Arup employs many architects on its staff, working alongside specialists in building design and engineering. Architectural services that Arup offers fall into two distinct categories: lead architectural and engineering services and technical specialist architecture for particular building types like sports venues or transport interchanges.
Lead architectural services
When Arup provides lead architectural services they are always delivered by a multidisciplinary team committed to creating integrated designs, with sustainable outcomes being a key driver in design and execution.
In regions such as China, many clients expect integrated total design, so Arup may be the lead provider of both architectural and engineering services. To date Arup has dedicated lead architectural services to Europe and Asia.
The firm's enduring connection with the Druk White Lotus School in Ladakh, India, is illustrative of how Arup can bring great value in the dual role of architect and engineer. All the designs for the school, and the library since added, are tailored to the unique demands of its users and location. It is built with local materials and highly sustainable in energy and water use.
Integrated design practice Arup Associates was established as part of Arup in 1963. From the start it has been committed to delivering architectural and engineering services seamlessly and with equal weight. The aim is to enable technologically-advanced design that is appropriate, economic and sensitive to environmental and human needs.
Arup Associates' work is diverse and commissioned by public and private sector clients. Their award-winning buildings range from the 3W’s stand at Kensington Oval cricket ground in Barbados, and Plantation Place in the City of London, to the sustainable Citi Data Center in Frankfurt, Germany.
Collaborative technical specialist architecture
Arup has a reputation for tackling large and complex engineering and design challenges, and certain building types benefit from the attention of designers with specific skills. With its comprehensive offering of advanced skills and multidisciplinary teams, Arup is uniquely well-placed to collaboratively design technically-demanding and primarily functional buildings. The firm has architects engaged in the specialist areas of sports architecture and transport interchange planning.
From working on large multidisciplinary projects, Arup has developed its design team leadership service. In this role Arup is a non-partisan coordinator of all the design disciplines, on behalf of the client. This brings clarity of lead, making sure that overall project and client objectives are prioritised over any competing concerns that arise, to ensure the efficient completion of projects; on time and on budget. In this role Arup leads and integrates externally-appointed architects within the team of designers, engineers and consultants.
Sir Ove Arup’s aspiration for 'Total Architecture' was that great things can result when "all relevant design decisions have been considered together and have been integrated into a whole by a well organised team".