Jo Wright to lead practice’s London studio after eight years as Arup’s architecture director for the UK, Middle East and Africa

Jo Wright_2

Jo Wright has been appointed as managing director of Perkins & Will’s London studio

Perkins & Will has appointed a former director of architecture at Arup as its new managing director in London.

Jo Wright will join the practice behind the £600m Leeds Teaching Hospitals scheme this month and will replace interim managing director Robert Brown.

Brown took over last year after former managing director Steven Charlton stepped down in May 2022 after four and a half years in the role to found his own practice, I/O Atelier.

Wright will lead Perkins & Will’s London studio, which will soon move from its current office in the White Chapel Building in east London, a 1980s block refurbished by Fletcher Priest in 2018, into new Perkins & Will-designed headquarters at 150 Holborn.

She joined Arup in 2015 and was its architecture director for the UK, Middle East and Africa region for just over eight years.

Prior to this, she spent more than 20 years at Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, as an architect, partner and studio leader.

Perkins & Will said she has an extensive knowledge of the UK market and experience leading projects in a wide range of scales and sectors including offices, hospitality, culture, higher education, healthcare and urban design.

Brown said Wright’s experience will be “invaluable to her role in strengthening and steering the London studio’s presence in 2023 and beyond.”

Wright, who will be the practice’s first female managing director, is a founder member of the Equilibrium Network, an organisation which brings together senior women in the construction industry to promote the benefits of greater gender diversity at executive level.

She is also a champion of sustainability in construction, having worked on some of the UK’s first BREEAM Outstanding rated buildings.

She said this year is “set to pose many challenges, and unlike the last economic downturn, climate change is likely to remain at the top of the agenda. 

“Like many industries, sustainability is a priority for architecture and design professionals. Ensuring new buildings and bringing all assets up to the highest sustainability standards will be key to reducing the built environment’s contribution to carbon emissions.”

Perkins & Will replaced BDP on the job to design two hospitals for the Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust last year.

The practice is one of the largest in the world with around 2,600 staff and studios in 28 cities.

Founded in 1935 and headquartered in Chicago, it has been owned by Lebanese construction consultant Dar Group since 1986.

Perkins hospital

The practice replaced BDP on the £600m job to design two hospitals for the Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust last year