Daniel Stewart, Janene Christopher, and James Robbins (from left to right)
Courtesy Steinberg Hart Daniel Stewart, Janene Christopher, and James Robbins (from left to right)

For architecture firm Steinberg Hart, 2018 is already turning out to be a hallmark year. First, the 65-year-old firm announced its rebranding last month. Now, the practice is revealing a new partnership. Today, the practice announced its merger with San Diego–based RJC Architects. Though initial discussions about the new relationship began approximately three years ago, RJC Architects' co-founders James Robbins, AIA, and Janene Christopher, AIA, had previously collaborated with Steinberg Hart president and CEO David Hart, AIA. In fact, Hart worked for RJC for four years early in his career.

“This merger with RJC Architects is representative of our commitment to deepening our expertise in key and complementary markets while also expanding our geographic reach,” Hart said in a press release. “This merger is also special to me because of my personal relationship with James and Janene. In the early '90s, I got my professional start working at RJC Architects, where I learned a great deal about design, project execution, and the business of architecture in a period of significant growth for the firm.”

This new relationship will also help expand RJC Architects’ market reach beyond San Diego; Steinberg Hart currently has offices in San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose, Calif., and Shanghai. Furthermore, the merger will impact RJC Architects’ succession planning, Robbins tells ARCHITECT.

“The merger adds A-list talent and stellar operational and technical expertise that will allow us to better serve our clients,” Robbins said in the release. “At the same time, it allows us to reaffirm the commitments we have made to our staff. RJC Architects’ legacy will continue on as our next generation of emerging leaders grows within the firm.”

Going forward, the 25-person San Diego office will operate as RJC|Steinberg Hart for a transitional period until it shifts to the Steingberg Hart name at an unspecified future date. Robbins will serve as the managing partner for the San Diego office with Christopher and RJC partner Daniel Stewart, AIA, joining as partners and strategic leaders. The merged firms will not consolidate the two existing San Diego offices.

The firms are currently collaborating on the San Diego Sheriff’s Technology Center.