Architecture firms Cooper Carry and The Johnson Studio merge

The combination is expected to bolster each firm’s hospitality-related services. 

December 09, 2015 |
Architecure firms Carry Cooper and The Johnson Group merge

Cleveland Downtown Hilton Hotel, designed by Cooper Carry. Photo: Erik Drost/Creative Commons

Two prominent Atlanta-based design firms whose specialties include the hospitality sector are joining forces.

On Jan. 1, The Johnson Studio, which has been in business for more than 25 years and currently has 22 employees, will blend its operations into the Atlanta offices of Cooper Carry, a full-service architectural design firm founded in 1960, with offices in New York and Alexandria, Va., and an international portfolio.

Kevin Cantley, AIA, Carry Cooper’s CEO, says that his firm is one of the top three hotel designers in the country. As such, it has worked with myriad restaurant design firms, including The Johnson Group. “We are delighted to have them work alongside our talented hotel and retail team every day,” Cantley said about the merger.

Bill Johnson, AIA, Senior Principal and Founder of The Johnson Studio—whose first big restaurant design project was a Cheesecake Factory in Atlanta’s Buckhead neighborhood in the early 1990s—is staying on to lead the new business’s restaurant design practice. He will work with Cooper Carry’s seven Hospitality Studio principals.

The Johnson Studio will maintain its own brand. “This collaboration provides a platform for future services that we feel will be unparalleled,” said Johnson in a prepared statement.

According to its website, Cooper Carry has 11 specialty practices. Its services include architecture, interior design, landscape architecture, planning, sustainability consulting, and environmental graphics and wayfinding. The company emphasizes “environmentally responsible design,” as well as “connective architecture” that brings people and buildings within neighborhoods together.

Among its recent hotel design projects are the 1.1 million-sf Marriott Marquis Hotel in Washington, D.C., the 37,916-sf Sea Pines Plantation Golf Clubhouse in Hilton Head, S.C., and the 613,942-sf Hilton Cleveland Downtown. 

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