A 30-year partnership between two local architecture firms, GBBN
, led the the creation of a new, specialized architecture firm, wg:Architecture.
wg:A was formed in December 2011, but officially launched March 1, after noting an opportunity for a minority-owned firm that specialized in healthcare architecture. Many healthcare organizations seek out minority-owned firms for many types of services, including architecture in their procurement processes--the rapidly evolving healthcare field requires constant change, which includes planning and designing new buildings as well as renovating old ones.
"Many local healthcare businesses were looking for local firms to hire, but since healthcare is such a specialized field, they were having to go outside the region to hire firms," says Kevin Holland, managing director of wg:A. "There was a void here and we took the opportunity to fill it."
GBBN is a large general architecture firm with offices in Cincinnati, Louisville, Pittsburgh and Beijing and has worked on dozens of projects with WA, a small, healthcare and education focused, minority-owned firm, and decided to form the co-own the new firm, with the majority of ownership belonging to WA, so wg:A can fulfill the minority-owned stipulation that is being requested by healthcare organizations in the area.
"The old model of working together with WA really only benefited GBBN," says Greg Otis, president of GBBN. "With wg:A it benefits both firms and gives us authentic leadership and that will recruit talent to Cincinnati."
Holland moved to Cincinnati to take the job and will begin to working with employees from both WA and GBBN on projects and plans on growing to employ six or seven architects in the near future. Holland has begun to scout out the best healthcare architects in the country and will bring them to Cincinnati.
"We hope down the road wg:A will grow and eventually compete with the two parent companies for projects," Otis says. "Our definition of success would be to compete against this entity that we created. It's an effort to create something this city needs."
By Evan Wallis