It looks like the rumors were true: Vishaan Chakrabarti will indeed leave SHoP Architects, and in a statement released this morning, the architect revealed that he's starting his own firm, Partnership for Architecture and Urbanism.
"We are at the beginning stages of a historic urban expansion," the statement reads. "With a thorough understanding of the transforming 21st-century cosmopolitan landscape, the Partnership for Architecture and Urbanism will use design, architecture and urban planning to create an ecological network of empowered citizens, generous buildings, discursive public space, strong infrastructure and a thriving urban environment."
In that same statement, PAU outlined its goals as a company, which includes "advanc[ing] groundbreaking architecture and urbanism projects that build the physical, economic, social and cultural networks of cities, with an emphasis on beauty, function, and user experience." The firm has already snagged its first client: Sidewalk Labs, a Google-backed start-up that aims to "improve life in cities," founded by former Bloomberg deputy mayor Dan Doctoroff. According to the statement, other clients include "a new project with Two Trees Management, and a new cultural building in Manhattan." (The Hudson Yards Culture Shed or WTC Performing Arts Center, perhaps?)
"I'm at this threshold moment where I can synthesize an unusually broad background," Chakrabarti told New York magazine's Justin Davidson. "It's a very different proposition than starting a firm when you're 25. I'm not going to be doing kitchens and bathrooms. I can handle large-scale work and complex work."
SHoP released its own statement this morning, which reads:
We founded SHoP in 1996 to create architecture that makes cities more vibrant, more beautiful, and more rewarding places for all to live. It was a pleasure to work toward those goals with Vishaan over the last three years and we wish him the best. · Exclusive: Architect Vishaan Chakrabarti Is Leaving SHoP, Setting Up His Own Shop [NYM]
· Are SHoP Architects and Vishaan Chakrabarti Parting Ways? [Curbed]