“Legacy” landscape architecture practices being purchased by large publicly traded corporations…

Landscape Architecture for Landscape Architects Forums GENERAL DISCUSSION “Legacy” landscape architecture practices being purchased by large publicly traded corporations…

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    Mark Greenig

    I would be very curious to see how people feel about “Legacy” landscape architecture firms being purchased by large multidisciplinary firms. A number of large publicly traded corporations are buying well know firms from various disciplines and putting them under one brand or label. The old “EDAW” firm was purchased by AECOM about 3 years ago and went by “AECOM/EDAW” for several years. As of this Fall the EDAW name will be eliminated by AECOM and the EDAW brand will cease to exist. Ironic, considering that “EDAW” just received significnat ASLA recongnition.

    The acquisition of smaller firms by larger firms is nothing new, but it sometimes seems that LA “firms” will either have to choose to be parts of large conglomerates like AECOM or URS, or remain small boutique firms…

    – Mark


    Hey Mark,

    Good topic, check this discussion out: http://www.land8lounge.com/forum/topics/edaw-aecom-and-landscape

    Landon Davidson

    I think the small firms could benefit from these larger firm mergers. Landscape Architecture lacks adequate global and national awareness. Larger corporate firms have the ability to do higher profile jobs and/ or efective marketing, that would make landscape architecture more of a brand name profession. There is the danger of losing professional integrity when lumped in with all of the other discipline but at this point it may help either way.

    Chris Whitted

    You’re right in that it’s nothing new. Firms are always dropping names and going to initials, buying out others, or splitting off. It was really rampant around here for a while with civils – I know one firm changed hands/names like four times in five or six years. Keith is right in that the people don’t necessarily change, but the names definitely have a history and sometimes it’s sad to see them go. It will certainly make the ‘genealogy’ part of LA history/pro-practice courses more interesting. : )

    But I don’t really agree that firms will have to make such a choice. My understanding is the majority of practicing LAs are either sole practicioners or part of very small (<10) people firms. I think there are a lot of small to mid-sized firms out there that you simply don’t hear about like you do the big names, and they’ll continue to exist right along with the sole practicioners. It’s all in the goals of the people in charge and their vision for the company. I also think you’re seeing part of the economic cycle – things slow down and there’s usually a thinning out in the middle, growth and merger at the top, and explosion at the bottom (in terms of firm size) as people start their own firms and larger companies acquire assets in an ideal time if they can.

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