Buro Happold acquires Vanguardia, Crowd Dynamics International

Engineering and consultancy business Buro Happold has today (Tuesday) announced the acquisition of leading acoustics and audiovisual consultancy Vanguardia Limited and its subsidiary Crowd Dynamics International.

The acquisition increases Buro Happold’s breadth and depth of expertise to address challenges affecting stadiums and entertainment venues. The deal is also designed to further the growth of Vanguardia, which specialises in acoustics and audiovisual technology at sports and music venues, into new sectors.

The businesses have previously worked together on major sports and entertainment projects, including Tottenham Hotspur Stadium (pictured), which opened in 2019. Buro Happold has also worked with Vanguardia on the Emirates Stadium, The O2, London Stadium, Silverstone, Qatar’s Education City Stadium and Sochi’s Fisht Olympic Stadium.

Buro Happold said it would work with Vanguardia to address problems currently facing stadium and entertainment venue owners and operators, including the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the climate crisis. The businesses will also work together on improving the experience for fans.

The acquisition will also look to enhance the standalone and combined services of acoustics and sound engineering, environmental advisory services, and a broad range of electro-acoustic and technology offers. The deal also provides a fully integrated mobility consulting offer encompassing inclusive design, waste and logistics, as well as crowd and traffic consulting capabilities.

James Bruce, chief executive of Buro Happold, said: “It is a really exciting time for Buro Happold. Having worked alongside Vanguardia and Crowd Dynamics International for more than 20 years, it’s a natural step to formally bring them into the wider Buro Happold portfolio. We are enhancing our collective consultancy capabilities, creating significant opportunities for our clients.

“Our heritage of tackling global complex engineering challenges in the built environment puts us in the perfect position to advise and design exceptional solutions. This acquisition signals a period of rapid acceleration for our business and the industry as a whole.”

Vanguardia director Jim Griffiths added: “We are all very excited by the new opportunities that now exist with our new partners including the global reach that it gives Vanguardia and Crowd Dynamics International. This is a great opportunity for our clients and employees, and we welcome the opportunity of sharing our specialist expertise throughout Buro Happold.”

Image: Rob Amphlett