Foster's Lead Designer Starts Own Firm
January 13, 2004
Architect Ken Shuttleworth, lead designer for Foster and Partners, has left to begin his own firm. Opened on January 5, the unnamed practice is being temporarily housed at Arup's offices in London's West End. Shuttleworth, a 29-year Foster employee, played a key role in such notable designs as London's City Hall, Hong Kong's Chek Lap Kok Airport and the Commerzbank in Frankfurt, Germany, Europe's tallest building. He is also responsible for the controversial new Swiss Re headquarters in London, better known as the "Gherkin."
Nicknamed "Ken the Pen" for his rapid, fluid draftsmanship, Shuttleworth was appointed director of Foster and Partners in 1984. After overseeing the Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank Headquarters, he was made a firm partner in 1991.
In a written statement, Shuttleworth, 50, describes his leaving as "amicable." Yet his departure prompted fellow Foster employees Sean Affleck, Jason Parker, and James Thomas to join Shuttleworth in his new venture.
The moves are the latest blows to Foster's senior staff, several of which have followed former director Robin Partington to Hamilton Associates over the last 18 months.
Foster and Partners is one of the busiest, most prominent architectural practices in the world with a staff of 600 people overseeing 100 jobs.