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History

Arup has played an influential part in the evolution of the built environment for over seventy years. We add to that proud history every day.

Ove Arup was the greatest engineer of the 20th century. Unconventional and playful in his approach, his collaborative working style revolutionised building design during his lifetime and influenced how buildings are made today. ” Zofia Trafas White co-curator of the V&A exhibition “Engineering the World: Ove Arup and the philosophy of Total Design”

In 1946, philosopher and engineer Ove Arup set up his consulting engineering business in London. In the more than 70 years since then, Arup has grown into an international consulting firm of worldwide scope and reach.


Right from the start, Arup was known for its close collaborations with leading architects like Renzo Piano, Richard Rogers and Norman Foster. In its first two decades, the firm expanded rapidly and earned a reputation for creative and economical solutions across the built environment – a reputation it still enjoys today.


By 1976, Arup’s reputation had become truly global with the completion of the Sydney Opera House. By this time, the firm had opened offices in Northern Europe, Southern Africa, South East Asia and Australia. Its breadth of expertise was already considerable: this ranged from offshore engineering, acousticsfacades, and specialist skills such as impact, blast, risk and seismic engineering, to niche areas such as designing transportation containers for nuclear waste.


The firm’s portfolio of products and services today is even more wide-ranging. Many of the world’s most iconic sports stadia are Arup projects – such as Beijing’s Water Cube, the Singapore Sports Hub and London Aquatics Centre. Arup is trusted to develop vital new infrastructure, like the Second Avenue Subway or the Queensferry Bridge Crossing.


We’re collaborating on the development of the Hyperloop rapid transit system. Our range of computer modelling tools like MassMotion enable better decision making and more insightful design choices. Our virtual listening environment SoundLab facilitates better outcomes by letting clients hear the sound of spaces – before they are actually built.

Clients continue to come to Arup because of the way we think and do. Increasingly diverse projects bring innovations and leaps of imagination that benefit our clients and the environments in which we all live and work. We call this ‘shaping a better world’