A little over a year ago, a mutual friend who knew local architect's Frank D'Arcangelo and Kevin Palmer brought them together and suggested they partner in some way. Each of them brought unique strengths to the table and the friend felt together they could flourish.
That initial meeting brought about productive meetings and the merger of the two largest local architectural firms in Statesboro: Martin, Rule and Associates and Palmer Architects.
The new firm will be named D'Arcangelo, Palmer and Rule Architects or D.P.R. Architects. Kevin's firm was established in 2006 and Martin and Rule was founded more than 40 years ago by legendary local architect Ed Eckles.
Bernie Martin, now retired, joined Eckles' firm in 1974 and John Rule joined in 1981. Bernie and John became partners in 1990 and the firm's name changed to Eckles, Martin & Rule Architects.
Following Edwin's death, Frank D'Arcangelo joined the firm in 2002. In 2005, the firm name changed to Martin, Rule and Associates Architects to reflect the passing of Eckles and the addition of Frank as a business partner. Through the years, the Martin, Rule firm has brought sound design principals, reliability, integrity and professional commitment to Bulloch County and the surrounding communities.
The new firm will continue to operate out of the former Martin, Rule & Associates building at 12A East Grady Street.
Kevin began his architectural career drafting for Eckles, while obtaining his degree in Architecture. A native of Statesboro and a graduate of SHS, Palmer is known for his work with the board of regents, local governments and businesses. Some of his more recent recognizable projects include the transformation of Sanford Hall on the GSU campus into the department of Communication Arts, the Sudie Fullford Learning Center on the East Georgia College's Swainsboro campus, the "Palace" El Sombrero restaurant on Buckhead Drive and the Bulloch County Annex on North Main Street.
"This partnership allow us to pull together our individual strengths and positions us for growth," Kevin Palmer said. "Individually we could handle projects in the $2 to $4 million range. Now we can easily target projects in the $10 million range. Both firms have excellent reputations and are known for success in different areas of the construction industry. We are seeing the construction and building industry begin to make a strong recovery and we want to be positioned to take advantage of this growth."
Martin, Rule founder Ed Eckles designed more than 40 buildings on the GSU campus and had a major impact in laying the foundation of success the firm has enjoyed for the past four decades. Eckles was well known for his love of Georgia Tech, his family and community. Frank D'Arcangelo, a graduate of Savannah College of Art and Design, has worked hard to continue the firm's presence in the community. He serves on multiple civic boards and has been instrumental in leading the restoration of downtown through the Downtown Development Authority.
"I am excited about this partnership and new direction for our firm," D'Arcangelo said. "Together we have a rich history and commitment to this community and region. We will also enjoy more creativity, enhanced business management tools and increased technology that will aid in design and presentation of our projects. With the retirement of Bernie Martin, the timing was good for us to pull together as one firm."
One of the great changes in architecture, like most industries, is the opportunities brought on by technology. In the past, it could take weeks to manually build a scale model of a project for a presentation. Now in three or four days they can build a computer generated 3D rendering of the project that allows clients to take a virtual tour of the building. This provides a major improvement, not only from a presentation standpoint, but also in design and engineering.
With a host of talented local general contractors calling Statesboro home, the new firm could help give them an edge on future growth.
We can expect D'Arcangelo, Palmer and Rule Architects to continue to be a leader in their industry and our community.