When the housing bubble burst, so did the fortunes of many architure firms. But with an economic recovery underway and construction of all sorts on the rise, at least one Twin Cities-based firm is growing. Cuningham Group Architecture, a Minneapolis-based design firm that specializes in commercial design, said that it has acquired NTD Healthcare, which specializes in designing healthcare facilities. The deal enables the company, which already has offices in Minneapolis, Los Angeles, Denver, Las Vegas, Biloxi, Seoul and Beijing, to expand into the rapidly growing Phoenix and San Diego. NTC principals, Waye Hunter, Phillip Soule and Maha Abou-Haidar, will join forces with Cuningham's office in Los Angeles. Lee Brennan, Cuningham's principal and market group leder, Lee Brennan, said that it was a "fruitful opportunity" to join forces to pursue new opportunities in heathcare design.
Architectural billings of all sorts, a barometer of future construction, are still relatively low, but have ticked up in recent months. Cuningham has more than 250 employees around the world.
Tim Dufault, the company's president and CEO, said that the design of health care facilities has evolved and requires more attention to the total patient experience, and thus the need for more thoughtful design “Hospitals have to look at the way they approach the delivery of health care so that it focuses more on the patient and family experience,” he said. Dufault said that expansion of the health care sector has helped bolster rising sales in other sectors of the industry. In fact, the company posted record sales last year and expects 2013 to be even better.