Last week, leading UK construction, refurbishment and fit out contractor, Gilbert-Ash marked its recent growth by unveiling a collaborative As One exhibition at an event at The IET, London.
Attended by over 100 high profile guests from the across the design and construction industry, the considered collection celebrates twenty three iconic projects.
The exhibition has been designed to represent how Gilbert-Ash has grown significantly in this time as a result of its unique collaborative approach working with its team, partners and clients to create landmark buildings around the world.
Selected and interpreted by Hugh Mulholland, one of the UK and Ireland’s leading visual art curators and currently Senior Curator of The MAC (Metropolitan Arts Centre) in Belfast, the imagery includes recent, high-profile projects. These include the Cambridge Mosque, stand-out Royal College of Pathologists headquarters, the award-winning City of London Freemen’s School swimming pool and the stunning new build of the renowned Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts.
Curator Hugh Mulholland commented: “As One” is a considered collection that brings together imagery from Gilbert-Ash’s most recent, highest profile projects. In totality, the exhibition symbolises the company’s ‘as one’ approach. But take a closer look and you’ll discover that each photograph does too. Wood, glass, stone and the environment in which each building exists work together to create a unity much greater than the sum of the parts.
Ray Hutchinson, Managing Director, Gilbert-Ash commented: “As we recognise the recent success of many projects and our continued growth as company, we felt it was the perfect time to step back and take a moment to understand why we have reached this point; and this exhibition is the result – a celebration of collaboration and our signature can-do style.
“We have had the privilege of working with visionary clients, partners and suppliers, and we really do work as one to pursue excellence, delivering innovative, bespoke buildings all over the world. Gilbert-Ash is an employee owned company which certainly leads to a unique working culture. Our success is in no small part down to this environment and the hands-on attitude of our dedicated team – often going above and beyond to deliver stunning buildings while confidently facing and overcoming challenges that can often be encountered.”
The venue selected for the unveiling of the ‘As One’ exhibition – the headquarters of the Institution of Engineering &Technology (IET) on Savoy Place – is also an award-winning Gilbert-Ash project preserving a heritage building while providing a contemporary home for the IET and its 150,000 members in 127 countries around the world and one of London’s most technologically advanced conferencing facilities.
Aside from projects highlighted in the As One exhibition, Gilbert-Ash’s current work on prestigious Royal College of Music in London was represented this evening by a talented quartet which accompanied the unveiling.
Gilbert-Ash projects have been shortlisted for the Royal Institute of British Architects’ Stirling Prize with its work on the Everyman Theatre recognised in the winning of the coveted award in 2014. The contractor employs over 180 staff at offices in London and Belfast and is currently UK Contractor of the Year in the coveted Construction News Awards.
Gilbert-Ash’s latest financial results reveal significant year-on-year growth with an increase in overall turnover to £179.4m in 2018, up from £165.5m in the previous year. The company also confirmed a more than three-fold increase in pre-tax profits to £7.6m in 2018, an increase from £2m in 2017. Gilbert-Ash attributes its continued strong performance to its ‘As One’ approach and its unique working culture and family environment as an employee-owned company. It also highlighted the completion this year of a broad portfolio of successful construction projects across sectors including arts and culture, workplace, hotels and leisure, science and technology, retail and residential.
Speaking tonight at the event, Managing Director, Ray Hutchinson also revealed plans to invest in new £5m headquarters in Belfast with work already underway on the prestigious new facilities close to its current offices in Boucher Road in the city.
The As One Exhibition will be moving tomorrow to The MAC, an award-winning venue in Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter and home to iconic exhibitions, theatre performances, and contemporary experimental works. Employees, partners and industry stakeholders from across Northern Ireland will join Gilbert-Ash in the Belfast unveiling.