Architects

August 11, 2010

Showplaces showcase Atlanta firm's defining niche

For Thomas Ventulett, winning the 2002 AIA Architecture Firm Award is the fruit of more than 35 years of labor. Most of that time, he has dedicated to building Thompson, Ventulett, Stainback & Associates (TVS), Atlanta, from its humble beginnings as a three-person design studio to a 265-person, $59 million multidiscipline operation today.

"[The award] comes as a testimony of a long life of architecture," says Ventulett, who co-founded TVS in 1968 with Ray Stainback and Bill Thompson, both now retired. All three accepted the award at a gala March 1 in Washington, D.C. It recognizes TVS for "consistently producing distinguished architecture."

Best known for design of convention centers, TVS has designed such facilities for 34 cities across the U.S., including Chicago's McCormick Place expansion. More recently, TVS' reputation has taken it global, including a 550,000-sq.-ft. center in San Juan, Puerto Rico, set for completion in 2004.

Although convention centers represent just one-third of the firm's total annual revenue, Ventulett admits that these publicly funded projects have played a vital role over the years, especially in tough economic climates. He recalls how the firm's first convention center, the Georgia World Congress Center, Atlanta, kept TVS afloat during a recession. "In 1975, Atlanta was in an absolute depression, and the city lost many architecture firms," he says. "We were just one of a few survivors; that project really got us over the hump."

Now thriving, international growth is on the collective mind of the 100% employee-owned firm, says President and CEO Roger Neuenschwander. In I998, it opened a Chicago office in hope that it will create better avenues to foreign work. And last June, TVS formed an alliance with hotel/resort specialist Wimberly Allison Tong & Goo, Honolulu, and retail designer Callison, Seattle. Both firms have vast international experience and collectively hold offices in London, Amsterdam and Singapore.

1 (1) $232.00 Gensler San Francisco, CA (415) 433-3700, www.gensler.com The firm reported a slowdown in airport and office work following Sept. 11, causing total 2001 revenue to drop nearly 6% from the previous year. Increased revenue from education and pharmaceutical facilities, however, kept total revenue rather steady.
2 (2) $95.40 NBBJ Columbus, OH (614) 224-7145, www.nbbj.com NBBJ continued to expand globally last year, opening its fourth international office, this time in London to serve Western Europe. Foreign work, including the $2.6 billion Telenor World Headquarters in Oslo, Norway, accounted for 15% of total revenue last year.
3 (8) $86.00 Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates New York, NY (212) 977-6500, www.kpf.com KPF more than doubled its revenue last year from 2000, moving up five spots on this list. The award-winning Gannett/USA Today corporate headquarters in McLean, Va., headlines the list of projects completed by the firm last year.
4 (3) $65.30 Perkins & Will Inc. Chicago, IL (312) 755-0770, www.perkinswill.com Firm was in a growth mode last year, merging with 25-person architect DTS Shaw Associates, Boston, and opening a Dallas office. DTS strengthens the firm's institutional work, such as health care and education, which made up nearly 75% of total revenue last year.
5 (12) $64.50 Kaplan McLaughlin Diaz San Francisco, CA (415) 398-5191, www.kmd-arch.com An increase in government work, which accounted for 55% of 2001 revenue, helped KMD jump seven spots on this list. Major public projects include the $25 million FBI Field Office, Dallas, and the $30 million New Judicial Branch Building, Des Moines, Iowa.
6 (4) $63.00 Callison Architecture Inc. Seattle, WA (206) 623-4646, www.callison.com The post-9/11 slowdown in the hospitality sector resulted in lower fourth-quarter revenue, as projects were halted or canceled. However, several large office projects, such as Boeing's world headquarters in Chicago, as well as Callison's retail work, kept 2001 revenue steady.
7 (7) $51.20 Hillier Princeton, NJ (609) 452-8888, www.hillier.com Commercial work, highlighted by the 4 million-sq.-ft. Sprint World Headquarters Campus in Overland Park, Kan., accounted for half of the firm's 2001 revenue. Major projects completed last year include the $212 million GlaxoSmithKline global headquarters in England.
8 (9) $46.09 Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Partnership Portland, OR (503) 224-3860, www.zgf.com The biotech boom is keeping ZGF busy, as the firm is currently working on more than 10 university biological R&D facilities. Other university work includes the LEED-platinum-rated Donald Bren School of Environmental Science building at U. of California, Santa Barbara.
9 (—) $43.00 Perkins Eastman Architects New York, NY (212) 353-7200, www.peapc.com Perkins Eastman strengthened its East Coast presence by establishing a new office in Charlotte, N.C., in July 2001. Institutional work, including health-care facilities, assisted-living centers and courthouses, represented 80% of total revenue last year.
10 (6) $40.30 Thompson, Ventulett, Stainback & Assoc. Atlanta, GA (404) 888-6600, www.tvsa.com TVS won the 2002 AIA Firm Award in December. The award recognizes the firm, in part, for its innovative convention center work, which represented 31% of 2001 revenue. Projects completed last year include the Henry B. Gonzalez Center, San Antonio. (See profile above.)
11 (13) $37.89 Wimberly Allison Tong & Goo Honolulu, HI (808) 521-8888, www.watg.com
12 (25) $34.40 Elkus/Manfredi Architects Ltd. Boston, MA (617) 426-1300, www.elkus-manfredi.com
13 (15) $32.67 Corgan Associates Inc. Dallas, TX (214) 748-2000, www.corgan.com
14 (11) $32.21 MulvannyG2 Architecture Bellevue, WA (425) 463-2000, www.mulvannyg2.com
15 (10) $32.19 Smallwood, Reynolds, Stewart, Stewart & Associates Atlanta (404) 233-5453, www.srssa.com
16 (14) $29.67 HMC Architects Ontario, CA (909) 989-9979, www.hmcgroup.com
17 (21) $27.36 Swanke Hayden Connell Architects New York, NY (212) 226-9696, www.shca.com
18 (16) $23.55 VOA Associates Inc. Chicago, IL (312) 554-1400, www.voa.com
19 (35) $22.89 Shepley Bulfinch Richardson and Abbott Inc. Boston, MA (617) 423-1700, www.sbra.com
20 (23) $22.00 Perkowitz + Ruth Architects Inc. Long Beach, CA (562) 628-8000, www.prarchitects.com
21 (19) $21.76 RSP Architects Ltd. Minneapolis, MN (612) 339-0313, www.rsparch.com
22 (17) $21.59 Gould Evans Affiliates Kansas City, MO (816) 931-6655, www.geaf.com
23 (20) $20.40 ADD Inc. Cambridge, MA (617) 234-3100, www.addinc.com
24 (50) $19.89 OZ Architecture Denver, CO (303) 861-5704, www.ozarch.com
25 (—) $19.36 MHTN Architects Inc. Salt Lake City, UT (801) 595-6700, www.mhtn.com
26 (—) $19.00 Watkins Hamilton Ross Architects Inc. Houston, TX (713) 665-5665, www.whrarchitects.com
27 (29) $18.45 Niles Bolton Associates Inc. Atlanta, GA (404) 365-7600, www.nilesbolton.com
28 (—) $18.44 NTD Architects Glendora, CA (626) 963-1401, www.ntd.com
29 (33) $18.35 KKE Architects Inc. Minneapolis, MN (612) 339-4200, www.kke.com
30 (30) $17.69 MBH Architects Alameda, CA (510) 865-8663, www.mbharch.com
31 (—) $17.10 Davis Carter Scott McLean, VA (703) 556-9275, www.dcsdesign.com
32 (41) $17.09 Legat Architects Inc. Waukegan, IL (847) 263-3535, www.legat.com
33 (22) $17.00 Cooper Carry Inc. Atlanta, GA (404) 237-2000, www.coopercarry.com
34 (39) $16.68 Langdon Wilson Architecture Planning Interiors Los Angeles, CA (213) 250-1186, www.langdonwilson.com
35 (34) $16.60 Hardy Holzman Pfeiffer Associates LLP New York, NY (212) 677-6030, www.hhpa.com
36 (31) $16.50 Griswold, Heckel & Kelly Associates Inc. Chicago, IL (312) 263-6605, www.ghk.net
36 (46) $16.50 Pei Cobb Freed & Partners Architects LLP New York, NY (212) 751-3122, www.pcf-p.com
38 (27) $16.00 MCG Architecture Pasadena, CA (626) 793-9119, www.mcgarchitecture.com
39 (—) $15.80 Ware Malcomb Irvine, CA (949) 660-9128, www.waremalcomb.com
40 (—) $15.68 Tsoi/Kobus & Associates Inc. Cambridge, MA (617) 491-3067, www.tka-architects.com
41 (18) $15.57 BBG-BBGM Architects and Interiors New York, NY (212) 888-7663, www.bbg-bbgm.com
42 (36) $15.30 DeStefano & Partners Ltd. Chicago, IL (312) 836-4321, www.destefanoandpartners.com
43 (47) $15.09 Morris Architects Houston, TX (713) 622-1180, wwww.morrisarchitects.com
44 (24) $15.00 Murphy/Jahn Inc. Chicago, IL (312) 427-7300, www.murphyjahn.com
44 (—) $15.00 Weihe Design Group PLLC Washington, DC (202) 857-8300, www.weihe.com
46 (43) $14.82 SchenkelShultz Fort Wayne, IN (260) 424-9080, www.schenkelshultz.com
47 (49) $14.60 RBB Architects Inc. Los Angeles, CA (310) 473-3555, www.rbbinc.com
48 (—) $14.57 Beyer Blinder Belle Architects & Planners LLP New York, NY (212) 777-7800, www.beyerblinderbelle.com
49 (44) $14.22 Granary Associates Philadelphia, PA (215) 665-7000, www.granaryassoc.com
50 (—) $14.10 Fentress Bradburn Architects Ltd. Denver, CO (303) 722-5000, www.fentressbradburn.com