Today, New York–based SHoP Architects principal Vishaan Chakrabarti, AIA, announced he is branching out on his own to establish Partnership for Architecture and Urbanism (PAU). The architecture and urban planning practice will be dedicated to advancing North American cities, with a particular focus on New York, where it is based. The firm will design infrastructure, public spaces, commercial office buildings, projects with a social impact, and other large-scale structures. It will also engage projects that use technology to plan the future of cities. Chakrabarti told ARCHITECT he could envision the firm eventually expanding to do work abroad, but he will not work in non-democratic nations and countries with poor labor practices.

PAU’s initial work includes a new cultural building in Manhattan, a new-construction project with Two Trees Management, and collaboration with Sidewalk Labs, a startup created by Google to create technologies that improve cities.

“We are at the beginning stages of a historic urban expansion,” Chakrabarti said in a press release​. “With a thorough understanding of the transforming 21st-century cosmopolitan landscape, the Partnership for Architecture and Urbanism will use design, architecture, and urban planning to create an ecological network of empowered citizens, generous buildings, discursive public space, strong infrastructure and a thriving urban environment.”

Chakrabarti will continue working as an associate professor at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning & Preservation, where he teaches design studios and seminars on urbanism.

At SHoP where he had worked since 2012, Chakrabarti co-led the design of several major New York projects, such as the Domino Sugar Factory and the first building at the Essex Crossing site at Seward Park.

Chakrabarti is the second principal to depart SHoP Architects​ this year. Jonathan Mallie​, AIA, left SHoP in January to establish JLM, a design and construction consulting firm in Hastings-on-Hudson, N.Y.