Two Mid-Atlantic design firms join forces

Quinn Evans Architects and Cho Benn Holback + Associates have similar portfolios with an emphasis on civic work. 

April 25, 2017 |

Larry Barr (second from left), AIA, President of Quinn Evans Architects, standing with the management and principals of Cho Benn Holback + Associates, which Quinn Evans acquires effective May 1. Pictured with Barr are (from left): Brandon Schultz, LEED AP; Diane Cho, AIA, and George Holback, Cho Benn Holback's cofounders; Brian Oster, AIA, LEED AP BD+C; Mark Nook, AIA; and Anath Ranon, AIA, LEED AP BD+C. Image credit: E. Brady Robinson

The Washington, D.C. architectural and planning practice Quinn Evans Architects will expand to five office locations on May 1 when its acquisition of Baltimore-based Cho Benn Holback + Associates becomes effective.

Quinn Evans, founded in 1984, also operates from offices in Detroit and Ann Arbor, Mich.; and Madison, Wis. The new addition brings Quinn Evans’ employee count to more than 140.

The 30-person Cho Benn Holback, which was established in 1979, will remain at its current location, and operate under its name with the addition “a Quinn Evans Company.” No changes to its management or staffing are anticipated.

The two firms have portfolios in cultural, educational, civic, and urban infill projects, with an expertise in historic preservation and adaptive reuse. Cho Benn Holback + Associates has been recognized with more than 200 design awards, and is regarded for its design and revitalization work in Baltimore.

“Quinn Evans Architects is well known for its resourcefulness in urban planning and design, and that focus is what has inspired our own work through the years as well,” says Diane Cho, AIA, one of the firm’s founding partners. “We are looking to help rebuild and reinvigorate communities. Working together, we’ll have an opportunity to take our experience to other cities, and bring Quinn Evans’ perspective to our work here in Baltimore as well.”

Larry Barr, AIA, President of Quinn Evans Architects, views Cho Benn Holback + Associates as an ideal fit for Quinn Evans Architects in terms of staff, expertise, and portfolio. “I have long admired the thoughtful and creative approach reflected in their work—the caliber of design is consistently visionary and transformative. Projects like the Lillian Jones Apartments; the National Postal Museum; and Open Works, the state-of-the-art new maker space in Baltimore, are standouts.”

Both firms have completed a number of theater projects: Quinn Evans is currently designing the modernization of the 500-seat, 36-year-old Terrace Theatre at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in D.C., and Cho Benn Holback recently completed the $28 million renovation of Center Stage in Baltimore. (Whiting-Turner Construction was the GC on that project.)

 

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