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It helps us define the firm we’ll become.

“It began in a basement. It was in April of 1966 that Jim Roubal would take a box of his personal effects below ground to begin working with Irv Dana and Bill Larson to begin their own architectural design firm.”


Architects Irv Dana and Bill Larson, and engineer Jim Roubal, launched their eponymous firm on April 1, 1966 from a 12-by-12-foot space in a basement at 102nd and Wright in Omaha. The integrated practice was founded on their shared ideals of quality, fairness, opportunity for professional growth, and ownership. Those principles drive our core values today.

The '60s


Marked by transformation and optimism, the ‘60s were a blend of idealism, activism, and undreamed-of technological advances. This era also saw the emergence of a new generation of architects – Dana, Larson, and Roubal among them.

Bryan High School in Omaha, looking down on first floor with red and brick walls. Students gathered in recessed seating area

Bryan High School in Omaha, completed in 1969, laid the firm's track record in education design.

View inside Pierre Public Library, bookshelves to right and seating in center. Clerestory windows let light in from above

Pierre Public Library in Pierre, South Dakota, completed in 1969, received an AIA/American Library Association National Honor Award.

The '70s

Gaining Momentum

Political unrest, social challenges, an energy crisis, and the resulting economic recession all necessitated creative approaches to solving some difficult problems. Our successes through this era attest to ingenuity and ability to adapt and grow in the face of change.

View inside UNO Performing Arts Complex theater. Rows of red seating face piano on stage under lights and acoustical panels

The University of Nebraska Omaha Performing Arts Complex, completed in 1974, helped launch our award-winning Higher Education practice.

Exterior of Central States Health and Life Insurance Building, a curved concrete building on green lawn with American flag

The Central States Health and Life Insurance Building in Omaha, completed in 1977, was a high-profile project that established the firm's reputation in the Midwest.

The '80s

Taking Flight

By establishing footholds in markets across the country through new offices, we also grew in name recognition. Our project portfolio diversified by entering into new categories, and transitioning leadership to a second generation.

Federal Correctional Institution in Phoenix, a modern angular building with columns supporting beige overhang and rooftop panel

The Federal Correctional Institution in Phoenix, completed in 1984, was an award-winning prototype design.

Aerial view of Eppley Airfield in Omaha. Planes on ground surround terminal connected to airport. Planes take off in distance

Eppley Airfield Terminal in Omaha, completed in 1987, established the firm in transit and aviation.

The '90s


The emergence of the Internet and the end of the Cold War were two seemingly disparate events that opened the world to new avenues of communication and cooperation. Economic growth helped us continue to build a significant portfolio in both public and private markets.

Boeing Everett 777 Office Complex at sunset with pink sky illuminating breezeway above two-way street

Boeing Everett 777 Office Complex in Everett, Washington, completed in 1991, was the firm's largest project at the time of completion - comfortably over 2 million SF.

Exterior of Legends Field in Tampa, Florida. Lettering on blue panels of overhang spells Yankees, below a ramp leads to lawn

Legends Field in Tampa, Florida, completed in 1995, renovated the Yankees spring training complex and continued our collaboration with World Series Champions.

The '00s

Going Digital

Y2K had us questioning the future – but not ones to let a computer glitch get in the way of important work, we kept to our mission of elevating the human experience through design. Despite an economic downturn in 2008, the decade saw incredible design growth.

Exterior of Bemidji High School in Minnesota at night. Tall windows at entrance and along building are illuminated from interior

Bemidji High School in Bemidji, Minnesota, completed in 2001, was the firm's first small-learning community high school.

Night view of Wayne L Morse US Courthouse, a building with metallic curved facade and pillars supporting second-story overhang

The Wayne L. Morse United States Courthouse in Eugene, Oregon, completed in 2006, was the GSA's first LEED Gold-certified new construction project.

The '10s

Acting Global

The firm activated the tenets of Architecture 2030 Challenge, the AIA 2030 Commitment, and the China Accord to be a leading voice for sustainable design and preservation. The first overseas offices opened in Dubai and Shanghai enhancing the firm’s ability to deliver design excellence for international clients.

Custom sculptural chandelier hanging above staircase in white room at Renwick Gallery, banister with dark accent in front

The renovation of the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum received an AIA COTE Top Ten award in 2018.

Aerial view of Huili campus from front. A gated stone courtyard is surrounded by brick buildings with living roof sections

Inspired by Wellington College in the U.K., the Huili School in Shanghai is home to 1,080 students in grades one through nine, and the firm’s initial school in Asia.


Meet our People

Our sector, discipline, and executive leaders are dispersed to mentor the next generation of employee-owners, counsel clients, and share their design voice in their local communities.

Black curved wall section with rounded dip in ceiling leading to dining. Left, translucent purple wall room below white wall

Design Opportunities

The concept of ownership, its importance to our culture, and the immense benefits are rather simple. Driven by opportunity, we make decisions that impact not only our success but also that of our clients and partners.

Contact Us

Contact Us

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