Influx of Commercial Architecture Projects Leads to Key Ziegler Cooper Hires

With Houston booming as one of the strongest markets in the US, Ziegler Cooper Architects has responded to architectural design demands by ramping up employee hires. Over the past nine months the firm has hired a total of 36 new employees, a 66% increase, since the firms move to their new offices in the Bank of America Center in downtown Houston last December.

The firm is currently in design and construction of more than 6.6 million square feet of commercial office, corporate facilities and commercial redevelopment totaling over $982 million in construction value. With the increased project demand and new employee hires, it was imperative to add senior level leadership and experience to the mix. The recent hire of three senior level associates and principals to the commercial architecture studio does just that.   “The combined experience of John W. Bellian, Ron Keller and Daniel Searight correlates directly with the current workload in Ziegler Cooper’s Commercial Architecture studio and speaks to the increased demand for quality office space and building design in Houston, Texas,” says Roger Soto, AIA, LEED AP Design Director and Corporate Commercial studio leader.

John W. Bellian, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP, was hired as Principal and Director of Technical Design in the Commercial Architecture studio with a focus on improving quality of deliverables in the design process. He outlines his process in three parts: The approach and project initiation, strategic and cohesive teamwork and improving and maintaining technical proficiency. Bellian emphasizes the importance of a creative culture and an environment that fosters diversity and innovation.

Ron Keller, AIA, LEED AP, was hired as an Associate Principal and Senior Project Manager to the Commercial Architecture studio. Through his prior experience with HOK, Keller is an ideal hire to oversee and manage large-scale campuses and corporate facilities projects integral to the current work in Ziegler Cooper’s Commercial Architecture studio. “We have been in search of senior management and technical leadership for some time,” explains Kurt Hull, AIA, LEED AP, senior principal at the firm. “John’s role will be a firm wide mentoring and technical review.  Ron will provide senior project management on several of our most challenging projects.”

Additionally, Dan Searight, AIA, LEED AP has joined the firm as a Senior Associate and Senior Designer in the Commercial Architecture studio. Searight comes to Ziegler Cooper after four years of private practice and 10 years with Morris Architects where he gained momentum in business development and client relations. He will serve in a design leadership role on multiple projects. Searight’s professional experience is focused on the design and renovation of high-rise, Class A office buildings in Houston, Texas. His portfolio includes the lobby and plaza renovation of First City Tower and 1301 Fannin, as well as the design of 17-story Technip Industry/Energy Tower.