Dubai – Thursday 23rd April 2009 – Leading international architecture company RMJM today announced the creation of a Global Transportation Architecture Studio which will aim to expand work designing airports, railway stations, ferry piers and terminals and transport hubs around the world. A team of experts in the company’s Dubai office will now work together with other specialists in the RMJM network to bid for large-scale projects.
Over the last year the GCC has seen an enormous rise in investment into transportation infrastructure. In the next few months Dubai is set to unveil the first lines in the world’s longest fully automated rail system. Abu Dhabi similarly unveiled plans in August last year for the creation of an integrated mass transit system to connect its upcoming communities. Outside of the UAE, 2008 saw Oman and Kuwait announcing future plans for their first-ever rail infrastructure.
Plans for a further network connecting all 6 GCC countries, is also scheduled for the upcoming years. Catering for passenger and freight traffic, the first of the two lines would cover approximately 1,970km, starting in Kuwait and stretching through Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, the UAE and down to Oman. The second would be a 1,984km line stretching between Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Oman.
The launch of the RMJM transportation studio, is not only designed to meet the growing demands of the GCC, but also follows the company’s recently announced intention to streamline the business in the challenging economic climate by focusing on areas which are subject to massive government investment. Its other recently formed global studios, focusing on education and healthcare, are paying dividends with a significant increase in commissions from the public sector as clients seek to benefit from an international pool of design experts.
By aligning itself to the priorities of world leaders, RMJM is creating a unique, rapid-response business model in the architectural industry and one which its management believes will enable the company to survive and thrive.
Although RMJM already has considerable experience in the transport sector – including the recent Dubai Metro Purple Line and Airport Express railway, the Circle Line in Singapore, and numerous new stations and refurbishments in Hong Kong, Landbridge Transportation Hub (Abu Dhabi), Taoyuan Airport Station (Taiwan) and Kolkata Airport (India) – it has not previously exploited opportunities on a global-scale.
Bertil de Kleynen, the Managing Principal of RMJM’s new Global Transportation Architecture Studio, said: “The strength of RMJM’s transport group lies in our vast portfolio of international transportation projects and by our presence in all major regions. These include architectural design work on more than one hundred transportation buildings including rail and aviation originating from 15 offices world-wide.”
RMJM’s depth of knowledge in this space has earned the company a reputation for managing high quality transportation projects with a strong sense of arrival and place, for both international airports and local railway stations. RMJM’s philosophy for transport design is passenger-led to meet client requirements, with a focus on comfort, accessibility and safety.
Bertil de Kleynen added: “Many architectural companies accept being led through the complicated design process associated with transportation projects; whereas RMJM prefers to drive the design from both the urban design and architecture perspective. Where appropriate, we endeavour to protect a city’s architectural image and are not afraid to take a stand for the good of the city and the people. We are proud to be strong architects – our passion and drive for testing the parameters and raising the bar for each project to provide the client with the best possible answer comes in the shape of RMJM taking a strong leadership role as opposed to just following a process blindly.”
RMJM is a UK-based, international firm of architects, employing over 1,000 people across its network of 15 offices in the UK, Europe, the Middle East, Asia and the United States. RMJM’s expertise and design-led approach is successfully demonstrated in on-going projects in more than 20 countries spanning a wide range of key sectors, from corporate headquarters and waterfront residential developments to major public buildings, university campuses and large-scale regeneration programs. The company currently has US$20 billion worth of construction projects on its drawing boards, including some of the world’s most high profile and ambitious projects.
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