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Designer – DMJM Leads Pack Among L.A. Architecture Firms

Though its $48 million in billings falls short of last year’s $66 million, Daniel, Mann, Johnson and Mendenhall had no problem beating the competition for the biggest and most active architecture firm in Los Angeles County in 1999.

Los Angeles-based DMJM (often pronounced “dimjim”), which designed the Hyperion Sewage Treatment Plant in the 1960s and merged with Florida-based Spillis Candela Partners last year, earned two of L.A.’s most coveted commercial design assignments in 1999: The new 300,000-square-foot headquarters for the Rand Corp. in Santa Monica and a new building on the Howard Hughes Center property.

Other local assignments included program and project management for the city of Santa Monica, renovation of the Marriott Hotel in Marina del Rey and construction of two 911 emergency dispatch centers for the Los Angeles Police Department. DMJM also received a major extension of its contract for the campus at Cal State Northridge and continued to serve as executive architect for Universal CityWalk’s expansion project in Universal City. And the DMJM team began two additional phases on a huge project involving a headquarters for longtime Houston client BMC Software Inc., bringing the total project size to over 1 million square feet.

DMJM established an office in Los Angeles in 1946. By adding electrical and mechanical engineering capabilities in the mid-’50s, it became the first integrated architecture and engineering firm in the Western United States.

The U.S. military quickly became one of the firm’s best customers. By the mid-1950s, in fact, nearly three-fourths of the firm’s revenues came from work for the Air Force. Spurred by the military buildup and the space race, DMJM entered the aerospace industry in 1955, building the launch pads at Cape Canaveral, including the one used by John Glenn for his first orbital flight.

DMJM was awarded the $40 million Hyperion Sewage Treatment Plant contract in Los Angeles during the 1960s, designing one of the largest sewage treatment systems in the world. Hyperion included nine miles of tunnels and two extensive pipelines, stretching five and seven miles, respectively, into the Santa Monica Bay. More recently, the firm has been designing another massive L.A. infrastructure project the Alameda Corridor.

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