AOS’ Wa Di housing development in Santo Domingo Pueblo, New Mexico. Image courtesy of Atkin Olshin Schade Architects
MASS Design Group has announced the acquisition of Santa Fe, New Mexico-based Atkin Olshin Schade Architects (AOS), a move they say will offer an enhancement to the relationship the two have already enjoyed through years of working together have built up.
The merger makes the new combined company Santa Fe’s largest architectural practice, with additional opportunities to leverage AOS’ Philadelphia operations to bring “innovative approaches to preservation, adaptive reuse and design to task-oriented organizations across the Northeast and nationally.” pursue.
It comes just under a month after MASS co-founder Michael Murphy left the company to take a faculty position at Georgia Tech University, handing over the reins to its former senior principal and managing director Christian Benimana and Patricia Gruits as well as the Co-founder and current Chief Design Officer Alan Ricks.
“After years of working together — and being neighbors — we’re excited to bring our teams together under one roof,” said Shawn Evans, former head of AOS’ Santa Fe office, of their partnership. “With the incredible talent brought together through this partnership, it’s exciting to see what the future holds. We are excited to join the MASS team and know it will help us deliver capacity in the Santa Fe community and beyond for years to come.”
MASS director Jospeh Kunkel has worked with Evans for over a decade on projects like the Wa Di housing development, which serves Santa Fe’s indigenous community. Kunkel, who is a citizen of the Northern Cheyenne Nation, has since been instrumental in the development of the Sustainable Native Communities Design Lab at MASS along with AOS and will be joined by new Senior Principals Garron Yepa and Jemez Pueblo, who are members of the Navajo Nations ( Diné) or Walatova.
“This partnership strengthens our ability to mentor and educate the next generation of native and non-native designers dedicated to solving the greatest challenges facing Indian land,” said Kunkel finally.
With the merger, the new combined offices will have a total of 18 employees.