BatesForum parent company is merging its two architecture firms

by Paul Gatling ([email protected]) 2,292 views 

Lamar Johnson Collaborative, a design and architecture subsidiary of Chicago-based Clayco and St. Louis-based architecture firm BatesForum, which is owned by Clayco and has an office in downtown Bentonville, are merging. The combined company will operate as Lamar Johnson Collaborative.

The new firm will have 240 employees combined, offices in Bentonville, Chicago, San Francisco, and Springfield, Mo.,  and St. Louis and more than $4 billion in projects at various stages.

The merger is effective immediately.

“The inefficiency that remains in the traditional design-bid-build construction model needs to change,” CEO Lamar Johnson said in a statement. “We believe we can leverage our combined firm’s proven capabilities in integrated execution to bring a similar approach to a broader range of projects and clients. We will be able to use the deep bench of resources and industry-leading technology of Clayco to deliver the best solution for the project client, whether we are the designer, executive architect, or providing integrated delivery and full turnkey solutions.”

The expanded firm will have a number of capabilities including commercial, residential, multi-use, interiors, healthcare, retail, planning, landscape, education and industrial architecture.

BatesForum was formed last year with the merger of Missouri-based Bates, a technology and architecture firm with an office in Rogers at the time, and Forum Studio, a wholly owned subsidiary of Clayco.

Ryan Faust opened Bates’ Northwest Arkansas office in 2015. The firm has 17 employees, according to the Northwest Arkansas Business Journal’s annual list of Largest Architectural and Engineering Firms published in February.