New York, NY (July 14, 2021) Perkins Eastman and VIA Architecture are pleased to announce their recent merger on July 1, 2021. The union of these two storied firms will connect the distinguished professionals, culture, and values of both. A global architecture and design firm with 1,100 employees, Perkins Eastman has worked on projects on five continents in 60 countries. Its award-winning portfolio reflects expertise in healthcare, senior living, large-scale mixed use, higher education, K-12, hospitality, and workplace design as well as planning, urban design, and strategic consulting. VIA is known for its stellar work leading city-shaping projects, with expertise in infrastructure architecture, transit systems alignment design, mobility-oriented development, and urban planning. As a full-service architectural practice, VIA also supports sustainable city-building with a practice based in housing and mixed-use, including senior living, multi-family residential, and affordable housing. VIA has more than 70 employees, and studios in Seattle, WA, Oakland, CA, and Vancouver, British Columbia.
This union between Perkins Eastman and VIA Architecture, established in 1981 and 1984 respectively, provides an opportunity for collaboration across disciplines and studios. It provides an opportunity for Perkins Eastman to significantly bolster its West Coast and Canadian presence, while VIA will be able to draw on the strong market credibility, resources, and geographic reach that Perkins Eastman provides.
“We have been working together with VIA on a variety of projects for several years. During that time we have come to appreciate the unique skills and capabilities that VIA brings to a merged firm, and we are very happy that they too saw how mutually beneficial a merger would be,” says Bradford Perkins, FAIA, MRAIC, Chairman of Perkins Eastman. “Moreover, this merger fulfills a long-time goal to have a high quality established presence in two of our favorite cities, Seattle and Vancouver.”
“Joining forces will further strengthen both VIA and Perkins Eastman, and open new doors of opportunity,” says Wolf Saar, FAIA, MRAIC, Managing Principal of VIA Architecture. “VIA’s reach will expand across North America as we continue to serve our existing clients while bringing our approach and passion to new sectors and regions coast-to-coast in Canada, the U.S., and beyond.”
Lauren Hamilton, Co-Managing Principal of VIA Architecture, says, “We are thrilled about working hand-in-hand with the many talented professionals at Perkins Eastman, tapping into its global expertise, and better serving our clients and our communities as we continue creating elevated and livable places through the transit, bridges, neighborhoods, and homes we plan and design.”
VIA Architecture was established as Baker McGarva Hart in Vancouver, B.C., in advance of Expo ’86. The firm’s earliest projects include system-wide design guidance and Lead Architecture for Expo Line SkyTrain Rapid Transit (1986), Millennium SkyTrain extension (2002), and community planning and design for downtown Vancouver’s waterfront neighborhoods at Concord Pacific, and South East False Creek (2004). Bringing lessons from Vancouver’s swift transition into the “world’s most livable city,” the firm opened its office in Seattle in 1999 to support transit system planning and design. In 2011, VIA expanded to California, opening an office in Oakland. VIA’s three offices continue to work collaboratively in mid- and high-rise multi-family residential architecture, mixed-use development, transit and infrastructure architecture, and urban design and planning services.
With the merger, VIA, now known as “VIA – A PERKINS EASTMAN STUDIO,” will continue working from its studios in Seattle, Oakland, and Vancouver.
“We are excited to merge with such a dynamic, talented group of people who work on complex projects that connect communities. VIA’s goals, especially those of creating sustainable, resilient, and thriving communities, blend seamlessly with Perkins Eastman’s,” says Shawn Basler, AIA, Co-CEO and Executive Director of Perkins Eastman. He adds, “We strive to make a positive difference in the lives of the people who use the spaces we design.”
About Perkins Eastman
Perkins Eastman is a global design firm founded on the belief that design can have a direct and positive impact on people’s lives. The firm’s award-winning practice draws on its 1,100 professionals networked across 22 studios worldwide. By keeping the user’s needs foremost in the design process, the firm enhances the human experience across the spectrum of the built environment.
About VIA Architecture
VIA connects communities, transit, and infrastructure through design inspired by finding shared ideas and ideals. The practice approaches each project as building designers, community builders, planners, problem solvers, placemakers, collaborators, facilitators, visionaries, and pragmatists.