Save for a brief respite of good news about some awards won, the bad seems to be piling up again for RMJM, one of the largest architecture firms in the world. You might recall that all this negative press seemed to start toward the end of last year, when it was reported that Stirling Prize-winning architect Will Alsop, who joined the firm back in 2009 after pulling a fast one on the industry by claiming he was quitting architecture for good, hadn’t yet landed any of the big commissions he was brought in to win. This week, Architects Journal reported that they’d received word that Alsop was preparing to make his exit from RMJM, jumping ship after less than two years and starting a new firm with a fellow RMJM architect. Building Design, on the other hand, spoke to Alsop, who said these were all mere rumors. “I don’t have any plans to leave at all,” he told BD. “I am aware of these rumours – it is like rumours on rumours.” However, if we’ve learned anything from politics or the entertainment industry, isn’t it that first you deny until you have your story in place and then a week later, you come out and fess up? And since we’ve been duped by Alsop before, should we believe his explanation? Whatever the case with this sole architect in a company who employs quite a few of them, the firm itself has continued to suffer rocky terrain. Elsewhere in Building Design, they report that RMJM has now found itself in another courtroom battle, this time in a suit filed against them by the German firm Muller BBM, who are claiming they are owed roughly $140,000 in unpaid fees for their contributions to RMJM’s Gazprom Tower in St. Petersburg, which still hasn’t begun construction.
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