Ten years ago, Bend architects Mike Gorman and Jim Landin took that big leap of faith: starting a new architecture firm. Looking back at this new vision and direction, they are quite proud of their accomplishments and the wide range of projects they have designed, which now blanket Central Oregon.
“We’ve done everything from a goat farm in Tumalo to the Oxford Hotel in downtown Bend,” says Landin, who loves to introduce himself with that remark whenever asked about his firm.
Gorman and Landin began the firm as GGL Architecture in February 2004. “When GGL began, the economy in Central Oregon was thriving,” recalls Gorman. “It was a great time to be an architect.” After five solid years of business, the local market became part of the globalize recession and construction came to a halt. “We saw it coming and prepared for it.”
In 2005, the firm developed and built its own 7,000 square-foot building in Bend on Emkay Drive. Prior to the recession, the firm grew to 15 professionals. “We had an amazing and talented staff of professionals that helped put our name on Central Oregon,” recalls Landin.
GGL began collaborating with Tacoma-based BLRB Architects on multiple projects. BLRB’s managing principal at the time, Tom Bates, was a University of Oregon fraternity brother of Gorman. In 2010, they formalized their relationship by merging as one firm.
“We found that there was a strong collaborative alignment regarding synergy and philosophy in terms of service, common goals and innovative design. We enjoyed the process so much we decided to formalize the relationship,” said Bates.
Currently, BLRB is working with the Crook County School District, designing their new 700-student elementary school, as well as various construction projects for Bend-La Pine Schools and the Bend Senior Center Phase I Remodel.
“The stronger economy, coupled with a diverse and robust portfolio, has brought a nice balance of both public and private clients through our door again. Many multi-family housing and commercial projects, such as the new Pronghorn Lodge, are in the queue as well,” says Gorman.
The Bend office has recently staffed five new professionals, with plans for more. “Once again, it’s a great time to be an architect.”
The Bend office expanded its breadth of expertise, by combining local services with the regional resources of the Tacoma office. With the Bend office celebrating 10 years of service in Central Oregon, the overall firm recently celebrated 60 years of service to the entire Northwest. In all, the firm has been involved with more than $2.6 billion worth of construction in Oregon and Washington for clients in the educational, civic, commercial, single and multi-family housing and historic preservation sectors.
Some of the firm’s profiled local projects include: The Oxford Hotel, Bend-Memorial Clinic-Westside, Mill Quarter Phases I & II, Discovery Park Lodge Senior Affordable Housing, Three Rivers K-8 School Additions, JC Penney Galleria Renovation, Newport Lofts, Woodside Plaza and Vision Plaza. With the Bend office currently located in Vision Plaza, one can stand on the rooftop deck and with a panoramic view, count the number of buildings the firm has designed. “It’s a cool five-cent tour,” laughs Landin.
BLRB is looking forward to its continuing architectural contribution here in Central Oregon and throughout the Pacific Northwest. Since the merger in 2010, the firm has opened offices in Spokane and Portland.
BLRB Architects, Mike Gorman at 541-330-6506, www.BLRB.com.