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Stallan counters Fraser’s “turbo capitalist” remarks

January 23 2011

 Stallan counters Fraser’s “turbo capitalist” remarks
Paul Stallan, RMJM’s European Design Director, has sought to clarify recent press speculation surrounding Sir Fred Goodwin by telling Urban Realm that the former banker “is no longer advising RMJM at this time.”

Stallan stated: “In summary Sir Fred helped us last year to successfully re-finance our practice and provide some advise on our international operations. From this month we have established a new studio based structure to take us forward. Last year was a challenging year for our practice.

“My personal priority was however to our existing clients many of whom have worked with us for many years and who understand the strength and depth of our team and who have intelligently seen past some of the press speculation.

“My second priority has been to my own design team who I love and have fought hard to continue not just to employ but to work on world class projects.”

This intervention followed vocal criticism of RMJM by Malcolm Fraser, who wrote in a piece for the AJ: “The nailing of their colours to the Fred Goodwin turbo-capitalist mast sends shivers down the spine, the parallels between Scotland’s largest practice and Goodwin’s rbs self-proclaimed.”

In response Stallan retorted: “Our studio is an enigma to the likes of Malcolm Fraser who desperately wants to paint us into a corner as his nemesis. From a practice perspective we are not the opposite of Malcolm Fraser Architects. Malcolm is ‘niche’. The opposite of the niche practice is the ‘stack it high sell it cheap’ practice that in my view some want to categorise us as. RMJM have never stacked it high and have never sold our services cheap. We do not buy work. Our practice is what has been described in classic business management speak as ‘differentiated’.  We continuously evolve and innovate.

“Malcolm is jealous of our continued success.”


Ego Mad
#1 Posted by Ego Mad on 23 Jan 2011 at 22:21 PM
Looks like Paul has an ego also. Do any of us really need this nonensense in our lives. Surely Paul could have shortened his dialogue to a paragraph.
#2 Posted by Rivitt on 23 Jan 2011 at 23:43 PM
'Malcolm is jealous of our continued success' ? Clearly Paul Stallan & RMJM are rattled. What a spiteful outburst, in which Stallan appears to display a fundamental misunderstanding of why RMJM is in the firing line?
Also, this is unworthy and childish
#3 Posted by Harry on 24 Jan 2011 at 09:58 AM
I like Malcom and his little well thought out buildings, but I also like Paul and his funky education work. But which one is better....there's only one way to find out.
#4 Posted by baldy on 24 Jan 2011 at 10:35 AM
well said .... its about time RMJM got some credit for their good work!
#5 Posted by delilah on 24 Jan 2011 at 10:39 AM
There’s more to rmjm than meets the eye FFS!!!!!
MF does good work too, but I don’t know him! From what I can see he lacks a sense of humour.
St Peter
#6 Posted by St Peter on 24 Jan 2011 at 11:09 AM
RMJM wanted to stack it high in Petersburg, the "Gazprom" Tower. Thankfully, in the end, after international protest, it was refused permission. It was a case of selling RMJMs soul very cheaply.

Huge commercial practice, stacking it high wherever it gets paid for doing so.

Thsoe who have not followed the fall of RMJM internationally over the past year or so need to see this as a damage limitation exercise by RMJM / Paul Stallan. Unfortunate that he simply comes across as petulant.
#7 Posted by delilah on 24 Jan 2011 at 11:58 AM
RMJM are not a commercial practice ... RMJM are the worlds leading Education architect. Gazprom was won in open competition and awarded on design. Beat Fuksas, Nouvel, H+DeM. ... Why do sad Scots resent success and the opportunity for young architects to work overseas from Scotland with having to go to London and work with the likes of Foster or KPF New York or SOM chicago?
#8 Posted by SAndals on 24 Jan 2011 at 12:21 PM
"RMJM are the worlds leading Education architect"
My my my, delilah! You've made a HUGE leap there!
St Peter
#9 Posted by St Peter on 24 Jan 2011 at 12:22 PM
delilah I think you need to wise up on RMJM and all those major architects who withdrew from the Gazprom competition, and all that happened since then.

Not a commercial practice? 'World's leading education architect'?

Clearly some joke!
#10 Posted by RB on 24 Jan 2011 at 12:52 PM
I know Malcolm; he has a great sense of humour. I have no doubt laughter is filling North Bridge Studios today.
Alan Dunlop
#11 Posted by Alan Dunlop on 24 Jan 2011 at 12:55 PM
Get a grip! Paul Stallan is one of our best young architects so too is Malcolm Fraser. They are a credit to architecture in Scotland unlike the plonker who signed in as GM AD on the Stephen Miles post. And the Kermit the Frog was funny, I'm sure Malcolm is big enough to see the joke!
D to the R
#12 Posted by D to the R on 24 Jan 2011 at 13:15 PM
Malcolm has a sense of humour.....have you seen his trousers......ouch......Stallan is saying what what everyone is thinking - get on with the Malky
#13 Posted by h.a. on 24 Jan 2011 at 13:31 PM
'World's leading education architect' in this country means 'Britain's bigest education architect', where biggest is measured in pounds
#14 Posted by Rivitt on 24 Jan 2011 at 13:34 PM
'Young' (?) Malcolm Fraser said what is true in a global sense about RMJM, and the Morrisons' commercialising of a once good practice. Hiring Fred Goodwin was a major miscalculation which did the international reputation of RMJM no favours. Clearly he has been ditched, and RMJM is trying to put that episode in its history behind it.

Malcolm Fraser didn't turn to personal jibes, or mention Paul Stallan as the 'architect' of RMJMs global difficulties. That also is a miscalculation on RMJMs part, to lower the level of debate as Stallan has done.

It is possible that those difficulties have passed some of those commenting here by?
#15 Posted by Rivitt on 24 Jan 2011 at 14:35 PM
Paul Stallan's blog post on Urban Realm re Kermit has been removed?

For the record, it had the picture as above alongside the text "Works just like Malcolm Fraser".

Side splitter.
D Dan
#16 Posted by D Dan on 24 Jan 2011 at 20:43 PM
LOL...It's a good old Glasgow v Edinburgh pagger. Stallon being backed up by the Glasgow Mafia Aka Alan D minus his Boss. Wee Malkie greetin up in North Bridge with a few faceless names hoddin his coat. Christ wot a bloody laff. Respected Scottish architects. They ought to be ashamed of themselves, particulary PS who must be cringin to read the drivel and that he loves his team!!
#17 Posted by MM on 24 Jan 2011 at 21:26 PM
It's D Dan should be ashamed, what a pile of cringe-making semi-literate drivel. Let's hope you aren't a member of the architecture 'profession'.
#18 Posted by PC on 24 Jan 2011 at 22:04 PM
MM. I actually thought D Dan was rather amusing in a neo vernacular sort of way.
#19 Posted by Muppetry on 25 Jan 2011 at 11:54 AM

Malcolm Fraser
#20 Posted by Malcolm Fraser on 25 Jan 2011 at 18:09 PM
Ah. I've been away - exporting to Orkney. For the record I like Paul Stallan, both on a personal basis and for what he brings to rmjm. I don't like the general rmjm business model and say so; by doing this I put Paul in a difficult position, and he deals with it fine. Times is hard - I don't just mean economically, but there's little place to care and talk and make architecture, so no need for fussin and fightin here and respect all round...
D to the R
#21 Posted by D to the R on 25 Jan 2011 at 22:10 PM
.....tsk.....that'll be the end of that Harry Hill TV Burp-esque fight......oh well back to my door schedule.
#22 Posted by jt on 25 Jan 2011 at 22:15 PM
Not really D to the R, you'll still be a twat.
Uh huh...
#23 Posted by Uh huh... on 26 Jan 2011 at 11:06 AM
'He deals with it fine'? Not really. If the quotes above are accurate PS didn't deal with it 'fine' at all.

But interesting to read that you are mellowing Malcolm... How does that chilled out moral high ground feel?

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