SAN FRANCISCO —California-based planning and design firm HMC Architects recently merged with Beverly Prior Architects of San Francisco.
Beverly Prior Architects will become HMC+Beverly Prior Architects and will continue to serve clients from its current San Francisco office. Officials from HMC said they had been planning for a San Francisco office for the past few years.
“After getting to know Beverly over the past year and learning she shares a similar vision, culture of collaboration and client-focused service, it became clear this was just a natural fit for everyone,” said HMC’s president and CEO Randy Peterson.
Peterson added that Prior has built an “exceptional reputation within the architecture profession over the past 25 years.”
Officials from the firms predict the merger will enhance both companies’ geographic reach, while strengthening positions in multiple market segments.
In addition to enhancing Beverly Prior Architects’ work with correctional and educational facilities with its own portfolio, HMC offers its experience in healthcare, interior architecture and specialty education consulting services.
Meanwhile, Beverly Prior Architects plans to strengthen HMC’s presence in Northern California and their expertise in their justice and civic market sectors firmwide.
Beverly Prior, who founded the firm in 1986, will be principal-in-charge and will serve in a corporate leadership role as the firm’s practice leader for its justice market. Cheryl Lentini, formerly managing director, will become the San Francisco office’s managing principal.
Prior said that in the past firms that wanted to enter the San Francisco or California market had regularly contacted her.
“With HMC Architects, the synergies in building our practices together were quite exciting, and I was inspired by their dedication to design excellence,” she said. “Our similarities of client focus, vision, and culture were a great foundation to build on, so this was the right fit at the right time.”
In California, Beverly Prior Architects’ work in the correctional field includes the LEED Gold-certified Alameda County Juvenile Justice Center in San Leandro, as well as San Francisco Jail No. 3 in San Bruno and the Auburn Justice Center in Placer County.
“A crisis can be the instigator of new solutions, and our economic crisis is a great opportunity for rethinking our old solutions,” said Prior. “The challenges of the state’s budget play to our strategic planning strengths — partnering with our clients to determine the most effective approach to their justice system challenges.”
Prior said green materials and energy efficient energy are important, but the firm’s focus goes beyond that.
“We also partner with our clients to address the economic sustainability (ongoing operations costs) and social equity by developing projects that contribute to community livability and long-term sustainability — a shift from ‘not in my backyard,’ to ‘yes, in my back yard,’” she said.