SmithGroup and JJR Join Brands to Become a Single, Multi-disciplinary Company


DETROIT — SmithGroup, one of the nation’s leading architecture, engineering and planning firms, today becomes SmithGroupJJR.

The name change reflects the creation of a single brand, bringing together SmithGroup and JJR, LLC. Formerly a SmithGroup subsidiary, JJR is an award-winning specialist in landscape architecture, planning, urban design, civil engineering, and environmental science. 
Carl Roehling, FAIA, LEED AP, SmithGroupJJR President & CEO

“We have always been one company in culture and ownership,” said SmithGroupJJR President & CEO Carl Roehling, FAIA, LEED AP. “By merging our two brands, it’s now loud and clear that we’re together – increasingly multi-disciplined and fully integrated.”

SmithGroup and JJR have been together for more than 40 years. SmithGroup merged with JJR (then known as Johnson, Johnson & Roy) in 1970 to add landscape architecture and planning services. Since then, JJR has been a subsidiary of SmithGroup while continuing to operate as its own brand, retaining the JJR name.

“The new SmithGroupJJR name will help our clients realize the full extent of our services and capabilities,” Roehling explained.  “We are one of a few multi-disciplinary design firms that offer this range of integrated services.”

Owners are increasingly opting to use multi-disciplinary firms to solve their project challenges. Having a myriad of design and planning services — from master planning to architecture to multiple engineering disciplines to landscape architecture – provided by a single, integrated firm allows owners to benefit from the creativity and heightened quality that such collaboration brings. 

JJR’s expertise now becomes one of SmithGroupJJR’s practices, which focus on the firm’s significant client markets. The firm’s four primary practices — Health, Learning, Workplace and Science & Technology — will now be joined by a fifth, called the Campus, Community & Waterfront practice.

Fred Klancnik, PE, F.ASCE, who has served as president and CEO of JJR since 1999, becomes the leader of the new practice. He believes the name change is good news for clients.

“The specialized services that we are well known for nationally and internationally, such as campus and waterfront development, will now become more readily available to SmithGroupJJR clients throughout all offices,” Klancnik stated. 
National Intrepid Center of Excellence, designed by SmithGroupJJR

SmithGroupJJR is the oldest continually operating architecture and engineering firm in the U.S., originally founded in 1853. With 10 offices and a staff of 800 across the U.S., the firm ranked #1 for design quality based on design awards won and #2 overall in Architect magazine’s 2011 annual Best Firms ranking. Founded in 1961, JJR was honored with the prestigious 2011 Landscape Architecture Firm Award from the American Society of Landscape Architects in recognition of its distinguished work that has influenced the profession.

SmithGroupJJR designed the new National Intrepid Center of Excellence at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, a $65 million, privately-funded facility designed to treat service members with traumatic brain injury and psychological health issues.  At the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, SmithGroupJJR created the master plan for its new Innovation Campus that will convert 250-acres of former Nebraska State Fairgrounds to an innovative research environment, building a new economic base in the state.

SmithGroupJJR led Milwaukee’s Downtown Lakefront Revitalization, providing planning and design that transformed of the city’s Lake Michigan waterfront into a major cultural district and community attraction.

A national leader in sustainable design, SmithGroupJJR has 353 LEED professionals and 68 LEED certified projects.  The firm has offices in Ann Arbor, MI; Chicago, IL; Dallas, TX; Detroit, MI; Durham, NC; Madison, WI; Los Angeles, CA; Phoenix, AZ; San Francisco, CA; and Washington, DC.