Tim Murphy Design Associates, longtime San Francisco architecture … – San Francisco Business Times

San Francisco-based architecture firm Tim Murphy Design Associates (TMDA) has merged with the San Francisco office of global design firm Perkins&Will, the two announced Monday.
The entirety of the 12-person team at TMDA, which is best known for its workplace interior design, will join Perkins&Will’s 80 staffers at their office in San Francisco’s East Cut neighborhood, said TMDA founder Tim Murphy, who will take on the title of principal at Perkins&Will. The joining of the two teams means Perkins&Will will be able to offer clients the full package of architectural services, from core, shell and landscape to interior design, the firms said.
Perkins&Will, behind projects like San Francisco’s Mission Rock and 1 De Haro, California’s first multi-story mass timber building, has historically designed up to the front door of the building, said Managing Director Greg Johnson. In its work, he said, the firm thinks “holistically about the whole human experience,” considering what impact the design of a building’s exterior might have on even passersby who might be approaching from blocks away. 
“The opportunity to carry that impact of design on behavior into the building is why this really is a blend and a complement,” Johnson said, nodding to TMDA’s portfolio. Financial terms of the merger were not disclosed.
TMDA’s Bay Area portfolio includes the interior of Survey Monkey’s San Mateo and Palo Alto offices and Kleiner Perkins’ San Francisco office, according to the firm’s website. Its body of work extends outside California to cities like New York City, where it designed the interior of the New York office of Peter Thiel’s eponymous investment firm.
As an architect, Murphy told me, he seeks to enhance brand and business loans through design. 
“Design sells,” he said of the firm’s style. “And if we can influence that with interiors and architecture, I feel like we’re successful.”
The two firms began a dialogue at the end of last year, Johnson said: He met Murphy, who was looking for an opportunity to integrate with a larger firm like Perkins&Will, through a mutual colleague. The two hit it off. 
Murphy, who founded TMDA in 2001, began considering integrating with a larger firm after feeling as though it was becoming increasingly less sustainable to run the firm entirely on his own. He was drawn to Perkins&Will’s portfolio — and confident, based on Perkins&Will’s previous success merging with San Francisco firm Pfau Long in 2019, that it would be a good fit. 
“I really thought that was the model. Like, if a strong design firm could merge with a larger firm and have that be successful — that was something I wanted to to emulate. And to have it be the exact firm and the same combination and sit next to those people is like magic to me,” Murphy said, describing the process as unexpectedly organic. “It’s like a fairytale ending, in a way, to what I had hoped to achieve.”
The merger will grow Perkins&Will’s San Francisco headcount by approximately 15%. Johnson said the waning of the pandemic over the last six months has seen his team dealing with a record volume of “really great projects.” San Francisco studio has subsequently grown considerably in recent months, Johnson said, adding the merger with TMDA represents another step toward growth.
“We happened to meet Tim, and it was more — this is a different route, and a different way to grow the studio,” he said. “We knew we needed to expand in this area to really be able to push the quality of work that we’re doing and take the full service approach.”
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