Perkins + Will acquires Guenther 5 architects 

October 10, 2007 |

Robin Guenther, FAIA, founding principal of Guenther 5 Architects in New York, and Phil Harrison, AIA, CEO of Perkins+Will, jointly announce today that Perkins+Will, an international design firm, is acquiring Guenther 5 Architects.

The purchase of Guenther 5 expands Perkins+Will’s healthcare practice that includes clients such as Johns Hopkins Hospital, the Mayo Clinic and Massachusetts General Hospital by adding Guenther’s healthcare portfolio of New York-based clients. For her part, Ms. Guenther will have a larger and more formidable “home base” as she practices architecture, lectures and advocates – nationally and internationally – for heightened environmental responsibility in the built environment, particularly in the healthcare sector.

“Clearly we would only integrate Guenther 5 with a firm that shares our core values,” explains Ms.Guenther. “Perkins+Will is committed to the design of innovative and sustainable buildings and interiors, and demonstrates an active, leadership role in sustainable architecture. Our goal remains the same: to transform healthcare environments.” This acquisition creates a larger New York based firm with the expertise to work on more complex education and healthcare projects, drawing on Guenther’s excellent client relationships in those areas. Guenther continues: “We will continue to focus on meeting the project needs of our New York client base, while adding the depth of resources that Perkins+Will provides.”

Chris Bormann, healthcare principal in Perkins+Will’s New York office, says “Perkins+Will is delighted with the addition of Guenther and her firm, which enjoys a very positive, unusually high national profile for an office of 18 people. Guenther’s reputation for both design and green architecture dovetails with our goals on a corporate and local level, as well as with our healthcare sector practice.”

The transaction, details of which were not disclosed, comes as the latest in a series of acquisitions for Perkins+Will: this being the 16th over the last twelve years. It is consistent with Perkins+Will’s strategy of acquiring firms known for their strong principles, distinctive identities and overall excellence. Other firms that have been folded into Perkins+Will include Eva Maddox Branded Environments in Chicago, Ai in Washington, DC, MBT in San Francisco, and Busby & Associates in Vancouver.

“We feel we have the best of both worlds,” says Bill Viehman, Chief Marketing Officer at Perkins+Will. “We have broad design expertise and excellent leadership in our selected market sectors. Architecture and our related design disciplines are very creative fields; in order to continually offer enhanced services to our clients, it is incumbent upon us to grow. We celebrate our individual personalities, looking to our newest associates to contribute quickly and make a positive impact on our firm.”

Guenther founded Architecture + Furniture in 1991, later becoming Guenther Petrarca, and then Guenther 5 Architects in 2001; clients include Beth Israel Medical Center, New York Presbyterian Hospital, Maimonides Medical Center and Mt. Sinai Medical Center. Ms. Guenther is a Board member of the Center for Health Design, the AIA Guidelines for Construction of Hospitals and Health Care Facilities, and the Advisory Council on Sustainability for the NYC Department of Buildings. She is also an author of, and on the Steering Committee for, the Green Guide for Health Care, and is on the LEED for Health Care Core Committee. Her book, “Sustainable Healthcare Architecture,” will be released by John Wiley & Sons in November. In 2003 Guenther 5 completed the second LEED-certified healthcare facility in the US, the Patrick Dollard Discovery Health Center, which has been widely published. Ms. Guenther is joined by her co-principals Jason Harper AIA and Peter Syrett AIA in this move, along with the Guenther 5 staff.

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