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News Releases

March 16, 2004

Lord, Aeck & Sargent Launches Arts & Culture Studio

New Design Studio Addresses Firm’s Expertise in Planning, Design and Renovation of Museums, Performing Arts Centers and Auditoriums

ATLANTA, March 16, 2004 – Lord, Aeck & Sargent, an Atlanta-based architectural firm, announced the addition of a fourth studio – the Arts & Culture Studio – which will focus on planning, design and renovation of museums as well as performing arts centers and auditoriums. The newest studio will allow the firm to provide its growing expertise in this market for the benefit of its clients.

“When we established our Science, Historic Preservation and Education studios in the nineties, we already had developed expertise in each of these markets, and the idea was that the studio structure would allow us to channel that expertise to better serve our clients,” said Tony Aeck, FAIA, managing principal. “Over the past several years we’ve developed an expertise in museums and other cultural facilities, and the same strategy we followed in establishing our other studios is behind our launch of the Arts & Culture Studio.”

John Starr, AIA, LEED, a principal in the firm, is director of the new studio. He is joined by Hank Houser, AIA, LEED, an experienced museum architect and planner who also will direct business development efforts, and a staff of 10 other architects devoted to these facilities. Principal Joe Greco, AIA, LEED, has assumed the role of director of the firm’s Education Studio, a role previously held by Starr.

“We have developed a great deal of experience in the planning and design of art, science, history, environmental and house museums as well as nature, visitors and performing arts centers,”1 Starr noted. “Our clients, many of whom are located in the southeast, are excited that the region has an architectural firm with the understanding and know-how to respond to the unique space design and financial challenges that these facilities present.

“They’re also pleased that our firm offers complementary services in sustainable design and historic preservation,” Starr said. “These often come into play when environmental centers and museums plan to adapt and reuse existing buildings or want to make sure that environmentally friendly features are built into the design from the start.”

As an example of a project that combines the firm’s museum and sustainable design expertise, Starr pointed to the Gwinnett County Environmental and Heritage Museum, which was recently awarded by the Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners to Lord, Aeck & Sargent in a national competition.

Members of the Arts & Culture Studio also have experience working with museum and arts center specialty consultants, from lighting and acoustics to exhibit designers. They also collaborate with other museum designers, as evidenced by their current collaboration with the Renzo Piano Building Workshop, headquartered in Genova, Italy, on Atlanta’s High Museum of Art expansion.

Founded in 1942, Lord, Aeck & Sargent is an award-winning architectural firm serving clients in scientific, academic, historic preservation, arts and cultural markets. The firm’s core values are responsive design, technological expertise and exceptional service. Lord, Aeck & Sargent is headquartered in Atlanta and has offices in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and Chapel Hill, N.C. For more information, visit the firm at