NAC|Architecture and Osborn, friendly competitors for years, announce that they have merged to provide a greater depth and breadth of services to a wider range of clients and projects. With offices in California, Washington, and Colorado, the firm now offers landscape architecture, graphic design, and environmental graphics, in addition to architecture, interior design, master planning, project delivery, sustainability, construction administration, engineering, and historic restoration.
Osborn, which was headquartered in Glendale, CA, for 25 years, and NAC|Architecture’s eight-year-old Los Angeles office will physically merge in a new space in Downtown LA’s Chinatown, at 837 North Spring Street. The office is being designed by an in-house team with architects and designers from both offices, with expected completion in early 2015.
NAC|Architecture is leasing the entire 13,000-square-foot third floor from Redcar Properties, LTD, a Los Angeles-based real estate investment firm. The 1912 three-story brick building, which used to be a retail center, is being rehabilitated into creative office space.
The like-minded firms work on the guiding principles of collaboration and responsibility. Professionals of the practice embrace their shared commitment to applying active listening, technical acumen, sustainable innovation, and creative problem-solving to achieve design excellence. They uphold this commitment while developing educational, commercial, civic, healthcare, laboratory, housing, hospitality, and cultural projects.
“This merger is about two strong, stable firms joining forces to create an even more robust, competitive, and geographically diverse company,” says Dana Harbaugh, AIA, President and CEO of NAC|Architecture.
The merger of Osborn and NAC|Architecture is unlike the current architecture/engineering marketplace trend of huge firms acquiring small and mid-size offices.
“We were interested in forming a new partnership with a simpatico firm, by leveraging common culture, design ethic, and purpose,” explains Michael Pinto, AIA, Principal at Osborn. “There’s always been mutual admiration for the individuals and work of each office.”
Now, this four-office, mid-size firm possesses the power of a large firm, while it maintains the personal service found at smaller practices. Presently referred to as NAC|Architecture, the firm is conducting a deep branding program, and will introduce its new identity in the coming months.
NAC|Architecture’s Los Angeles office now consists of 40 men and women—the full contingent from both Osborn’s and NAC|Architecture’s Los Angeles and offices. Current Osborn principals Pinto and Timothy A. Ballard, AIA, along with NAC principal Helena Jubany, FAIA, will be the principals of NAC|Architecture’s Los Angeles office. In addition, Ballard joins Jubany as a member of NAC|Architecture’s six-person Board of Directors, which sets the future course of the firm.
“This initiative enables our combined team to become even more of a leader in sustainable and community architecture in the Los Angeles market and across the nation,” says Ballard.
Experience & Diversity
Existing project teams will remain intact, yet will now have additional resources of talent within the nationwide support network. NAC|Architecture’s clients will benefit from adding landscape and graphics services to their projects, while Osborn’s clients can confidently enlarge their project scope with the advent of additional depth and expertise in interiors and engineering.
“The marketplace necessitates that architecture firms possess advanced expertise in a number of disciplines,” says Jubany. “We need to offer not only a wide range of services, but also geographic mobility.”
The members of the combined firm are highly experienced, having delivered important, award-winning projects, such as NAC|Architecture’s Eisenhower High School, Patterson Hall Renovation, and Northside Residence Hall, and Osborn’s Playa Vista Elementary School, Miraloma Park and Community Center, and See Change at the LAX International Terminal. Known leaders in design for educational facilities, the firms have worked with more than 85 public school districts and 20 colleges and universities.
“This new phase is compelling to all of us because it brings together highly skilled peers with different talents and strengths,” Harbaugh adds. “The key is that we all share a long-standing commitment to collaborative and responsible architecture. That commitment continues to guide all of us.”
NAC|Architecture is a diverse architecture practice with offices in Spokane and Seattle, WA, Denver, and Los Angeles. In addition to winning 250+ individual project awards, the firm-wide recognition includes rankings as one of the Architect Top 50 Firms in the U.S., based on such measures as design excellence and sustainability, and as eighth largest architecture firm in the K-12 sector. The 130-person practice, formed in the 2014 merger of NAC|Architecture and Osborn, provides design excellence guided by the principles of collaboration and responsibility.
The professionals of NAC|Architecture bring together an unusually wide range of leadership expertise in architecture, interior design, master planning, sustainability, construction administration, engineering, adaptive reuse, historic restoration, graphic design, landscape, and environmental graphics. The firm applies those services to produce the right design solutions for learning, healing, and human development.
The newly merged firm applies passion, comprehensive service, and technical expertise to every project, while respecting budgets, meeting schedules, and embracing thorough collaboration in order to meet the needs of clients and communities.