The Path to Success in 2018
This year was one of unprecedented success for the employee-owners of DLR Group. 2017 was a demonstration of our unyielding commitment to elevate the human experience through design. This is our brand promise, but it is also the collective ethos that guides our work on some of the most significant projects in the country, from bringing mass timber design from Minneapolis to Chicago and Atlanta; to changing the learning experience for thousands of high school students in Compton, California; to the groundbreaking energy design we’re executing across the state of Colorado.
Our design footprint is growing at a significant rate in communities all over the country. I’m extremely proud of the progress we’re making as a firm, and that confirmation can be seen in our annual ARCHITECT ranking; our ENR Best of the Best Awards for Google’s Kirkland Campus and the Onondaga Lakeview Amphitheater; and numerous awards from our industry and peers groups around the country.
These achievements have gone hand-in-hand with the talent that joined DLR Group over the course of the year: The design experience and expertise we’ve added to our firm is remarkable. Our new design partners from Westlake Reed Leskosky (WRL), Momenta, Studio Hive, Kwan Henmi, and Staffelbach have brought new markets, new geographies, and a depth of design resources to support and enhance our integrated design process.
The Cleveland Museum of Art, Gartner Auditorium in Cleveland by DLR Group. Photo by Kevin G. Reeves.
This growth has produced tangible, immediate results. New team members from Momenta have reinforced and extended our relationships with education and government clients in the Kansas City region. The Sacramento Theater in the California state capitol is a great example of our enhanced ability to design, plan, and program world-class performing arts venues. Our expanded geographical reach in Texas brought a new design opportunity with the Office of Juvenile Affairs in neighboring Oklahoma for our award-winning Justice+Civic Design Studio. And our K-12 Studio recently won a new middle school in Washington, D.C., an example of DLR Group’s national expertise in education design benefiting students, educators and a local community on the Atlantic Coast. In Shanghai, construction is underway on our design for a new performing arts center, and in New York, we’re enjoying ongoing design work for the Fashion Institute of Technology.
Growth in 2017 was not limited to adding firms through acquisition. We also grew our design expertise with the addition of key design professionals. Stuart Rothenberger joined DLR Group to lead our Higher Education Studio and is actively elevating our integrated design platform in this core market. Under his leadership, our HiEd teams collaborated with housing specialists from DLR Group | Kwan Henmi in San Francisco to design new, privately funded student housing immediately adjacent to the University of California, Berkeley campus, where an old church is being replaced by modern student housing and an all new worship facility.
We’ve enjoyed a lot of growth and expansion this year, but one core belief of mine remains: Our goal has not been--and will not be--to simply be a big firm. Our goal is to be a great firm.
As we look to the opportunities of 2018, we’ll build on the accomplishments and foundations set in 2017 to hone our focus.
Missouri Innovation Campus in Lee's Summit, Missouri by DLR Group. Photo by Michael Robinson.
An Unwavering Commitment to Sustainability
Our 2030 report card is probably the greatest evidence of our progress as a firm toward environmental stewardship. We continue to do what is right for our planet, and remain committed to full transparency in our design strategies driving that sea change. Many of us at DLR Group, and our peer groups, are finding that local community commitment to optimized, responsible energy performance is gaining momentum. Under the leadership of our Global Sustainability Leader Premnath Sundharam and his team, DLR Group will continue its design work that safeguards the future of our planet and brings value for our clients.
Growth through Research
We announced the preliminary outcomes of some ground-breaking data analysis in our K-12 Studio through the Student Engagement Index, and our Workplace Elevated data has produced valuable insights for our clients. Throughout 2018, we’ll be expanding our research, formalizing our data collection methodologies and approach to data analytics, and accelerating our Professional Development Grant and project-based research programs to benefit our employee-owners and our clients.
Global Design Leadership
Design is not solely a domestic challenge nor is it confined to North America. Opportunities for design exist worldwide. We are committed to the growth of our international practice and growing our presence around the world. We will continue to make investments in Asia, the Middle East, and Africa, and will lead design opportunities in these regions of the world as they evolve.
Shanghai Wanping Theatre Renovation in Shanghai by DLR Group. Rendering by DLR Group.
Growth Through Our Greatest Resource
Growth and expansion has created many successes for our professional staff as reflected in our firm appointments this fall. Promoting new Principals, Senior Associates, and Associates serves as evidence of our growth strategy and investments. These new leaders, and those yet to join our evolving professional development programs, will fuel the next generation of design excellence and growth for the firm. DLR Group is a great place for emerging and seasoned professionals alike who embody the entrepreneurial spirit of our firm.
Growth through Innovation
This will continue to guide the evolution of our approach to the practice of integrated design. The pace of change in our industry is visible every day. Accordingly, we will continue to leverage emergent and available technologies to evolve and advance integrated design in our project delivery, and with our owners, and our construction partners; all of whom will contribute to the successes we will experience in the new year and beyond.
Growth is a word that certainly defines our immediate past. It also frames our plans for the future. Adding expertise benefits our clients and enables growth for our firm and, in turn, creates new opportunities for professional growth of our design professionals. I am personally committed to growing for the benefit of our clients. For our 1,100+ employee-owners, I feel an obligation to provide the same opportunities presented to me 37 years ago when I first joined DLR Group.