Michael Graves Architecture acquires NC firm

Jessica Perry//February 2, 2023

Michael Graves Architecture acquires NC firm

Jessica Perry//February 2, 2023

Growing Michael Graves Architecture expanded its reach further with the addition of a North Carolina-based architecture firm.

On Jan. 31, the Princeton-based buyer announced its acquisition of Walter Robbs Callahan & Pierce Architects PA. According to MG, the move will add specific strengths – particularly in higher education, K-12 education, community and sports – in addition to expanding its reach into new regions and continuing to revitalize the enduring creative and innovative legacy of the firm’s namesake, Michael Graves.

It follows the addition of two firms over the course of 2022, Waldon Studio Architects of Maryland and Jose Carballo Architectural Group of Hackensack.

For the latest addition, MG President and Chief Executive Officer Joe Furey said the talent and expertise of Walter Robbs was immediately apparent.

Joseph Furey, president & CEO, Michael Graves Architecture.

“As we learned more about each other, we realized our values were aligned, and that our collaboration would create instant synergy,” he explained in a statement. “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,” Furey added.

Recent work

MG: The St. Regis Hotel in Cairo, Egypt; a Fortune 100 company headquarters at Midtown Center in Washington, D.C.; The Loutrel Hotel in Charleston, S.C.; 1776 by David Burke featuring Topgolf Swing Suites in Morristown

Walter Robbs: 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, N.C.; and the NC State University Memorial Belltower renovation in Raleigh

Moving forward, the target will be known as Walter Robbs Architects PA, a Michael Graves Company.

All staff will be incorporated into MG’s organization with Furey overseeing the integration. Walter Robbs’ 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 such, according to MG.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“At Walter Robbs, our team has always been at the heart of who we are,” said McDaniel, the firm’s former president. “This new chapter will provide unique opportunities and peer relationships for our N.C.-based staff, and we’re excited to foster this growth in an environment of shared goals, principles, and collaboration.”

Looking ahead, Furey will also focus on the more than 50-year-old firm’s continued acquisition strategy as part of its strategic plan.