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Founded 1946 by Sir Ove Arup
Offices in 37 countries
Key people Terry Hill, Chairman
Mike Shears, Chair of the Trustees
Industry Construction management, engineering consulting
Revenue GB£430 million (2005)
Employees ca. 9,000
Arup is a professional services firm providing engineering, design, planning, project management and consulting services for all aspects of the built environment. The firm is present in the Americas, Australasia, East Asia, Europe and Middle East, and now has close to 9,000 staff based in 86 offices in 37 countries. Projects have been undertaken in more than 160 countries.
The firm was founded in 1946, as Ove N. Arup, Consulting Engineers by Sir Ove Nyquist Arup. Sir Ove set out to build a firm where professionals of diverse disciplines could work together to produce projects of greater quality than was achievable than by them working in isolation. The firm was later reformed as "Ove Arup & Partners" with partners Ronald Jenkins, Geoffrey Wood and Andrew Young.
In the late 1940s and 1950s the firm undertook work around the UK, including the Brynmawr Rubber Factory and Coventry Cathedral, as well as significant work in Africa.
In 1956 Peter Dunican, later the Chairman of Arup and the President of the Institution of Structural Engineers was appointed as a partner.
In 1957 the firm started working on the design of the new Sydney Opera House with the architect Jorn Utzon.
Further partners appointed were Ronald Hobbs in 1961 and Povl Ahm and Jack Zunz in 1965
In 1963, together with the architect Philip Dowson, Arup Associates was formed to offer multi-disciplinary architectural and engineering services. Philip Dowson did not become a partner until 1969, after the firm was reformed again as "Ove Arup & Partners Consulting Engineers and Arup Associates" in 1967. In 1970 the firm was again re-organised, with the "Ove Arup Partnership" becoming the parent company of "Ove Arup & Partners" and "Arup Associates". In the same year Ove Arup delivered what is known as "The Key Speech", a speech setting out the values of Arup.
By 1973 the firm reached 1500 employees.
In 1977, with the original partners nearing retirement, the firm was again reconstituted, with all of Ove Arup Partnership's equity owned by a trust.
In 1988 Ove Arup died, and in 1989 "The Ove Arup Foundation" was established in his memory. By 1991 the firm had 3,500 permanent staff, and in 1992 the parent company Ove Arup Partnership became a private unlimited liability company, owned in trust for its employees. In 1999 it was changed to a limited company.
Up to the end of the 20th century Arup's growth was entirely organic, but towards the end of the 20th century and during the first decade of the 21st century Arup has grown further with several mergers and acquisitions:
1998: the water engineering part of the firm merged with Rofe Kennard & Lapworth, forming RKL-Arup.
1999: the Advanced Technology Group merged with Design Research Associates Ltd and formed DRAL-Arup, providing vehicle design services.
1999: Arup Communications merged with BMP Communications.
2000: merger with NAPA formed Arup NAPA, providing airports services.
2000: merger with Jolyon Drury Consultants formed Arup-JDC, providing materials handling and logistics services.
2006: acquisition of Rossmore, a Solihull based management consultancy.
In 2001 Arup Australia formally merged with Ove Arup Partnership Ltd, forming Arup Group Ltd. The entire firm is now known simply as Arup. The firm's official "mission" is to shape a better world.
It is best known for its design work for the built environment. Projects to which it has contributed include the Sydney Opera House, which is largely credited with launching Arup into the premier league of engineering consultancies.
Other projects include:
Pompidou Centre, Paris
Oresund Bridge, Denmark / Sweden
30 St Mary Axe, London
De Young Museum, San Francisco
HSBC headquarters, Hong Kong
Channel Tunnel Rail Link, UK
Millennium Bridge, London
Dongtan Ecocity, China
Angel of the North, Gateshead, UK
Pero's Bridge, Bristol, UK
Torre Bicentenario, Mexico City, Mexico
Beijing National Aquatics Centre, Beijing, China
Arup's work with The Druk White Lotus School, Ladakh, won them Large Consultancy Firm of the Year 2003 at the British Consultants and Construction Bureau - International Expertise Awards, 2003 building on their triple win atthe 2002 World Architecture Awards.
Arup was awarded the for its Vawtex air system in Harare International School.
Arup Fire has won the Fire Safety Engineering Design award four times since its creation in 2001. The 2001 inaugural award was won for Arup's contribution to the Eden Project in Cornwall, UK, the world's largest greenhouse. In 2004, the design for London's City Hall was appointed joint winner. In 2005 the Temple Mills Eurostar Depot won. The 2006 winning entry was for Amethyst House, a nine storey building with an atrium from the ground to the top, in Manchester, UK.
Angel of the North, near Gateshead, United Kingdom
Centre Pompidou, Paris, France
30 St Mary Axe, London, United Kingdom
Oresund Bridge, Denmark
Sydney Opera House, Sydney, Australia