Vishaan Chakrabarti leaves SHoP, starts his own architecture firm

The former partner leaves to start Partnership for Architecture and Urbanism, with its stated focus being the evolving urban environment

, a partner at the prolific architecture firm Architects, has left to start his own architecture practice.

Chakrabarti said he is calling his new firm the Partnership for Architecture and Urbanism and that he aims to focus on projects at the vanguard of an evolving urban environment.

“The ability to innovate and envision the future of workspaces, of retail and hotels and how people experience and engage in culture is something that I want to focus on,” Chakrabarti said. “The whole way we work and live in the city is changing and a big part of what I want my practice to be is thinking about those changes and how they will continue to change in the future.”

Chakrabarti said he had long had an ambition to stake out on his own, and both he and SHoP called the split amicable.

“We founded SHoP in 1996 to create architecture that makes cities more vibrant, more beautiful, and more rewarding places for all to live,” SHoP said in a statement. “It was a pleasure to work toward those goals with Vishaan over the last three years and we wish him the best.”

Chakrabarti said he is in the process of leasing an office near Union Square. His firm will remain small he said, with a staff of about 7 or 8 people.

Before joining SHoP, Chakrabarti held several high level positions in development and planning. He was an executive at the large development firm Related Companies, managing the company’s effort during the last boom to redevelop Penn Station and and convert the adjacent Farley Post Office into an expansion called Moynihan Station.

He was also the director of the Manhattan office for the Department of City Planning, working on some of the biggest real estate projects during Michael Bloomberg’s term as mayor, including Hudson Yards, Columbia University’s expansion and the construction of the High Line.

He is also an associate professor at Columbia University in its graduate school of architecture, planning and preservation

Chakrabarti said his experience working on big scale development would help him advise clients who are tackling long term projects.

“In so much development now, builders need to think 3, 5, 10 years into the future to achieve their goals,” Chakrabarti said. “My practice areas are going to include both urban design and also strategic advice to clients.”

Chakrabarti spent 3 years at SHoP. The company has grown into one of the city’s busiest architecture firms, handling the design for Barclays Center and prominent upcoming projects including the Domino Sugar Factory development in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and a super-tall tower on Billioinaire’s Row.


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