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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
We have been bestowed a deep understanding of who we are as a firm and culture. And because of Dana, Larson, and Roubal's legacy, we have an even clearer vision of who we will become."
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.
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.