The Australian Institute of Architects has decided to wind up the operations of its wholly owned subsidiary, Archicentre Pty Ltd on the recommendation of Archicentre’s Board.

Observing that Archicentre has provided a valuable service to members of the public for many years, AIA National President, Professor Ken Maher explained that the Boards of both Archicentre and the Institute agreed to bring Archicentre’s operations to an orderly conclusion following a review of its financial position and market conditions.

According to Maher, Archicentre has provided Australians with a wide range of quality architectural services for 36 years. However, the market and environment in which Archicentre operated have changed dramatically, with the organisation becoming one of many service providers in an increasingly competitive and densely populated market.

Maher said that the welcome improvement of consumer watchdogs has strengthened consumer protections in a way that overarches the services Archicentre was established to provide. These changes have strained Archicentre’s business model and financial position for some time.

Though the Institute’s National Council and the Archicentre Board have implemented a wide variety of measures over the past two years to return the company to a sound financial footing, Archicentre’s financial position has continued to deteriorate, to the point that it has become unsustainable in the current market situation.

After careful examination of available options and confirmed by independent financial advice, the AIA thought it prudent to bring Archicentre’s operations to an orderly conclusion – a responsible course of action that will best serve the interests of all involved including customers, contractors and the broader membership.

The Institute also acknowledges the vision and continued contribution of Robert Caulfield, a founding Director of Archicentre and extends their gratitude to all those associated with Archicentre.

Moving forward, Archicentre’s 12 employees, whose employment is managed by the Institute, are being supported throughout the winding up process. Opportunities to redeploy these staff are being explored, and all entitlements will be paid in full in the event of redundancy.

The Institute will also refund Archicentre’s existing customers for any services paid for but not delivered and, where possible, make referrals to other service providers. The Institute will pay all contractors and members for work carried out prior to Archicentre ceasing to trade.