Companies House data shows move will cost Hong Kong-based firm at least £15m

The Passenger Clearance Building in Hong Kong, by RSHP and Aedas

The Passenger Clearance Building in Hong Kong, designed by RSHP and Aedas

Global architecture and design practice Aedas has closed down its London-based operations at a cost of £15m to the Hong Kong-headquartered firm.

Companies House documents reveal that Aedas London and Aedas Interiors London, both previously based at St Katharine Docks, were placed into voluntary liquidation earlier this month.

Aedas was ranked No.8 on Building Design’s most recent World Architecture 100 survey of the biggest practices on the planet, with a headcount of 750 architects and fee income of US$230m-239m – £213m-£221m at today’s exchange rates.

Although there are 25 Aedas staff currently on the UK Register of Architects, only five are described as based in the UK. The remainder give work addresses in Hong Kong, Singapore and Macau.

Aedas also has offices in Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, Shenzhen, New Delhi, Dubai and Seattle.

Tara Theatre in south-west London, redeveloped by Aedas Arts Team

Source: Helene Binet

Tara Theatre in south-west London, redeveloped by Aedas Arts Team

According to the Companies House documents, resolutions were taken to wind up Aedas London and Aedas Interiors London on 9 September, with the appointment of Anthony John Wright and Alastair Rex Massey of FRP Advisory Trading as liquidators.

Hong Kong-based Aedas International was listed as far and away the biggest creditor for Aedas London, at £11.2m.

A statement of affairs document for Aedas Interiors London revealed it owed Aedas International £2.2m and Hong Kong-based Aedas Interiors £1.6m.

The statement of affairs documents were both signed by Aedas founding director Keith Griffiths. The one relating to Aedas London suggested eight redundancies had been made with combined claims for payment in lieu of notice of £118,028.

The documents showed trade creditors of Aedas London were owed £63,824. Trade creditors of Aedas Interiors London were owed £3,287.

A statement from Aedas said the business’ London operations had been impacted by a “severe contraction” in UK leisure and entertainment work over the past few years. 

“As a strategic drift, Aedas will allocate more resources to its business activities in Asia and the Middle East in view of the rapidly booming markets.” it said. 

“We do not regard the closure of Aedas London a ‘business collapse’ but, rather, a strategic decision. 

“In implementing this business decision, Aedas has made effective arrangements to assist its clients with a professional project transition and ensure fair compensation to Aedas’ employees.”