A real success story from RTKL
The turbulent global economy has seen scores of practices fall by the wayside over the past few years and yet other firms seem to have flourished. Last week, WAN received news that international architecture, engineering, planning and creative services organisation RTKL will oversee the completion of eight new tall and midsize buildings during 2013, a year that it has affectionately entitled ‘The Year of the Tower’.
It will come as no surprise that seven of these structures can be found in China with one in Indonesia, far away from the financial troubles in Europe. Norm Garden, Executive Vice President at RTKL explains that the practice’s buoyant position is the result of considered planning and careful analysis of the global economy: “RTKL was able to preserve strong financial numbers throughout the recession because of our foresight and our emphasis on performance-driven design. The leaders in our firm saw the downturn coming and planned accordingly.”
So what of the new towers? The majority are mixed-use developments - a speciality of RTKL’s - and merge commercial office spaces with retail units, expansive public plazas, hospitality facilities and a smattering of residential apartments. The firm’s tallest tower to be completed in 2013 is the 328m Wuxi Suning Plaza, a glittering glass form due to have a big impact on the local vicinity, its sky lobby higher that the top splinters of Renzo Piano’s The Shard in London.
Wuxi Suning Plaza is an office-focussed building with 67 floors dedicated to prime commercial space in the region’s industrial centre. On a slightly smaller scale is Ciputra World, a 250m mixed-use tower which blends elements of hospitality, retail, residential and entertainment into a highly sustainable form, encompassing insulated glass, onsite water treatment, high-efficiency mechanical systems and thermal comfort controls.
It is this ability to offer a diverse range of architectural outcomes that has set RTKL on the road to success. The firm has refrained from pigeon-holing itself and continued to expand on the list of options it can present to potential clients. Garden details: “Over the years, we have established diverse project types and have developed strong relationships in regions all over the world which helped us keep our balance financially. Our culture of adopting new technology early has maintained efficiency in our work and our resources.”
But it is not simply market analysis and a varied portfolio that guarantees success. Garden concludes: “More than just financial planning, our greatest strength lies in our product - we stayed ahead of the competition by focusing on great design and how it can make the world a better place.”
We want to hear about your success stories, no matter how big or small, so let us know in the 'Your Comments' section.