Established Civic Design Firm RDC Joins DLR Group

By CN Staff

SAN FRANCISCO—DLR Group has announced the acquisition of Sonoma, Calif.-based civic and public safety design firm RossDrulisCusenbery (RDC). The addition of RDC adds focused design excellence of new building types to DLR Group’s global Justice+Civic studio.

RDC is a nationally recognized design leader for the planning, programming, and design of civic and public safety facilities. Its award-winning projects include courthouses, emergency operations centers, emergency communications centers, fire stations and training campuses, land ports-of-entry, and law enforcement facilities. The RDC portfolio also includes youth and family centers, health and human service facilities, and other community building types.

This expertise is now available for clients in each of DLR Group’s 33 global offices. RDC also bolsters the operational leadership and design expertise and depth of DLR Group’s Justice+Civic practice.

Founded in 1983, RDC’s design approach for civic and public safety facilities is grounded in a participatory design process that engages the creative input of individuals traditionally outside of the design team. RDC leads an inquiring and collaborative design process that leverages the operational insights of fire service, law enforcement, and public safety providers. At the community level, RDC seeks the experiences of youth, marginalized communities, operational clients, and highly specialized user groups to guide design. RDC’s contemporary civic and public safety design portfolio radiates the unique perspectives of its community of users.

“RDC’s design acumen, client types, and philosophical approach to the delivery of civic and public safety facilities is a seamless fit with DLR Group. There is cultural alignment of shared values for justice sector work,” said DLR Group Board Chair Griff Davenport, FAIA. “We have enhanced the design depth and resources of our Justice+Civic studio. With RDC we are a more nimble firm that can better serve city, county, and state government clients to meet the unique needs of their constituents.”

“We are thrilled to be joining the leading Justice+Civic practice in the country. We are now part of a team of more than 150 collaborative design thinkers aligned behind a design ethos to deliver healing, equity, and transformation for individuals and communities,” said RDC Principal Mallory Cusenbery. “DLR Group is a global platform that presents our staff with the opportunity to explore diverse building types and sectors within the firm, work in or relocate to new geographic markets, and pursue new career paths and leadership roles.”

Joining DLR Group enables RDC project teams to provide their clients a depth of in-house design expertise including structural, electrical, mechanical engineering, interiors, high performance design, landscape, science and technology, and a fully integrated array of specialized design services.

“This is an exciting new chapter for our firm. It ensures the continuity and design legacy of the professionals of RDC and provides a global platform to capture larger, more sophisticated projects of scale,” said RDC Principal Michael Ross. “It also enables our people to invest in DLR Group and become employee-owners of a global, integrated design firm. We would not have taken this step without the opportunity for our people to become employee-owners.”

DLR Group is a 100 percent employee-owned firm, and RDC design professionals will have the opportunity to purchase stock and invest in the future of DLR Group. The RDC office in Sonoma will maintain the RossDrulisCusenbery name in the immediate future. RDC staff in Berkeley will relocate to DLR Group’s San Francisco office at 235 Montgomery Street.

DLR Group is an integrated design firm delivering architecture, engineering, interiors, planning, and building optimization for new construction, renovation, and adaptive reuse.

RossDrulisCusenbery (RDC) has planned, programmed, and designed courthouses, fire stations and training centers, law enforcement and public safety facilities, emergency communications and operational coordination centers, government buildings, community and youth centers, health and human service campuses, and other civic facilities in over 30 U.S. states and in Canada. RDC core design services include architecture, interior design, and space planning; facility master planning; facilities assessments; urban design; architectural programming; sustainable design; participatory design facilitation; public art integration; construction phase services; and technical consulting.