RMJM Architecture in Europe
Sir Robert Matthew and Stirrat Johnson-Marshall first entered into partnership in 1956, creating RMJM with the firm’s first offices established in Edinburgh and London. Despite their opposite temperaments, the founding fathers shared a belief in the value of diversity and powerful reputations in public service. While Robert was Chief Architect and Planning Officer at the Scottish Home and Health Department, Johnson-Marshall was widely credited as being the driving force behind the prefabricated school design, enabling Britain to meet the significant demand for post-war school construction. The firm established a reputation for functional, modernist design and by the early 1970s, RMJM had grown to be one of the UK’s most iconic architectural practices. RMJM is responsible for some of London’s most recognisable buildings including the Royal Commonwealth Institute, New Zealand House and the Royal Festival Hall.
Entrepreneurial & international in an era, particularly within architectural circles, where such ambition was not common practice, the founders initiated a culture of internationalism that has remained with the business throughout its long history.
Despite the international profile of the firm, some of RMJM’s most celebrated works have been completed in Scotland, including the Falkirk Wheel, The New Scottish Parliament and the Commonwealth Games Village in Glasgow. Around the UK, RMJM buildings can be found in almost every sector. However, it is in the field of European education architecture that RMJM has been most widely recognised, with signature buildings in Oxford & Cambridge among the highlights.
In 2011, RMJM acquired YRM in London, a long established practice with a wealth of experience and a significant portfolio of work in transport, infrastructure, science and technology. YRM were part of the design team on Heathrow’s Terminal 5 and have become increasingly recognised for their thought leadership on various design topics.
RMJM’s steps into mainland Europe were primarily project driven during the latter years of the 20th Century and early years of the 21st Century. The most notable of these, and probably the most high profile project in the firm’s history, was a commission to design a new 500m tower for Gazprom in St Petersburg. The project was secured by RMJM London in competition with some of the world’s leading signature designers.
The 21st Century has seen RMJM establish footholds around Europe. In Turkey, RMJM has a significant presence, with offices in Istanbul and Ankara. The firm has developed a very strong portfolio of built work including the widely acclaimed Varyap Meridian project in Istanbul. In Rome, RMJM Italy has developed an increasingly recognised team of designers, working on multiple projects around the world and offering their exquisite interior design expertise to the whole RMJM family.