Friday18 August 2017

Nord splits due to irreconcilable differences

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One of Britain’s most exciting young firms, Nord, has split up due to irreconcilable differences between its founding directors.

Nord (Northern Office for Research & Design), was founded in Glasgow in 2002 by Robin Lee and Alan Pert, and went on to work on a string of prestigious projects including an electricity substation for the 2012 Olympics.

However, following months of negotiation and weeks of rumours, it emerged this week that Lee and Pert will shortly go their separate ways.

The two founders are now expected to operate independent practices. Lee will take ownership of Nord LLP while Pert will take ownership of Nord Architecture Ltd.

Nord LLP is the original partnership founded in 2002 while the limited company began trading in 2009.

BD understands that Lee and Pert have been operating independently for some time and that Pert will continue using the name Nord, with Lee yet to announce the name of his new firm.

The firm’s 15 staff will be split between the two depending on the projects they are working on.

Major recent projects include a new €40 million HQ for Wexford County Council in Ireland, designed by the firm’s Dublin office run by Lee, and the completed Shingle House in Dungeness for Alain de Botton’s Living Architecture, run by Pert from Glasgow.

A report in the Glasgow Herald on Monday claimed that architect Graeme Williamson of Block Architecture had joined forces with Pert, but neither party would comment as BD went to press.

Nord won a series of awards including BD’s Young Architect of the Year in 2006.

RIAS secretary Neil Baxter led tributes to the firm, calling it one of the most innovative to emerge in Scotland in recent years.

“It’s always sad when a good partnership breaks up,” he said. “But I have no doubt that the very creative individuals who generated Nord’s success will go on to do great things.”


Readers' comments (4)

  • David Clegg

    They should agree to call their new firms something like "est" and "ouest" to be fair, not both grapple for the "nord" brand. Or perhaps "nord-est" and "nord-ouest". This would signal a new path for each part of the firm.

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  • Simon  Quinlank

    Does Robins' moustache remind you of anyone?

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  • Don't believe everything you read in BD...

    Alan Pert, co-founder of young Glaswegian practice Nord, has responded to erroneous reports in the architectural press of the break-up of the business by telling Urban Realm: “They’re all completely wrong."


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  • Reading the statement issued it appears to say that reports that the business has broken up "completely wrong" and then subsequently, er, confirms that the two founder have split.

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