Capitalizing on strong institutional and commercial real estate growth in Southern California, Mithun, a national practice including architecture, landscape architecture, urban planning and interior design, announced today its merger with the acclaimed design firm Hodgetts + Fung, practicing in Los Angeles for 35 years. Together, the practices immediately increase their expertise and capacity for urban mixed-use, higher education, civic, cultural and corporate project commissions.
Craig Hodgetts, FAIA, and Hsinming Ming Fung, FAIA, are now Partners at Mithun, bringing their full team of architectural design staff in the merger. The existing Hodgetts + Fung office in a renovated warehouse in Culver City will be called Mithun|Hodgetts + Fung, adding a third major presence complementing Mithuns 170-member staff in Seattle and San Francisco. Joining Mithun|Hodgetts + Fung are a team of Mithun staff who have been operating in Los Angeles in support of significant existing Southern California commissions.
Finding such strong design talent and fit with Craig and Ming is remarkable, and we are very excited about the positive impact we will be able to make together in Southern California and beyond, said Dave Goldberg, President at Mithun. We found shared values in delivering the highest quality design, combined with a culture of authentic collaboration and listening to our clients and our communities.
Added Hodgetts, Both our firms take a deeper look into architecture and ask, how does this project benefit the community as a whole? Cities today are in great need of this kind of holistic thinking, and we are excited to bring this approach to groundbreaking projects with our expanded team.
One of the regions most respected design firms, Hodgetts + Fung has been published extensively, winning over 40 design awards including the AIA California Council Firm Award in 2008. Current work includes the 260,000 square-foot Robertson Lane mixed-use development in West Hollywood, the Sunset and La Cienega retail/commercial complex in Los Angeles, and the recent adaptive re-use of the venerated 1200-seat Robert Frost Auditorium in Culver City.
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Notable projects under Fungs leadership as Design Partner include the Menlo-Atherton Performing Arts Center in Silicon Valley, a new performing arts center at California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) in Valencia, the Chapel of the North American Martyrs in Sacramento, the award-winning temporary Towell Library at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), and the 50-acre master plan for the Los Angeles Arts Park.
Projects under Hodgetts role as Creative Director include design of the reimagined Hollywood Bowl, the UCLA Gateway and Masterplan, the Yamano Gakuen Tower in Tokyo, the recently completed Robert Frost Auditorium, and museum installations for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Museum of Contemporary Art and the Library of Congress.
Some well-established firms look for a merger as an exit strategy, but this is a re-entry strategy for me, Ming and our firm to expand to a much larger stage which, quite frankly, is not readily available to a smaller practice, said Hodgetts. Our combined capability should open more doors for all of us. With the expansion plans, Hodgetts will be winding down a teaching role at UCLA where he led the Architecture and Urban Design SUPRASTUDIO, including its recent design partnership with Hyperloop Transportation Technologies advancing the Elon Musk Hyperloop concept.
We have been approached to join other firms before, said Fung, but from the very first conversation, it was clear we had a lot in common with Mithun in design approach and studio culture. With Hodgetts, Fung has twice held the Eero Saarinen Chair at Yale University among other academic chairs. In recent years she was awarded an AIA Los Angeles Gold Medal Award, served as Presidential Appointee to the National Endowment for the Arts Council and was a recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts Rome Prize Advance Fellowship.
Founded in 1949, Mithun has been recognized nationally for integrated sustainable design including six AIA Committee on the Environment (COTE) Top Ten awards, the 2017 AIA Pacific Northwest Region Firm award and recent ranking as the #12 architecture firm in the U.S. by Architect Magazine. Among its current projects in Southern California are the 1700-bed UCLA Lot 15 Residence Halls, the 2200-bed UCLA Southwest Campus Apartments and the mixed-use, LEED Platinum-targeted UC Irvine Middle Earth complex in collaboration with Hensel Phelps Construction. Some of Mithuns other significant West Coast clients include Google, Mercy Housing, Security Properties, UC San Diego and UC Santa Cruz.
Going forward, our integrated design approach of ˜one office, two doors becomes ˜one office, three doors shared by more than 170 design professionals, said Goldberg.
Mithun (www.mithun.com), founded in 1949 and merged with Hodgetts + Fung in 2019, is a leading international design practice dedicated to creating positive change in peoples lives. With offices in Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles and a staff of more than 170, the firm is an internationally recognized leader in sustainability, combining exemplary design with a focus on building and site performance, human health and social equity. Mithuns integrated teamincluding architects, landscape architects, interior designers, urban designers and plannersworks in a wide range of typologies and scales with a focus on urban environments and places where people live, work, and learn.
Ron Heckmann, Heckmann Communications
Marna Abrams, Mithun