The Australian Institute of Architects has today halted trading of its wholly owned subsidiary Archicentre Pty Ltd on the recommendation of Archicentre’s Board.
The Institute will now proceed to an orderly wind up of Archicentre’s operations.
National President, Professor Ken Maher, said that while Archicentre has provided a valuable service to members of the public for many years, the Boards of both Archicentre and the Institute – having reviewed its operations, financial position and changes in the market over this period – agreed that the time had come to bring things to an end.
‘For 36 years Archicentre has provided Australians with a wide range of quality architectural services,’ Prof Maher said.
‘During this time the market and environment in which Archicentre operates has changed dramatically and what was once a unique and innovative business model has become one of many service providers in an increasingly competitive and densely populated market.
‘An important change during this period has been the welcome improvement of consumer watchdogs, strengthening consumer protections in a way that overarches the services Archicentre was established to provide.
‘The nature of the architectural profession has also evolved. The role of architects has branched out into new and increasingly important domains.
‘Such changes have strained Archicentre’s business model and financial position for some time.
‘This was a difficult decision made after careful examination of available options and confirmed by independent financial advice.
‘Despite the Institute’s National Council and the Archicentre Board having implemented a wide variety of measures over the past two years to return the company to a sound financial footing Archicentre’s financial position has continued to deteriorate.
‘An escalation in operating costs and the recent expiration of a valuable long-term contract have now rendered Archicentre’s financial position untenable.
‘The Institute’s decision to bring Archicentre operations to an orderly conclusion is the prudent and responsible course of action that will best serve the interests of all involved – customers, contractors and the broader membership alike.
‘The Institute is focusing on its strategy and priorities, concentrating on delivering what is most important to the profession – members services, strong advocacy and education standards – while also highlighting the valuable role architecture plays in the community.
‘On behalf of the Institute I thank the Archicentre Board for its service and hard work during a trying period. They have acted in a way that exemplifies the highest standard of corporate governance.
‘We also acknowledge the vision and continued contribution of Robert Caulfield, a founding Director of Archicentre and extend our gratitude to all those associated with Archicentre for the wonderful work that has been undertaken over the last three and half decades.’
Arrangements moving forward:
• Archicentre’s 12 staff, whose employment is managed by the Institute, are being supported throughout the winding up process. Opportunities to re-deploy these staff are being explored. In any cases of redundancy, the Institute will pay all entitlements in full.
• The Institute will refund Archicentre’s existing customers for any services paid for but not delivered and, where possible, make referrals to other service providers.
• The Institute will pay all contractors and members for work carried out prior to Archicentre ceasing to trade.
• The Institute will be notifying all those affected by these arrangements. Customers and contractors seeking further information can do so by visiting http://kordamentha.com/creditor-information/australia/170