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Arup is a world-leading engineering firm with over 10,000 staff spread across more than 30 countries and more than half a century of history. Six-month-old Balmond Studio, on the other hand, has 17 staff based in a unit in the east London borough of Hackney.

The two companies may seem worlds apart. But Balmond’s founder is Sri Lankan-born engineer, architect and businessman Cecil Balmond. In his sixties he made the alarming yet enviable decision to leave his comfortable job as deputy chairman at Arup and go it alone, ending a 36-year stint at a…



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