Arup Group

Arup (officially Arup Group Limited) is a British multinational professional services firm headquartered in London which provides engineering, architecture, design, planning, project management and consulting services for all aspects of the built environment. The firm employs in excess of 16,000 staff and has a presence in over 30 countries.[3] Arup has participated in projects in over 160 countries.[4]

Arup Group Limited
TypePrivate, held in trust for the benefit of its employees
IndustryDesign, Engineering, Architecture and Business consultation
PredecessorArup & Arup Ltd (1938–1946)
Founded1 April 1946; 75 years ago (1946-04-01)
FounderOve Arup
Number of locations
+95 offices in over 30 countries (2020)
Area served
Key people
Alan Belfield (Chairman)
Tristram Carfrae (Deputy Chairman)
ServicesConsultancy services
RevenueIncrease £1.8 billion (2020)[1]
Increase £63.6 million (2020)[1]
Increase £37 million (2020)[1]
Total assetsIncrease £336.1 million (2020)[1]
Number of employees
Increase 15,608 (2020)[2]
SubsidiariesOve Arup & Partners International Ltd, Arup Associates Ltd, and others.

Arup was originally established in 1946 by Ove Arup as Ove N. Arup Consulting Engineers. Arup envisioned the company being a force for peace and social betterment, that it would continuously pursue a progressive philosophy. Through its involvement in various high-profile projects, such as the Sydney Opera House, Arup became well known for undertaking complex and challenging projects involving the built environment.[5] The firm has naturally grown over the years, rather than pursuing acquisitions or merger opportunities; new offices are typically opened after suitable local projects to pursue have been recognised. During 1970, Arup stepped down from actively leading the company, a formalised set of principles produced at this time have continued to guide Arup's activities since.[5]

Somewhat unusually for a company of its size, the ownership of Arup is structured as a trust.[6] The beneficiaries of the trust are Arup's employees, both past and present, who receive a share of the firm's operating profit each year.[7][8] The company operates across relatively flat vertical structure, with its senior leadership comprising a rotating set of board members and trustees.[5]


The company was founded in London as Ove N. Arup Consulting Engineers by Ove Arup during 1946. According to the architectural author Ian Volner, Arup's vision when establishing the company came out of a combination of his wartime experiences and a progressive-minded philosophy broadly aligning with early modernism, was for the organisation to be a force for peace and social betterment in the postwar world.[5] To this end, it would employ professionals of diverse disciplines could work together to produce projects of greater quality than was achievable by them working in isolation.[5][9]

One of Arup's first international undertakings, and the first in Ireland, was the Busáras central bus station in Dublin; the project led to the establishment of the company's Dublin office.[10] Internal collaboration was strengthened via shared pools of resources, such as reading material. Arup's first dedicated librarian was hired in 1959 to oversee the company's private collection of books and journals; the value of this function was such that it was soon expanded to a team of librarians around the world across various storage mediums.[11]

As the company grew, Arup spurned the common practice amongst its rivals of acquiring other companies; instead, it pursued natural growth, opening up new offices at locations where the potential for work had been identified.[5] During 1963, together with the architect Philip Dowson, a new division of the company, Arup Associates, was formed;[12] this subsidiary has continues to work under the banner of Arup Architecture following a streamlining of the Arup brand in 2018.[citation needed]

Within 25 years of its establishment, Arup had become well known for its design work for the built environment.[13][14] Over time, Arup acquired a reputation for its competence at undertaking projects that were structurally and/or logistically complex projects.[5] Perhaps the most prominent of its early contributions is the Sydney Opera House, which author Peter Jones credited with launching Arup into the premier league of engineering consultancies.[15][16]

1970 was a particularly transformative year for the company; 24 years after founding the company, Arup opted to retire from actively leading the company. Prior to his departure, his principles of governance were explicitly laid out so that could guide for the company even in his absence; these included quality of work, total architecture, humane organisation, straight and honorable dealings, social usefulness, and the reasonable prosperity of its members.[5] That same year, the firm was reorganised as Ove Arup & Partners.[citation needed]

By 2013, Arup was operating 90 offices across 60 countries around the world.[5] These offices are elaborately interconnected by shared internet-based collaborative working packages and communication systems that can, where required, enable a single project to be worked on by multiple offices across a seamless, 24-hour working cycle. However, it is more common for individual offices to specialise in working on an assigned subsection of a project rather than continuously exchanging.[5] In terms of its organisation, the company features a relatively flat vertical structure, favouring the horizontal axis, overseen by a rotating set of board members and trustees that direct the company while remaining relatively in-touch with lower-level employees and day-to-day operations. Its undertakings commonly involve a high degree of consensus building, collaborative working, and shared risk taking.[5]

The BBC Television and RIBA documentary The Brits who Built the Modern World highlighted Arup's collaboration with architects and described Arup as "the engineering firm which Lord Norman Foster and his peers Lord Richard Rogers, Sir Nicholas Grimshaw, Sir Michael Hopkins and Sir Terry Farrell most frequently relied upon."[17]

Notable projectsEdit

Coventry Cathedral, showing the new building by Arup in the background.


North AmericaEdit


CCTV Headquarters in Beijing's central business district nearing completion (August 2008).
Marina Bay Sands – Singapore




Arup had its own sports division, specialising in designing, consulting and structural engineering for sporting facilities such as stadia.[21] Many of Arup's modern stadia are designed with a contemporary, distinctive edge and the company strives to revolutionise stadium architecture and performance.[21] For instance, the Bird's Nest Stadium for the 2008 Olympics was complimented for its striking architectural appearance[22] and the City of Manchester Stadium for the 2002 Commonwealth Games has stairless entry to the upper tiers through circular ramps outside the stadium.[21] The most notable stadium projects led by Arup remain the City of Manchester Stadium (2002), Allianz Arena (2005), Beijing National Stadium (2008), Donbass Arena (2009) and the Singapore Sports Hub (2014).


Awards to groupEdit

Arup's multidisciplinary sports venue design and engineering scope on the Singapore Sports Hub won the 2013 World Architecture Festival Award in the Future Projects, Leisure Category.[23]

The Casa da Música, Oporto, designed by Arup and Office for Metropolitan Architecture was nominated for the 2007 Stirling Prize.[24]

Arup's work with The Druk White Lotus School, Ladakh, won them Large Consultancy Firm of the Year 2003 at the British Consultants and Construction Bureau – International Expertise Awards, 2003 building on their triple win at the 2002 World Architecture Awards.[25]

Arup was awarded the Worldaware Award for Innovation for its Vawtex air system in Harare International School.[26]

Arup won the Gold Medal for Architecture at the National Eisteddfod of Wales of 1998 for their work on the Control Techniques Research and Development HQ, in Newtown, Powys.[27]

Arup Fire has won the Fire Safety Engineering Design award four times since its creation in 2001.[28] The 2001 inaugural award was won for Arup's contribution to the Eden Project in Cornwall, UK, the world's largest greenhouse. In 2004, the design for London's City Hall was appointed joint winner. In 2005, the Temple Mills Eurostar Depot won. The 2006 winning entry was for Amethyst House, a nine-storey building with an atrium from the ground to the top, in Manchester, UK.[29]

Arup was Royal Town Planning Institute Consultancy of the year in 2008.[30]

Arup was awarded the 2010 Live Design Excellence Award for Theatre Design for the integrated theatre and acoustic team's design for the new Jerome Robbins Theatre, created for Mikhail Baryshnikov and The Wooster Group.[31]

The Evelyn Grace Academy, London designed by Zaha Hadid Architects and Arup won the RIBA Stirling Prize in 2011.[32]

Arup was named Tunnel Design Firm of the Year at the 2012 ITA AITES International Tunnelling Awards.[33]

Arup was awarded Infrastructure Architect of the Year at the 2020 Architect of the Year Awards.[34]

Awards to Arup employeesEdit

Barbara Lane, Associate Director with Arup, won the Royal Academy of Engineering Silver Medal in 2008[35] for her outstanding contribution to British engineering on design of structures for fire.


Some buildings designed by Arup Group are considered worthy of demolition by the public. For example Scottish Parliament Building and Greyfriars Bus Station were included in "The Dirty Dozen" for the Channel 4 programme Demolition.


Arup Fellow is a lifelong honorary title awarded to selected honorary individuals in the firm. It acknowledges the highest design and technical achievements of people, not only within the firm, but also in the industry as a whole. They are considered role models who possess world-class expertise who put theory into effective practice.

The current fellows, as of November 2019, are:[36]

  • Davar Abi-Zadeh
  • Michael Beaven
  • Peter Burnton
  • David Caiden
  • Helen Campbell
  • Tristram Carfrae
  • Vincent Cheng
  • Alice Chow
  • Sam Chow
  • Mark Chown
  • Fiona Cousins
  • Jo da Silva OBE
  • Graham Dodd
  • Ian Feltham
  • Mark Fletcher
  • Marianne Foley
  • Ian Gardner
  • Craig Gibbons
  • Peter Gist
  • Mike Glover OBE
  • Richard Greer
  • Alistair Guthrie
  • Goman Ho
  • Richard Hornby
  • Jon Hurt
  • Naeem Hussain
  • Paul Johnson
  • Peter Johnson
  • Florence Lam
  • Barbara Lane
  • Wilfred Lau
  • Chris Luebkeman
  • Erin McConahey
  • Rory McGowan
  • Alisdair McGregor
  • Tateo Nakajima
  • Duncan Nicholson
  • Nick O'Riordan
  • Raj Patel
  • Mahadev Raman
  • Rudi Scheuermann
  • Andy Sedgwick
  • Brian Simpson OBE
  • Paul Sloman
  • Malcolm Smith
  • Richard Sturt
  • Tim Suen
  • Corinne Swain OBE (d. 2020)[37]
  • Tony Vidago
  • Regine Weston
  • Michael Willford
  • Atila Zekioglu

Notable alumni and current staffEdit

Related companiesEdit

Several staff have left to form other companies, often with significant parallels with Arup.


  1. ^ a b c d "Arup Financial statements 2020". Retrieved 23 April 2021.
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Arup Financial Statements 2020 - Arup". Retrieved 25 April 2021.
  4. ^ "Arup Ownership & finance". The Arup Group. Archived from the original on 25 March 2007. Retrieved 26 March 2007.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Volner, Ian (16 September 2013). "How Arup Became The Go-To Firm for Architecture's Most Ambitious Projects".
  6. ^ "Corporate Report 2008, section 23". The Arup Group. p. 19. Arup Group Ltd is owned by the Ove Arup Partnership Employee Trust, the Ove Arup Partnership Charitable Trust and the Arup Service Trust. Missing or empty |url= (help)
  7. ^ "Arup Structure". The Arup Group. Archived from the original on 1 November 2009. Retrieved 25 November 2009.
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  12. ^ Arup Associates Archived 10 October 2007 at the Wayback Machine
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  14. ^ Campbell, Peter; Allan, John; Ahrends, Peter; Zunz, Jack; Morreau, Patrick (1995). Ove Arup 1895–1988. London: Institution of Civil Engineers. ISBN 0-7277-2066-X.
  15. ^ Jones, Peter (2006). Ove Arup, Master Builder of the Twentieth Century. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0-300-11296-2.
  16. ^ Hunt, Tony (October 2001). "Utzon's Sphere: Sydney Opera House—How It Was Designed and Built—Review". EMAP Architecture, Gale Group. Archived from the original on 19 December 2006. Retrieved 30 January 2007.
  17. ^ "The Politics of Power". The Brits who Built the Modern World. London. 27 February 2014. BBC Four.
  18. ^ "High Roller Observation Wheel". London: Arup. Retrieved 17 June 2014.
  19. ^ "The Singapore Flyer and design of Giant Observation Wheels"Brendon McNiven & Pat Dallard, IStructE Asia-Pacific Forum on Structural Engineering: Innovations in Structural Engineering, Singapore, 2 – 3 November 2007
  20. ^ "Ahmed Adnan Saygun Arts Centre". Retrieved 9 September 2018.
  21. ^ a b c "Arup Sport". Retrieved 29 August 2011.
  22. ^ Rayner, Gordon (7 August 2008). "Beijing Olympics: The Bird's Nest stadium". The Telegraph. Retrieved 29 August 2011.
  23. ^ Basulto, David (3 October 2013). "Winners of the World Architecture Festival 2013".
  24. ^ "Stirling prize 2007". The Guardian. 26 July 2007.
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  26. ^ "The Worldaware Award for Innovation". Worldaware. 2002. Archived from the original on 21 February 2007. Retrieved 27 March 2007.
  27. ^ "Gold Medal for Architecture". National Eisteddfod of Wales. Archived from the original on 24 January 2021.
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  31. ^ "Live Design's Excellence in Live Design Award (Theatre)". Live Design/Penton Media. 2010. Archived from the original on 7 May 2010. Retrieved 23 March 2010.
  32. ^ Griffiths, Alyn (1 October 2011). "Evelyn Grace Academy by Zaha Hadid Architects wins RIBA Stirling Prize".
  33. ^ Maloney, Rebecca (11 December 2012). "Arup named Tunnel Design Firm of 2012". The Arup Group.
  34. ^ Wright, Sarah (26 October 2020). "Arup named 'Infrastructure Architect of the Year' 2020". The Arup Group.
  35. ^ "Less is more for fire protection". Royal Academy of Engineering. 5 June 2008. Archived from the original on 12 June 2011. Retrieved 3 July 2008.
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  37. ^ Sue Manns, "Presidential team continues to raise profile of planning", RTPI, 17 March 2020. Retrieved 31 March 2020
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  39. ^ Harwood, Elain (2 January 2019). "Sir Jack Zunz obituary". The Guardian. Retrieved 9 April 2021.
  40. ^ Glancey, Jonathan (5 September 2014). "Sir Philip Dowson obituary". The Guardian. Retrieved 9 April 2021.
  41. ^ "Povl Ahm". the Times. 4 June 2005.
  42. ^ Sharpe, Dennis (23 October 2011). "OBITUARY: Professor Sir Edmund Happold". The Independent. Retrieved 9 April 2021.

External linksEdit