Perkins Eastman, BLT Architects join forces

Global architecture and design firm Perkins Eastman and BLT Architects have officially merged. 

Perkins Eastman, which has more than 1,100 employees in 24 studios, has worked on projects in 60 countries over its 40 years in operation. Having operated a studio in Pittsburgh for 27 years, Perkins Eastman has built a strong presence throughout Pennsylvania, especially in the western part of the state.

The addition of the Philadelphia-based BLTa studio, now known as “BLTa—A Perkins Eastman Studio,” is meant to strengthen the firm’s presence in the eastern part of Pennsylvania as well. “We are very pleased that BLTa has joined us and we now have a strong partner in Philadelphia,” said Brad Perkins, chairman and co-founder of Perkins Eastman. “We have had the opportunity to get to know BLTa over the last several years and believe they bring significant skills and experience to our national practice. Moreover, we have always had important clients in Philadelphia, eastern Pennsylvania, and the adjacent states, and with BLTa we can now better serve those that want a combination of our national expertise combined with experienced local delivery and service.” 

“We are thrilled to be merging with Perkins Eastman,” said Michael L. Prifti, managing principal of BLTa, who joined the firm in 1982 when it was known as Bower Lewis Thrower/Architects. “This union will give us the opportunity to serve our national clients in jurisdictions where we don’t currently practice. Perkins Eastman has new markets we’ve never touched. And with more feet on the ground, we can more easily and geographically serve our clients,” he says. Prifti also noted that the merger will give BLTa’s architects and designers opportunities to diversify their projects and continue to grow as professionals.

Shawn Basler, co-CEO and executive director of Perkins Eastman, added that combining Perkins Eastman’s 40 years of global experience with BLTa’s 60 years of local expertise and relationships will help both companies gain ground. “They’ll be able to draw on our well-established market credibility and resources, as well as geographic reach, while we’ll be able to tap into their deep knowledge of the Philadelphia metropolitan region along with their considerable expertise,” Basler said.

BLTa recently worked on The Stephen Girard Building in Philadelphia, where the firm integrated a 236-room Canopy by Hilton hotel within East Market, the million-square-foot ongoing transformation of a three-square-block area. The Live! Casino Pittsburgh, another BLTa design, opened in 2020, and the company also worked on the Sonesta Philadelphia and The Logan Philadelphia. 

Perkins Eastman has worked on the 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge Park and the Kimpton Hotel Eventi in New York City and the Joule Dallas.