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offi ces support the fi rm’s focus on core market segments around the globe. “We built our fi rm around a specifi c business plan with a goal to be a market leader in six or seven specialized practice areas,” said Bradford Perkins, founder, chairman and CEO of the fi rm. “Today, our core practice areas have grown to nine.” Perkins has served as principal-in-charge and project director on several hundred architectural, planning, and interior design projects for more than a dozen building types. He is recognized internationally as a specialist in healthcare, senior living, and education, among others. Perkins founded the fi rm with partner Mary-Jean Eastman. “When we decided to grow from a small fi rm to a large fi rm in 1994, our staff consisted of 50 to 60 people. Today, we are one of the top ten largest fi rms in the country,” said Perkins. “In order to have real centers of excellence in our fi rm, we needed 15 to 20 specialists in each core practice. We started with a fi ve year target of 100 employees but reached that goal within eight months.” There are several practice areas that are experiencing growth and renewed interest, including health care. Perkins noted that major medical centers are currently modernizing their environments to incorporate new technologies and make them more patient centered. One example is New York’s Memorial Sloan- Kettering Cancer Center, the largest cancer research and care facility in the country. Perkins Eastman has received several awards for its projects for MSKCC including adding 21 operating rooms above two existing hospital buildings in midtown Manhattan. Other practice areas that are experiencing growth are senior living such as nursing homes and retirement communities; education, especially K-12 school districts investing in large building programs; housing; and mixed-use projects for developers; and public buildings such as courthouses. Perkins said his fi rm’s uniqueness stems from its focus on a number of building types beyond the traditional generalist expertise. The fi rm assists clients with feasibility and market studies which allow them to start earlier in the process than others. “We take more of an advisory role with clients,” he explained. “Our goal is to be more like a McKinsey than a traditional architectural fi rm. We always try to meet the needs of the client by offering services that go beyond the narrow view or description of an architect’s role.” The fi rm is also bringing that service and expertise overseas, with substantial practices in China, Korea and Japan as well as in the Middle East. The expansion across the globe was executed with a goal to balance domestic and international business. “In China, the fi rm will be able to grow with the country. We are committed to being there in the long term,” said Perkins. “China has projects with a strong need for US expertise in architecture.” One such project is the new graduate university for the Chinese Academy of Sciences. The fi rm was commissioned to design the space, with approximately a million square feet for information technology-related usage. Perkins is also particularly fond of his fi rm’s work on the recently completed Johns Hopkins Center for Chinese and American studies in Nanjing, China. His buildings are about 100 meters away from ones his grandfather designed on the original campus. The role of technology continues to shape the architecture world and Perkins Eastman is committed to stay on the cutting edge. “Our fi eld was one of the last to embrace technology; the computer didn’t make a difference until about 15 years ago with computer aided drafting (CAD),” said Perkins. The fi rm deploys Adobe Professional software and uses Autodesk, an industry standard software platform used for building information modeling. “BIM is a radical change from the historical Businessexcellence May 07 50 “In order to have real centers of excellence in our fi rm, we needed 15 to 20 specialists in each core practice. We started with a fi ve year target of 100 employees but reached that goal within eight months”

May 07 Businessexcellence Perkins Eastman Architects 51 way plans are drawn. BIM requires a more sophisticated skill set. We are receptive to evolving technology and have been a test site for Autodesk for a while now,” he said. “And as software grows in sophistication, we can now capture the knowledge base developed across hundreds of projects in a core practice—what works and what doesn’t work. We are now developing a proprietary database to streamline the design process using this information. Large fi rms can take advantage of the IT investment versus smaller fi rms who may not have the budget.” When asked about the future, Perkins noted that his fi rm is an ambitious place, having grown from a $6 million to a $120 million company today. “It is important that we make a difference in core practices in terms of quality, innovation, and advancing the practice,” he added. Out of the hundreds of projects completed by his fi rm every year, Perkins noted that there are usually several projects that he feels really expand the market segment. For example, his fi rm recently completed the fi rst high-rise retirement community in Japan, which Perkins thinks represents the best work in senior living. The fi rm also completed the design for Centria, a high-end housing project at New York City’s Rockefeller Center. According to Perkins, Centria condos sold out within one weekend. And fi nally, Perkins Eastman worked with New York’s Fortune Society on a renovation and design for transitional housing for former prison inmates on the West side of the city. “We are just as proud of this project as any other, no matter what end of the cost spectrum,” Perkins said. Perkins Eastman receives many design awards each year, and authors some of the architectural profession’s most widely used textbooks. Info@infi It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change. Charles Darwin