Architecture and design firm Perkins+Will announced that Denver-based Sink Combs Dethlefs, a national leader in sports, recreation, and entertainment architecture, has joined the firm. Denver now becomes the home of Perkins+Will’s 24th design studio.
The merger, which significantly bolsters Perkins+Will’s visibility in the Rocky Mountain West region, is part of the firm’s strategy to meet growing global demand for design that promotes holistic human health and well-being.
“The biggest driver behind the union of our two firms is the increasing focus on designing for ‘full-circle’ health and well-being—that is, giving people the opportunity to be active, fit, healthy, and happy at every point on the continuum of life experience,” said Perkins+Will CEO Phil Harrison. “Together with Sink Combs Dethlefs, we can deliver creative, research-driven solutions to meet this demand, while providing superior client service—a shared hallmark of our practices.”
Founded in 1962, Sink Combs Dethlefs’ projects include the Pat Bowlen Fieldhouse at the UCHealth Training Center, home of the Denver Broncos, in Englewood, Colorado; the University of Michigan Crisler Arena renovation and William Davidson Player Development Center in Ann Arbor, Michigan; the Chesapeake Energy Arena renovation in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; the PPL Center in Allentown, Pennsylvania; and the visitor and conference center at the iconic Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison, Colorado.
The merger comes at a critical time in the architecture, design, and construction industry, where historically distinct project typologies, disciplines, and practice areas are now blending in both form and function, and where health and well-being are considered paramount. For example, academic buildings are adopting active workplace design trends; corporate interiors are borrowing design elements from health and wellness centers; healthcare facilities are taking design cues from the hospitality sector; hotels are incorporating aspects of sports and recreation; athletics and entertainment facilities are serving as community anchors in walkable, mixed-use urban developments; and so on.
By combining firms, Perkins+Will and Sink Combs Dethlefs can cross-pollinate services to meet these overlapping market needs.
“This ‘blurring of the lines’ is a powerful emerging trend in the world of design, so it’s an exciting time to be leading the way forward,” saod DonDethlefs of Sink Combs Dethlefs, now chair of Perkins+Will’s expanded Sports, Recreation, and Entertainment practice. “By blending our areas of expertise, we’re able to provide clients—no matter what sector they’re in—with fresh, forward-thinking solutions that prioritize fitness, health, and well-being.”
Known for designing arenas and event centers, collegiate athletic facilities, community recreation centers, civic centers, and spectator venues, Sink Combs Dethlefs naturally expands Perkins+Will’s range of client service offerings.
This is particularly true in the higher education sector, where Perkins+Will is an established leader in the design of student centers, research facilities, academic buildings, administrative centers, and residence halls, as well as in campus planning, and where the firm’s portfolio of athletic centers is now starting to grow.
It is also true within the urban design sector, where Perkins+Will’s Cities and Sites practice is global leader in creating dynamic, animated, health-conscious cities, and where sports and entertainment arenas are increasingly becoming catalysts for economic growth in downtown mixed-use districts.
“The addition of Sink Combs Dethlefs’ highly specialized talent and expertise will be a great boon to our clients around the world, and will certainly open new doors for us,” said Harrison. “Already, many of our most valued and long-standing clients have expressed their excitement about the merger and are eager to explore the possibilities.”
By the same token, Perkins+Will’s expertise across a dozen practice areas, combined with its worldwide network of talent, greatly diversifies the types of services that Sink Combs Dethlefs can offer.
“As one firm, we now have shared access to all of the talent and resources that meet our clients’ needs,” said Andrew Barnard, former president of Sink Combs Dethlefs, now managing director of Perkins+Will’s Denver office. “The client experience will be smoother, simpler, and more efficient. The quality of work and caliber of design, which have always been high, will be amplified. And the level of personalized client service, which has always been exceptional, will reach new heights. We see this as all very positive.”