of Buro Happold’s work has become more consultative, as clients are “looking to align the business case for a venue development with the strategy for revenue generation, prior to design per se. That doesn’t take away any of the company’s almost quarter-century of engineering the most successful venues all over the world.
“Overall, we’ve tried to just be the best at what we do, and made sure that what we do is aligned with what our clients want,” Birchall said. “This culture of excellence is something I try to instill in those I work with, and I consider seeing them accomplish things I can only dream about as the greatest achievement of my career to date. I do believe that the best is yet to come though!”
“As engineers designing most of the packages in any redevelopment project, and as consultants able to evaluate a joined-up venue planning and revenue generation strategy, we are uniquely placed to shake up the status quo.”