VIA Architecture merges with Perkins Eastman

The merger of the two studios expands VIA's geographic reach and bolster's Perkins Eastman's West Coast presence.

Metrotown SkyTrain Station Renovation in Burnaby, British Columbia, was designed by VIA Architecture. Photo courtesy Ed White Photography

Perkins Eastman and VIA Architecture have announced their recent merger on July 1, 2021. TA global architecture and design firm with 1,100 employees, Perkins Eastman has worked on projects on five continents in 60 countries. Vancouver-, Seattle-, and Oakland-based VIA is known for its expertise in infrastructure architecture, transit systems alignment design, mobility-oriented development, urban planning, multi-unit residential, and affordable housing design.

“We have been working together with VIA on a variety of projects for several years. During that time, we have come to appreciate the unique skills and capabilities that VIA brings to a merged firm, and we are very happy that they too saw how mutually beneficial a merger would be,” says Bradford Perkins, FAIA, MRAIC, Chairman of Perkins Eastman. “Moreover, this merger fulfills a long-time goal to have a high quality established presence in two of our favorite cities, Seattle and Vancouver.”

“Joining forces will further strengthen both VIA and Perkins Eastman, and open new doors of opportunity,” says Wolf Saar, FAIA, MRAIC, Managing Principal of VIA Architecture. “VIA’s reach will expand across North America as we continue to serve our existing clients while bringing our approach and passion to new sectors and regions coast-to-coast in Canada, the U.S., and beyond.” 

Lauren Hamilton, Co-Managing Principal of VIA Architecture, says, “We are thrilled about working hand-in-hand with the many talented professionals at Perkins Eastman, tapping into its global expertise, and better serving our clients and our communities as we continue creating elevated and livable places through the transit, bridges, neighborhoods, and homes we plan and design.”

VIA Architecture was established as Baker McGarva Hart in Vancouver, B.C., in advance of Expo ’86. The firm’s earliest projects include system-wide design guidance and Lead Architecture for Expo Line SkyTrain Rapid Transit (1986), Millennium SkyTrain extension (2002), and community planning and design for downtown Vancouver’s waterfront neighborhoods at Concord Pacific, and South East False Creek (2004). Bringing lessons from Vancouver’s swift transition into the “world’s most livable city,” the firm opened its office in Seattle in 1999 to support transit system planning and design. In 2011, VIA expanded to California, opening an office in Oakland.

With the merger, VIA, now known as “VIA – A PERKINS EASTMAN STUDIO,” will continue working from its studios in Seattle, Oakland, and Vancouver.