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John Portman & Associates Evolves

John Portman & Associates is transitioning to a new name—Portman Architects.

Jack Portman, FAIA, the firm’s chairman, president and CEO, explained that the name change was the latest evolution in the architectural design firm’s long history as an innovative practice.

“Evolution has been a salient factor in our firm’s longevity,” said Portman. “Our firm founder John C. Portman, my father, wanted this firm to be everlasting. He began planning and putting our current leadership team in place in anticipation of the succession he recognized was coming.”

In 2010, the firm established the current leadership team comprised of Principals Lell Barnes, Gordon Beckman, Greg Botsch, Rob Halverson, Norris Hunt, Walt Jackson, Pierluca Maffey, Walt Miller, John Nipaver and Jack Portman. This leadership team continues in 2019 to grow the firm by attracting new architectural design talent and working with developers to create unique typologies and memorable experiences, as evidenced by the newly opened CODA at Tech Square in Midtown Atlanta.

Portman Architects carries on the legacy of John Portman in ways that are visible to the public in innovative and engaging buildings; important to the profession in the collaborative process that includes the mentorship of young talent; and vital to clients in the focus on making a valuable contribution to both the project’s bottom line and the community. The principals are leading a host of ongoing projects in a half of dozen U.S. cities including Atlanta, Charlotte, NC, and Seattle, as well as work throughout China and Asia.

In addition to the new name, the firm has a new web address, portmanarchitects.com, and employee email addresses also reflect this change. While there have been some notable changes, Jack Portman stressed that much continues as it always has.

“We’ve always been Portman. We are Portman. We’ve always been architects. We are architects—ones who remain hyper-focused on being the best. Our thirst for excellence remains unquenchable. With a vision toward the future, we’re very excited to see where our passion leads us next.”

The firm was known as Edwards and Portman through the late 1950s and most of the 1960s when John Portman partnered with a former professor of his from Georgia Tech. It became John Portman & Associates after Mr. Edwards retired in 1968.

The firm further evolved in the late 1970s when domestic work slowed due to changing tax laws and other economic factors, and the decision was made to venture abroad. Portman took an exploratory trip to East Asia and the Pacific Rim before moving his family to Hong Kong. This effort led to several opportunities in Asia, with the firm becoming pioneers for Western firms operating in China. Success in China led to work in India and beyond, where the firm’s design principals continue to prove their progressive design talents.