Seagram job win – another free-pitch?

Seagram, new tenant of London landmark building The Ark, has appointed Marshall Cummings Marsh to work on interiors after what is believed to be a free-pitch.

The office design specialist beat off competition from two consultancies, thought to be BDG/McColl and BDP, in the final stage of a two-leg race.

Seagram refuses to comment on the nature of the pitch, but the company shortlisted six groups in the first stage to submit written proposals. Three were then asked to submit design concepts before the work was awarded. None of the groups is believed to have been paid at any stage of the pitch.

“We were invited to participate in a limited design competition for the project,” says MCM director Paul Scrivener.

Seagram, a communication, beverages and entertainment company, will relocate its London spirits and wine operations to the Ralph Erskine-designed Ark in 1996. Scrivener says: “The Ark’s atrium architecture is quite breathtaking. We will not seek to alter this, but enhance it.

“Our main job is to marry the strength of the building with Seagram’s requirements, ensuring that each draws maximum benefit from the other.”

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