Accredited architectural office goes bankrupt for the second time – E24

Accredited architectural office goes bankrupt for the second time – E24

Architecture firm Space Group has received international recognition for many of its projects. Now the company has declared bankruptcy.

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Space Group has designed many prestigious projects, such as the reconstruction of the Aker bridge, the Oslo S development, the Tromsø ferry terminal and the city park Rotten in Sandnes.

The architect’s office has also worked with important cultural institutions such as the National Library, the Stenerson Museum and the Viking Age Museum in Paiktoi.

The founders behind the company, Gary Bates and Cro Bonsmo, did not want to talk to E24 about the reasons for the bankruptcy.

In its peak year of 2010, Space Group had 18 employees and a turnover of NOK 25 million. By 2022, turnover had halved, and the company posted losses for the third year in a row.

In the first three months of the year, the company’s share lost completely. At the end of October, the Oslo District Court opened bankruptcy on the company.

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The task is missing

– The bankruptcy is due to the fact that the company does not have enough current work and they are making losses in an ongoing project, says trustee Johan Rathvik.

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He is an attorney at TLA Piper.

– So far it looks like an orderly bankruptcy. The company tried to get new assignments without success. Rathvik adds that the board tried to cut costs, including canceling its campus, but ultimately it didn’t work.

2.2 million Kovid in debt

Bonesmo explained to the Housing Board that operations have been significantly affected by the Covid pandemic and several projects have been completely halted. During this period, Space Group received a government-guaranteed loan through DNB, which would ensure that employees were paid.

A loan of almost NOK 2.2 million makes up the majority of the company’s total debt of NOK 2.8 million.

According to the report, Chairman Gary Bates explained that the company tried to save the company by bringing in new jobs and implementing cost-saving measures.

Bankruptcy after fraud

In June 2014, the company, then named Space Group Arkitekter, went bankrupt for the first time.

According to trustee Nils Holger Kofod, the bankruptcy was largely due to a disloyal female employee who was later sentenced to nine months in prison for embezzling NOK 1.8 million from the company.

In the judgment against the woman, she allegedly spent money on exclusive clothes and bags from Louis Vuitton, Dolce & Gabbana, Balenciaga and Alexander Wang.

According to the estate, the woman, who worked as an internal accountant, willfully failed to ensure that the accounts were properly maintained and ensured that the company’s board and management never found out about several financial claims against the company. .

After the bankruptcy, the business was transferred to the owner company Space Group. As of 2019, the office is owned by founders Gary Bates and Cro Bonasmo and Flore Nathaniel Taub.

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Joshi Akinjide

Joshi Akinjide

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