Australian architecture practice Hassell has announced plans to close down its Adelaide operations after completion of its current projects in 2021.
Established in 1938 by Philip Claridge, Colin Hassell and Jack McConnell, the Adelaide office is Hassell’s oldest studio. The firm’s international footprint spans Asia, the UK and the USA.
The firm will begin scaling back its Adelaide office by the end of the year. Hassell is currently involved in Charter Hall's $250-million GPO Exchange and the $90-million Adelaide Festival Centre redevelopments as well as the $165-million Adelaide Airport terminal expansion, and is committed to completing all projects before the official closure of its operations in the city. Hassell has no plans to close any other studio.
The decision is in alignment with the design firm’s strategy to focus on major city-shaping and urban regeneration projects.
Hassell launched its practice with the modern Art Deco building at 2 King William Street for the Bank of New South Wales. The firm's work on the Adelaide Festival Centre, Australia’s first performing arts centre designed by Hassell architect John Morphett in 1973, helped build the firm’s reputation.
Hassell will continue to be active in the Adelaide market by pursuing opportunities through local partnerships in combination with in-house talent, an approach that the firm has successfully taken for its global operations.
According to a statement from Hassell, "The firm signalled that it will be gradually scaling back its physical studio presence in Adelaide, but underlined its commitment to fully completing all current Adelaide projects until at least the end of 2021."
"Longer term, the firm will continue to maintain its interest in the Adelaide market and will pursue opportunities through a combination of partnerships with local firms and drawing on talent from the broader network of Hassell studios."
"This is an approach Hassell has taken in other markets internationally where a regional hub studio operates in multiple adjacent markets."
"In making this announcement, the Board cited the calibre of projects and the contribution of work, capability, and talent emerging from the Adelaide studio over many years, acknowledging the studio’s role positioning the firm to grow nationally and internationally."
"The Board also recognised the vision of its clients in Adelaide in commissioning truly leading design projects – many of which Hassell has been proud to work during the firm’s 80+ years of operation in Adelaide."
"In due course," says the firm, "the three Adelaide-based principals, Mariano DeDuonni, David Homburg and Chris Watkins, will remain in Adelaide and transition out of Hassell to establish a new independent consultancy that may collaborate on future opportunities with Hassell."
Pictured: A render of the Adelaide GPO Exchange project, which Hassell's Adelaide studio is collaborating on with Fitzpatrick and Partners.