Ken Shuttleworth takes over presidency of the British Council for Offices

The British Council for Offices (BCO) formally welcomes Ken Shuttleworth as its new president.

Shuttleworth, founder of international architectural practice Make, formally took over the position from John Forrester, EMEA Chief Executive at Cushman & Wakefield, at the BCO’s Annual General Meeting in London on Tuesday 11th July.

As chairman of the BCO Annual Conference held in London earlier this year, Ken set out the vision for his presidential year, inviting delegates to look at London with fresh eyes and respond appropriately to new challenges and opportunities to ensure London truly remains a world class city.

Ken Shuttleworth comments: “I am delighted to be taking up my role as President of the BCO. This organisation has an important role to play in articulating the state and requirements of an industry which is very much a barometer of the economic position of the country. There is undoubtedly caution in the industry at present due to the wider political context, but there is also a new agenda being developed, which is hugely exciting. There’s debate around wellness, around the need for greater flexibility, around the potential for greater community and the de-formalisation of our working spaces. If we focus on these challenges, we can ensure that our commercial spaces retain their position as the best in the world, remain at the forefront of innovation and design, and continue to attract the best people.”

Having started his career at Foster + Partners, Ken founded Make Architects in 2004. Among the practice’s recently completed schemes are the 5 Broadgate office for UBS and British Land, a five-star hotel in Chengdu, and a flagship office scheme for The Crown Estate in Westminster. Projects currently on site include new residential developments in Hong Kong and Mumbai, the redevelopment of a key transport hub in Sydney, and two major mixed use schemes in London’s West End. Ken is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a member of the UK Government Advisory Group on Professional and Business Services, and above all a respected designer and lecturer. In 2013 he set up the Future Spaces Foundation to advance research and debate about the future of the spaces we work and live in.


Richard Kauntze, Chief Executive of the BCO, commented: “First, I must offer my sincere thanks to John Forrester, our outgoing President, for his outstanding work in challenging and encouraging our membership to become more productive, creative and dynamic in their outlook. A BCO member for many years, John has been a member of the Board, chairman of our Awards competition and of course chaired our Annual Conference in Amsterdam in 2016.  A wonderful contribution, hugely appreciated by all at the BCO.

“We are delighted to welcome Ken Shuttleworth as our new President. This year’s BCO Annual Conference was held in London, seven years since our capital city last played host. So much has changed in the political and economic climate in that time, and the London skyline is also a marked reminder of the innovation, growth and vision of our industry. In setting out his vision for the presidential year, Ken has encouraged the membership to question whether our industry is doing everything it can to make London the best place to be and to work. Ken is an architect of global reputation and, like John Forrester, has been involved with our work for many years. The Annual Conference in London this May was undoubtedly one of the very best and I much look forward to working closely with Ken as we all work to ensure London continues to be a world class business centre for years to come.”


John Forrester, outgoing President of the BCO, adds: “The goal of the BCO’s leadership is to ensure that the organisation is not only an industry leader in office design, development and delivery, but also one that drives innovation and embraces disruption. This year has seen the organisation provide a valuable industry voice on topics ranging from the impact of Brexit on the commercial property sector, to the changing shape of the corporate HQ.

“At the same time, the BCO’s growing Next Gen programme is inspiring a new generation of professionals, and providing the industry’s future leaders with a platform to share ideas. I extend my gratitude to the British Council for Offices for the work we have done together over the past year. Furthermore, I congratulate Ken on his appointment and look forward to following the work of the British Council for Offices under his presidency over the next year.”

Ken’s appointment to BCO President will see Katrina Kostic Samen, KKS Strategy LLP, become BCO Senior Vice President. Paul Patenall, U+I Group Plc, will become Junior-Vice President.

For more about the BCO, visit the BCO website.

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