News - 18 December 2020

UNStudio to Open Dubai, Melbourne Offices in 2021

UNStudio is expanding its local presence with two new satellite offices in Dubai and Melbourne, alongside our existing sites in Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Shanghai and Hong Kong.

UNStudio will now have teams based in six locations around the world, with offices opening in Dubai and Melbourne in early 2021.

“Over the last 30 years, we have carried out projects around the globe, but from now on, we will also be present on the ground across multiple time zones,” said UNStudio’s founder and principal architect, Ben van Berkel.

“The direction UNStudio has taken in recent years has been one of growth and of the exploration of new and developing markets,” he added. “We are constantly pushing the boundaries of what our profession and our practice can accomplish in the years ahead. Now we are literally crossing borders and becoming a ‘glocal’ company.”

With these additional local presences, UNStudio’s team will now cover five continents – Europe, Asia, Australia, North America and South America.

The main driver for this expansion is to strengthen our relationships with our clients and local partners, while also enabling our team to better serve different markets.

This development will mean that we are in a greater position to apply our in-house expertise to the entire process, from concept and design to execution and supervision.

Van Berkel highlighted that while the world is in a state of flux due to the Corona virus pandemic, our previous expansion into Asia also can at a time of global turmoil, but brought with it many opportunities.

“During the global financial crisis of 2008, we opened our two Asian offices in Shanghai and Hong Kong,” he said. “This was a good way to tap into new markets, even in those difficult times."

He stressed: “Even if the Corona virus pandemic has forced many of us to stay at home, we see this as an opportune moment for reflection and reinvention. We believe that having a local presence around the globe can establish a firm foundation for future growth.”

The new offices are also the result of an increase in work in these regions. In Frankfurt, we’re currently working on FOUR Frankfurt, a four-tower development that will change the city’s skyline. In Melbourne, construction on Australia’s tallest tower, aka ‘the Green Spine’, which we designed with Cox Architects, will soon commence, while we also have another development being built on Little Bourke Street. In Dubai, the wasl Tower, which will feature the world’s tallest ceramic facade, is currently being built, and we recently finished work on the Doha Metro Network in Qatar.

The new office in Dubai, for which our team is already on the ground, will cover the Middle East, North Africa, India, Russia and the Caucasus. The new Melbourne office will focus on projects throughout Australasia.

The offices in Shanghai and Hong Kong will continue to service mainland China and Southeast-Asia, while Amsterdam and Frankfurt will cover Europe and the Americas.

With these new offices in place, Amsterdam will remain the headquarters from which - depending on local demand - projects can be supported with know-how, resources and expert staff.

UNStudio was founded in 1988 under the name of Van Berkel and Bos, with the Amsterdam office opening first, followed by Shanghai in 2008 and Hong Kong in 2014. Our Frankfurt office opened in 2019, and our team based in Dubai became operational at the end of 2020, with the office to formally open early next year. The Melbourne office is scheduled for opening in the first quarter of 2021.

Explore some of the other projects we’ve been working on in the UAE in particular and Australia.

To read our full newsletter on the new offices, click here.