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Cincinnati design firm lands Chinese government contract

IG Studio, a collaboration between Cincinnati-based design firm GBBN Architects, Inc. and Kentucky-based Chinese firm IPPR International Engineering Corporation, won its first Chinese government contract this year designing the Sanya Cardiovascular Rehab Resort on Sanya Island. The win kicks off the two companies' plans of entering eight competitions annually over the next 10 years in the hopes of making IG Studio self-sufficient in three and internationally competitive in six.
Through IG Studio, the two companies are working to capture a piece of the exploding Chinese economy by designing 600- to 1,000-bed hospitals in large Chinese cities. Five hundred hospitals are planned across the country in the next 10 years. IG Studio, located in Beijing, has a staff of eight and is a 50-50 partnership between the two companies.
"(IG Studio) came together after a three-year collaboration on healthcare design projects," between GBBN and IPPN, says Greg Otis, director of Arts and Education for GBBN. "(IPPN) was looking for a western healthcare design influence to augment their designs. And we've been very successful in that work. But we wanted to get our brand out there in design and healthcare, and IPPR wanted to internationalize their business."
Because of the two companies similar goals, a meeting between the two giants earlier this year during a tour of the Toyota plant in Georgetown, Ky., led to what both companies hope will be a successful joint venture designing large hospitals across China. Companies vie to design these hospitals through invitation-only competitions held by the Chinese government, Otis explains.
GBBN is an international design firm with offices in Cincinnati, Lexington and Louisville, Ky., Pittsburgh and Beijing. The firm specializes in large scale building design in the healthcare, education, housing, community and cultural sectors. Local projects include the Newport Aquarium, Great American Ballpark, the Bank of Kentucky Center at NKU and UC's Tangeman University Center.
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