As one of the world’s largest architecture practices, Gensler launches its first Australian office in the New Year. Leanne Amodeo talks to Simon Trude, who will head up the new office.
December 12th, 2013
Above: A render of Shanghai Tower, Shanghai, China, due for completion 2014
With a global workforce of 3800 it seems extraordinary that Gensler has never opened an office in Australia. Or perhaps the timing has never been right – up until now. From the beginning of next year the architecture giant’s merger with small design studio 2d3dcreative founded by Simon Trude becomes official; the re-brand finally welcomes the country’s first Gensler office in Sydney.
The red zone in Gensler’s Los Angeles office
Its introduction into the Australian market will certainly make an impact and all eyes will be on Trude as head of the office. “We’re starting off small,” he says. “But we’re being strategic about the work we’re undertaking, which is based on the work I’ve already been doing with 2d3dcreative.”
Gensler’s Sydney office will focus on commercial interiors and its first major project is a refurbishment in the heart of Sydney’s CBD. The project involves replacing the building’s ground floor retail space with a fully hosted and facilitated business lounge. Due for completion this coming April this business lounge concept reflects Gensler’s innovative approach to workplace design.
The company’s own workplace culture is renowned; interestingly it has a high rate of return employees. Trude actually worked in the New York office before returning to Sydney in 2011. “David Gensler said he’d give me a call one day,” he says. “And sure enough they gave me a call a few months ago and said, ‘What are you up to? We think it’s about time we started talking.’”
Like all Gensler offices the Sydney office will grow as its clients need it to grow. Currently at four people Trude predicts this number could increase to 12 by the end of next year. The process is a completely organic one that relies on both demand and opportunity; opening up offices in Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane in the foreseeable future is not out of the question.
With each office led by local talent the emphasis is on understanding the local market. The investment in local community is strong, while the benefits of being part of a global company like Gensler are undeniable. “We have the global knowledge across so many disciplines,” says Trude. “We can draw on our expert leaders and bring those smarts to the local market to stay at the forefront of design.”
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