Michael Graves Architecture Acquires Walter Robbs Callahan & Pierce Architects

Merger strengthens firm’s legacy of innovative design and deep sector knowledge and enhances client experience while building on future acquisition strategy

PRINCETON, NJ—January 31, 2023—Michael Graves Architecture (MG), an award-winning global leader in planning, architecture, and interior design based in Princeton, NJ, announces the acquisition of Walter Robbs Callahan & Pierce Architects, PA (Walter Robbs), a North Carolina-based architecture firm. Following the acquisition of Maryland-based planning, architecture, and interior design firm Waldon Studio Architects (WSA) and New Jersey-based Jose Carballo Architectural Group (JCAG) last year, this new acquisition is another key component of MG’s long-term strategic growth plan. The acquisition of Walter Robbs will add the specific strengths of the well-known firm to MG’s already robust foundation, continue to share knowledge across market sectors, and expand into new regions, further invigorating the late Michael Graves’ enduring legacy of creativity and innovation.

“When evaluating this acquisition, we immediately recognized the talent and deep experience within the Walter Robbs team, particularly in the higher education, K-12, community, and sports sectors. As we learned more about each other, we realized our values were aligned, and that our collaboration would create instant synergy,” explained Joe Furey, President and CEO of MG. “We were immediately impressed with Walter Robbs’ portfolio, its people, and the collaborative nature of the firm’s operations, which will lead to many new opportunities in the higher education, K-12, community, and sports sectors, as well as in the North Carolina market. We believe this acquisition will further enhance our design capabilities and market sector knowledge, as well as build upon our core values of innovation, commitment to quality, and unwavering client service.”

Under the new company structure, Wesley Curtis, Ken McDaniel, and Matt Messick will serve as Principals and existing Partners Joe Bircher, Amy West, Katie Pepper, Larry Robbs, Rence Callahan, and Clark Pierce will remain as Partners of the firm, which will be known as Walter Robbs Architects PA, a Michael Graves Company, moving forward. Additionally, all Walter Robbs staff will be thoughtfully incorporated into the company’s organizational makeup in key roles. Joe Furey will oversee the ongoing integration and continued future acquisition strategy as part of MG’s forward-looking strategic plan. Walter Robbs is already well-known in North Carolina, and is recognized for higher education, K-12, community-based, and sports projects, in addition to their work within other market sectors. Ken McDaniel, AIA, NCARB, President at Walter Robbs stated, “At Walter Robbs, our team has always been at the heart of who we are. This new chapter will provide unique opportunities and peer relationships for our NC-based staff, and we’re excited to foster this growth in an environment of shared goals, principles, and collaboration.”

The impactful mix of brand recognition, shared values, and deep relationships is the next step of an exciting new chapter for MG that simultaneously honors the firm’s established heritage. Michael Graves, a renowned Architect who passed away in 2015, left behind a committed and talented team and an incredible legacy of innovation and design brilliance in the firm. The acquisition of Walter Robbs will provide the firm with the opportunity to strengthen its expertise in Walter Robbs’ key sectors and beyond.

For over 50 years, MG has provided clients across the globe with pioneering, humanistic solutions in architecture, product design, interior design, master planning, graphic design, and branding across many market sectors, including hospitality, civic, education, workplace, and residential. Recent projects include The St. Regis Hotel in Cairo, Egypt; a Fortune 100 company headquarters at Midtown Center in Washington, D.C.; The Loutrel Hotel in Charleston, SC, and 1776 by David Burke featuring Topgolf Swing Suites in Morristown, NJ. Notable recent Walter Robbs projects include Wake Forest University’s Sutton Sports Performance Center, Shah Basketball Complex, and McCreary Football Complex; the Bailey Power Plant core and shell renovation in Winston-Salem, NC; and the NC State University Memorial Belltower renovation in Raleigh, NC.

About Michael Graves Architecture

Founded in 1964 by AIA Gold Medalist Michael Graves, Michael Graves Architecture & Design (MG) has a unique multidisciplinary practice that offers strategic advantages to clients worldwide. MG’s work is a consequence of continually striving to learn, listening to their clients. and aiming to deliver the highest level of service possible. The firm’s clients range from Fortune 100 companies and global manufacturers to start-ups, from the government to cultural, educational, and healthcare institutions, and from real estate developers and retailers to homeowners and consumers. MG has one of the leading design practices in the world, offering services in architecture, product design, interior design, master planning, graphic design. and branding, and underpins clients’ success with design strategy consulting, feasibility studies and research. For more information, visit www.michaelgraves.com.

About Walter Robbs Callahan & Pierce Architects, PA (Walter Robbs)

Walter Robbs Callahan & Pierce Architects, PA (Walter Robbs) is an architectural, planning, and interior design firm that, over the last 57 years, has earned a reputation throughout the Southeast for quality design and client satisfaction. At Walter Robbs, the work we do is about more than simply adding new buildings to the landscape; it is about creating structures and spaces that energize and transform people, places, and communities. Walter Robbs’ LEED Silver office is reflective of our commitment to sustainability and our collaborative, innovative working philosophy. Community is important to us and a core value of the firm. As designers, we enthusiastically support the obligation we have as professionals to be a positive force in society. For more information, visit www.walterrobbs.com.

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