Open letter signed by 400 architects warns of ‘devastating’ consequences of Brexit

Norman Foster and Richard Rogers have written to the prime minister warning that Brexit could be “devastating” for British architecture.

Another Fine Mess You've Got Us Into, by Guy Morris - artwork on show at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition 2018

Source: Elizabeth Hopkirk

Another Fine Mess You’ve Got Us Into, by Guy Morris - Royal Academy Summer Exhibition 2018

Along with 400 other leading names from the profession, they have signed an open letter arguing that Britain’s negotiations with the EU are ignoring the will of 48% of the people who voted to remain.

“We do not see within any of your negotiation with the EU any consideration whatsoever of the circumstances that we need for our industry and associated institutions to continue to thrive,” it says.

It points out that the “skilled worker” definition would exclude almost everyone who comes to the UK to work in architecture – but that the profession depends on overseas labour.

Other signatories include all 12 senior partners at RSHP, Alison Brooks, David Chipperfield, Patrick Lynch and former RIBA president Stephen Hodder, as well as Niall McLaughlin, and the founders of practices including Haworth Tompkins, AHMM, Walters & Cohen and Sergison Bates.

Several Stirling Prize winners and nominees are among the supporters of the letter which was initiated by Piers Taylor of Invisible Studio.

‘There is no good Brexit’

Dear Prime Minister

Architecture is an international industry where cooperation across borders is critical to the success of our practices. Much of our work is pan-European, and many of our staff are from the EU. Figures suggest that 1 in 5 architects in the UK are from the EU, and 1 in 3 in London. We thrive on this sense of being part of an international community and have – as a culture – benefitted immeasurably from the freedom of movement that has enabled many European architects to contribute to the enormous success that is British Architecture. We believe that without being members of the EU this success would not have been possible. We are concerned that unless we are members of the EU with the free movement of ideas and people that this brings, the culture within which we practise architecture in Britain will be immeasurably diminished. At present, under proposed immigration rules, your definition of a skilled worker excludes almost all of those who come here to work in our industry. For us, instead of being an opportunity, this is devastating.

We believe that there is no good Brexit. We also believe that the 48% of the votes cast in the last referendum have been ignored. When you talk of the “will of the people” you are not taking into account that almost half of all votes cast were to remain, and polls show that in the period since the referendum many of those who voted leave have changed their minds. With this, we do not see within any of your negotiation with the EU any consideration whatsoever of the circumstances that we need for our industry and associated institutions to continue to thrive.

Yours faithfully

Richard Rogers – Rogers Stirk Harbour & Partners

David Chipperfield – David Chipperfield Architects

Steve Tompkins - Haworth Tompkins

Niall McLaughlin - Niall McLaughlin Architects

Cindy Walters - Walters & Cohen

Peter St John - Caruso St John

Gianni Botsford - Gianni Botsford Architects

Koen Steemers - University of Cambridge

Stephen Bates - Sergison Bates

Paul Monaghan - Allford Hall Monaghan & Morris

Harriet Harriss - RCA

Sophy Twohig - Hopkins Architects

Robin Nicholson - Cullinan Studio

Graham Haworth - Haworth Tompkins

Bob Allies - Allies & Morrison

Gerard Maccreanor - Maccreanor Lavington

David Lloyd Jones - Herbert & Partners

Jeremy Till - Central St Martins - University of the Arts London

Jo Wright - Arup Associates

Simon Usher - MUMA

Dean Hawkes - University of Cambridge

Toby Johnson - Haworth Tompkins

Peter Oborn - Peter Oborn Associates

Robert Mull - Professor of Architecture, University of Brighton

Martin Gledhill - University of Bath

Glenn Howells - Glenn Howells

Roger Watts – Haworth Tompkins

Chris Fellner – Haworth Tompkins

Joe Kerr - Syracuse University

Hannah Durham - Cullinan Studio

Stephen Taylor - Stephen Taylor Architects

Dr Tom Holbrook – 5th Studio

Fionn Stevenson - University of Sheffield

Roddy Langmuir - Cullinan Studio

Russell Curtis - RCKa Architects

Simon Henley - Henley Halebrown

Piers Taylor - Invisible Studio

Alan Stanton - Stanton Williams

Andrew Grant - Grant Associates

Meredith Bowles - Mole Architects

Joe Morris - Morris & Co

Peter Clegg – Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios

David Howarth – DRDH Architects

Paul King – Sheffield Hallam University

Damian Field – Damian Field Architects

Joe Giddings – Architect

Nicola Du Pisanie - Stonewood Design

Jeremy Poulter – Jeremy Poulter Architects

Christopher Daniel – Polysemic

Anna Gibb – Anna Gibb Architects

Chris Boyce – Assorted Skills & Talents

Victoria Simpson – DLG Architects

Paul Testa – Paul Testa Architects

Barbara Kaucky – Erect Architecture

Susanne Tutsch – Erect Architecture

Fergus Feilden – Feilden Fowles

Stephen Hodder – Hodder Associates

Niall Maxwell – Rural Office for Architecture

Keith Williams – Keith Williams Architects

Tom McGlynn – Niall McLaughlin Architects

Marcus Adams – JTP Architects

Angus Morrogh-Ryan – De Matos Ryan Architects

William Haggard – Carver Haggard Architects

Rob Wells – BD Landscape Architects

Thomas Bryans – IF_DO Architects

David Ayre – Ayre Chamberlain Gaunt

Pete Swift – Planit-IE

Sasha Edmonds – LIV Architects

Magnus Strom – Strom Architects

Bob Ghosh – K4

Pierre Wassenaar – Architect

Madeleine Kessler – Haptic Architects

Gayle Appleyard – Gagarin Studio

Anna Gibb – Allies and Morrison

Tom Goldthorpe – Hodder & Partners

Nick Riley – Whittam & Cox Architects

Marc Dix – LT Studio

Nicky Robinson – LT Studio

Dinah Bornat – ZCD Studios

Cordula Weisser – ZCD Studios

Alison Brooks – Alison Brooks Architects

Anthony Thistleton-Smith – Waugh Thistleton

Andrew Waugh – Waugh Thistleton

Patrick Lynch – Lynch Architects

Claudia Lynch – Lynch Architects

Zara Bloomfield – Studio Bloom

Maria Prieto Moreno – PDP London

Harriet Bourne – BBUK

Roland Karthaus – Matter Architecture

Jay Morton – Bell Phillips

Robin Webster – Cameron Webster

Tim Bell – Bell Phillips

Barbara Weiss – Barbara Weiss Architects

Alex Wilford – Bell Phillips

Tom Ebdon – Head of School, Falmouth University

- This is just a selection of signatories - names are being added all the time via