ST. LOUIS — Two of the largest architectural practices in St. Louis have merged to create a more substantial presence in the region’s architecture market.
Forum Studio, a wholly owned subsidiary of Chicago-based Clayco announced Friday that it will merge with Bates, a technology and architecture firm, to form a new company headquartered in St. Louis.
The new company will be called BatesForum and will be located in Overland at 2199 Innerbelt Business Center Dr. BatesForum will have additional offices in Chicago, Springfield, Missouri, Bentonville, Arkansas, and San Francisco.
BatesForum will be 50 percent owned by the current Bates partners and 50 percent owned by Clayco.
“This is an incredible opportunity for the Bates and Forum teams to gain instant synergy in technology exchange, building talent and to partner with the Clayco companies’ fully integrated delivery process,” Clayco’s Chairman and CEO Bob Clark said.
Forum Studio was ranked as St. Louis’ seventh largest architecture firm and Bates 10th, according to the St. Louis Business Journal. The new firm will be one of the largest in the region with over 200 employees and over 70 registered designers and architects.
Steve Warlick of Bates will stay on as the President of BatesForum while Kapil Khanna will be named Chief Operating Officer. Long standing Forum Studios Chairman and Senior Principal, Chris Cedergreen, has announced his upcoming retirement but will stay on briefly to help lead the transition and integration of the two firms. Cedergreen will also serve as a consultant to the firm for special projects.
The company plans to close the transaction within eight weeks at which time the new management team and organizational details will be announced.
Bates is one of the leading healthcare design firms in the Midwest and has innovative technology that increases transparency, introduces coordination as a discipline and provides a new deliverable that streamlines data from design through construction and into the lifecycle of the facility. Combined with the Clayco platform and capital strength, the full potential of the integrated technology will be brought to the market very quickly.
Forum Studio has long been known for its collaborative approach to complex projects and great design. The firm was born over 20 years ago and is an essential component in the Clayco design- build process.
By harnessing the power of integrated design, including architecture, workplace strategy, interior design, landscape architecture, urban planning and engineering the company achieves its clients’ goals and aspirations.
In addition to leading the newly formed design and engineering company, Warlick will have an essential role in Clayco’s healthcare business unit bringing a full service approach to project delivery.
Clayco, the full-service architecture firm that specializes in turnkey real estate development, master planning, architecture, engineering and construction, had over $2 billion in revenue for 2017. Their most recent St. Louis project, the Centene Corporation expansion in Clayton, is slated to complete its first stage in 2019.