Healthcare Design Firm WMBA Joins DLR Group in Charlotte
(CHARLOTTE, N.C., August 25, 2021) – DLR Group CEO Griff Davenport today announced the acquisition of Charlotte-based healthcare design firm Wright McGraw Beyer Architects. DLR Group established its Charlotte office in 2016 and provides K-12 Education, Higher Education, Performing Arts, Sports, and Workplace design for public and private clients in the region. WMBA and DLR Group will merge operations to create a 45-person Charlotte office.
Founded in 1996, WMBA practices solely in healthcare, specializing in the planning, design, and interiors for acute care facilities, ambulatory surgery centers, behavioral health, bio-medical centers, and medical office buildings for health systems across the Southeast. In Charlotte, WMBA has delivered multiple projects for both Atrium Health and Novant Health.
A fundamental part of DLR Group’s growth strategy is adding firms with a focused design expertise in markets where we have an established DLR Group office. Our Charlotte office is experiencing rapid growth in K-12, Higher Education, and Workplace. Adding WMBA and an established healthcare practice to the office enables us to develop a significant footprint in one of the nation’s fastest growing metropolitan areas.”
Founders Todd McGraw, NCARB, and John Beyer, AIA, will join DLR Group as Principals, along with Studio Director Damian Huneycutt, AIA, and Director of Interior Design Wendy Ferlisi, NCIDQ and continue to lead the office’s healthcare design practice, which will operate as DLR Group | WMBA.
The staff of WMBA will relocate to DLR Group’s office in the Refinery Building at 1213 West Morehead Street in the 3rd Ward’s Wesley Heights neighborhood before year end.
The Charlotte office will provide clients an array of integrated design services including planning; architecture; structural, electrical, and mechanical engineering; and interior design. WMBA clients will also have access to a depth of design expertise – laboratory planning, clean room design, acoustics, lighting, high performance design, and more, as part of DLR Group.
“We firmly believe the expertise of WMBA, coupled with DLR Group’s Healthcare studio and the depth of design services within DLR Group makes us more competitive for the large-scale projects we want to pursue,” said McGraw. “We are getting scale with the resources that DLR Group brings to the table. We are no longer a boutique, 28-person firm. We are DLR Group with a great depth of expertise and resources behind us to enhance services for our healthcare clients.”
DLR Group is a 100% employee-owned firm and all WMBA employees will have the opportunity to purchase stock in DLR Group during the firm’s annual stock exchange. This employee-ownership opportunity was a key factor in WMBA’s decision as it provides a proven method for ownership transition to ensure the firm’s legacy of healthcare design.
We’ve looked at mergers before. The differentiator for us is the culture of DLR Group."
“I firmly believe we are joining an organization that is like-minded in many ways. We align on a commitment to design, in project delivery, and how you manage projects. Most importantly, we have seen how DLR Group empowers its employee-owners. The investment of DLR Group people to their work, and their commitment to each other really made a huge impression on us. We also respect the commitment that’s being made to grow healthcare at DLR Group and the opportunity to partner and collaborate with DLR Group’s existing Healthcare team to grow something special within the firm,” said Beyer.
WMBA’s work in the Charlotte area includes the Atrium Health—Pineville Bedtower Addition, Atrium Health—Cabarrus Bedtower Addition, and Octapharma AG North American Headquarters. DLR Group work in Charlotte includes Jerry Richardson Stadium at UNC Charlotte, restoration of the 1927 Carolina Theater at Belk Place, the Charlotte office of Octagon, and the current renovation of the Durham Bulls Athletic Park.
DLR Group Engineering Volunteers Strengthen Future City Competition
Students across the United States designed 100% electrically powered cities. DLR Group engineers share what volunteering at the competition taught them.
UNC Health Blue Ridge’s Cancer Center Tome Top Construction Prize
ABC Carolinas recognized the state-of-the-art healthcare facility with the Eagle Award at the 2023 Excellence in Construction Awards.
Firm to Design Boys & Girls Club of Queens Expansion
DLR Group’s design will optimize the club’s impact, crafting an identity within the community and providing new opportunities for the youth of Queens.
New Mixed-Use District, The Point, to Arrive in Abha, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
The Point will serve as a premier destination for retail, dining, entertainment, and hospitality for the local community and visitors.
St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church Named Engineering News-Record’s New York Project of the Year
The captivating structure at the rebuilt World Trade Center was honored with Engineering News-Record's 2023 New York Project of the Year.
DLR Group Relocates to Dubai Science Park
Global design firm’s new office in Dubai Science Park provides architecture, interior design, planning, and specialty services in the Middle East and Africa.
Baoshan Long Beach Complex Celebrates with Grand Opening
DLR Group’s master plan and design creates a new landmark in Shanghai, offering a distinctive waterfront cultural experience.
First Class-A Timber Office and Residential Space Debuts in Austin, Texas
T3 ATX Eastside’s new mass timber office and residential space offers a modernized and sustainable option for working and living.
In the Media
Mizzou Athletics Taps DLR Group to Steer Memorial Stadium Renovation Project
The University of Missouri Athletics Department recently announced plans to renovate the North concourse at Memorial Stadium. Read here how our firm is playing an intricate role in elevating the student-athlete and fan experience at Mizzou.
K-12 School Design Trends for 2024: Health, Wellness, Net Zero Energy
DLR Group National K-12 Education Design Leader and Principal Todd Ferking, AIA, A4LE, is leading the discussion on sustainable school design and showing how DLR Group and our design teams are finding unique and creative solutions to deliver healthy educational facilities.
American Business Quarterly
American Business Quarterly Quotes Stu Rothenberger
Principal and Global Higher Education Leader, Stu Rothenberger spoke with American Business Quarterly for their feature on Bucknell University’s Director of Planning, Design and Construction.
Global Gaming Business Magazine
Intersection of Gaming and Hospitality
DLR Group’s Thomas Hoskens explores the intersection of gaming and hospitality entertainment district environments in recent feature.
Watch: Vision for NKC Schools Enabled Through Integrated Design and Collaboration
DLR Group Principal and Design Leader Ian Kilpatrick, AIA, NCARB, and Dr. Katie Lawson sat down with Rob Cassidy of Building Design+Construction to discuss how the vision for the North Kansas City School Early Education Center was brought to life through adaptive reuse, community investment, and integrated design.
Work Design Magazine
Reintroducing the Workplace as Places People Want to Be
As employees refamiliarize themselves with the office, Principal and Interior Design Leader Nena Martin, RID, IIDA, shares trending design elements expected in 2024.
Abandoned Jail Transformed into Class A County Offices
Principal Larry Smith, AIA, reflects on the transformation and outcomes of turning an abandoned county jail into offices for the county attorneys.