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Perkins+Will grows with Sink Combs Dethlefs merger

US architectural firm Perkins+Will has announced a merger with Denver-based Sink Combs Dethlefs, a national leader in sports, recreation, and entertainment architecture.

Denver now becomes the home of Perkins+Will’s 24th design studio.

The merger, which significantly bolsters Perkins+Will’s visibility in the Rocky Mountain West region, is part of the firm’s strategy to meet growing global demand for design that promotes holistic human health and well-being.

Perkins+Will CEO Phil Harrison said:

The biggest driver behind the union of our two firms is the increasing focus on designing for ‘full-circle’ health and well-being—that is, giving people the opportunity to be active, fit, healthy, and happy at every point on the continuum of life experience.

Together with Sink Combs Dethlefs, we can deliver creative, research-driven solutions to meet this demand, while providing superior client service—a shared hallmark of our practices.

Founded in 1962, Sink Combs Dethlefs’ projects include the Pat Bowlen Fieldhouse at the UCHealth Training Center, home of the Denver Broncos, in Englewood, Colorado; the University of Michigan Crisler Arena renovation and William Davidson Player Development Center in Ann Arbor, Michigan; the Chesapeake Energy Arena renovation in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; the PPL Center in Allentown, Pennsylvania; and the visitor and conference center at the iconic Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison, Colorado.

Converging disciplines

Perkins+Will said the merger comes at a critical time in the architecture, design, and construction industry, where historically distinct project typologies, disciplines, and practice areas are now blending in both form and function, and where health and well-being are considered paramount.

For example, academic buildings are adopting active workplace design trends; corporate interiors are borrowing design elements from health and wellness centers; healthcare facilities are taking design cues from the hospitality sector; hotels are incorporating aspects of sports and recreation; athletics and entertainment facilities are serving as community anchors in walkable, mixed-use urban developments; and so on.

By combining firms, Perkins+Will and Sink Combs Dethlefs can cross-pollinate services to meet these overlapping market needs.

Don Dethlefs of Sink Combs Dethlefs, now chair of Perkins+Will’s expanded Sports, Recreation, and Entertainment practice, said:

This ‘blurring of the lines’ is a powerful emerging trend in the world of design, so it’s an exciting time to be leading the way forward. By blending our areas of expertise, we’re able to provide clients—no matter what sector they’re in—with fresh, forward-thinking solutions that prioritize fitness, health, and well-being.

Known for designing arenas and event centers, collegiate athletic facilities, community recreation centers, civic centers, and spectator venues, Sink Combs Dethlefs naturally expands Perkins+Will’s range of client service offerings.

This is particularly true in the higher education sector, where Perkins+Will is an established leader in the design of student centers, research facilities, academic buildings, administrative centers, and residence halls, as well as in campus planning, and where the firm’s portfolio of athletic centers is now starting to grow, the company said.

It is also true within the urban design sector, where Perkins+Will’s Cities and Sites practice is global leader in creating dynamic, animated, health-conscious cities, and where sports and entertainment arenas are increasingly becoming catalysts for economic growth in downtown mixed-use districts.

In addition to new service offerings, the merger gives both firms greater exposure geographically. Sink Combs Dethlefs’ 50-person flagship office in Denver—now Perkins+Will’s 24th design studio—significantly strengthens Perkins+Will’s presence in Colorado and the greater Rocky Mountain West region.

Perkins+Will’s projects there to date include the Lory Student Center at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado; the University of Colorado, Anschutz, Cancer Pavilion in Aurora, Colorado; and Intermountain Healthcare’s Alta Vista Hospital in Sandy, Utah.

Sink Combs Dethlefs’ 10-person practice in Chicago, which will soon operate out of Perkins+Will’s design studio in the iconic Wrigley Building downtown, establishes Perkins+Will as a new leader in sports and recreation in the Midwest.

Projects there include the Joyce Center Fieldhouse and Rolf Sports Center, both at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana, and the Athletic Research Center at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. All three, designed by Sink Combs Dethlefs, are under construction.

Perkins+Will’s Ryan/Walter Athletic Center at Northwestern University is also under construction and scheduled to open in 2018.

The merger also enhances Sink Combs Dethlefs’ ability to win new work nationally and internationally, as well.

Lindsey Peckinpaugh, a principal based in Sink Combs Dethlefs’ Chicago office, said:

It’s a tremendous advantage to be part of Perkins+Will’s constellation of 24 design studios around the world. We are now one firm with global reach and resources, and yet we remain totally committed to and invested in our local communities.

Image: The UCHealth Training Centre designed by Sink Combs Dethlefs

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