Buro Happold make all the right ‘noises’



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The British professional services firm Buro Happold has given a shot in the arm to its consultancy capabilities with the acquisition of one of the world’s leading acoustics and audio-visual consultancies, Vanguardia Limited, and its subsidiary Crowd Dynamics International.

‘Buro Happold’ stated that having worked together on renowned sports and entertainment projects for more than two decades, Buro Happold and Vanguardia have delivered some of the finest venues and experiences across the globe, including the Premier League team Tottenham Hotspur Football Club, the 20,000-capacity The O2 Arena in London (UK), the 45,350-capacity Education City Stadium in Al Rayyan, Qatar, the 80,000-capacity London Stadium in London (UK), and the 47,659-capacity Fisht Olympic Stadium in Sochi, Russia.

Bath (UK)-headquartered Buro Happold is a British professional services firm that provides engineering consultancy, design, planning, project management, and consulting services for buildings, infrastructure and the environment.

Katja Poguntke, BD Associate, Global Sport & Entertainment, Buro Happold, UK, is a Member of Coliseum – Global Sports Venue Alliance.

Oxted (UK)-based Vanguardia Consulting is an independent consultancy providing specialist advice on sound, noise, acoustics, and audio visual design. Its philosophy is to engage with its clients, to support them on matters that are important to their business and that enhance their reputation and value.

Manchester (UK)-based Crowd Dynamics is an independent, specialist crowd and transport planning consultancy. It is uniquely positioned to support clients who need the safe and efficient movement of people on all transport modes in the built environment and within the public realm.

‘Buro Happold’ further stated that the above venues have set a benchmark in stadium design and engineering. Buro Happold’s heritage of tackling complex engineering challenges in the built environment puts them in the perfect position to advise and design exceptional solutions for their clients.

From shrinking income – exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic which is still causing ravages in various part of the globe – to the climate emergency and competition from other sectors for leisure time, many organizations in the sports and entertainment industries are seeking greater community or urban integration, or are looking to refresh assets to optimize the experience of their users and generate a commercial return.

Together, the Buro Happold and Vanguardia teams will work to solve these problems faced by stadium and entertainment venue owners and operators, while also ensuring an exalted experience for fans.

Enthused James Bruce, head honcho, Buro Happold, “It is a really exciting time for Buro Happold. Having worked alongside Vanguardia and Crowd Dynamics International for more than 20 years, it is a natural step to formally bring them into the wider Buro Happold portfolio. We are enhancing our collective consultancy capabilities and creating significant opportunities for our clients.”

This acquisition signals a period of rapid acceleration for Buro Happold’s business and the industry as a whole. It increases their breadth and depth of expertise, strengthens their client consultant teams and helps to solve the complex challenges affecting stadia and entertainment venues.

The above acquisition will also help create a platform for the continued growth of Vanguardia – who excels in acoustics and audio-visual technology at sports and music venues – into new and exciting sectors and markets.

Jim Griffiths, Director, Vanguardia, remarked, “We are all very excited by the new opportunities that now exists with our new partners, including the global reach that it gives Vanguardia and Crowd Dynamics International. This is a great opportunity for our clients and employees, and we welcome the opportunity of sharing our specialist expertise throughout Buro Happold.”

The collaboration also extends from Vanguardia’s integrated engineering design, consultancy work and large-scale visioning for sports and entertainment venues, and the communities they serve. The acquisition specifically enhances their acoustics and sound engineering specialism and environmental advisory services, plus a broad range of electro-acoustic and technology offers. It also provides a fully integrated mobility consulting offer encompassing inclusive design, waste and logistics and crowd and traffic consulting capabilities.

Matthew Birchall, Partner and Global Sports and Entertainment Lead, Buro Happold, maintained, “We believe that venues should deliver a rich, memorable and sustainable experience for their visitors, and the best possible business returns for their stakeholders. Together, Buro Happold, Vanguardia and Crowd Dynamics will drive the creation of environments that deliver experiences to generate the best possible commercial and environmental performance.”

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