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Portman Architects names Robert Halverson CEO, chairman

Robert Halverson with John C. Portman (Special: Portman Architects)

By Maria Saporta

Portman Architects on Monday announced the succession of Robert Halverson in the dual position of CEO and chairman.

Halverson takes over the Atlanta-based 67-year leading architectural design firm at an important time of transition following the death of its founder nearly three years ago and the death of his son, Jack Portman, in August.

Halverson started his tenure at the firm formerly known as John Portman and Associates in 2007, after working in design and senior project management at Davis Brody and Skidmore, Owings and Merrill in New York.

Robert Halverson with John C. Portman (Special: Portman Architects)

He is a graduate of both Yale and Syracuse University, where he currently sits on the advisory board at the School of Architecture. He also serves on the executive advisory board at the School of Design at Georgia Institute of Technology.

Halverson is licensed to practice in eight states. According to a press release from Portman Architects, his leadership is defined by a command of design excellence and a passion to deliver high quality across the practice, with locations headquartered in both Atlanta and Shanghai.

Halverson’s appointment is supported by the Portman Architects board, comprised of Mickey Steinberg, vice chairman; Greg Botsch, treasurer; Mason Cargill, secretary and outside counsel; and Gordon Beckman, board member.

“Our company has been practicing in Asia for more than 30 years and has developed a great many projects and relationships,” Halverson said of Portman Architects. “One of the major differences between working in Asia and working in the States has to do with size of the projects in which we are involved.

“Typically, in Asia the projects are very large,” Halverson continued in the release. “The first project I was involved with in Korea was Incheon 151, the second tallest tower in the world at the time, a 151-story tower on reclaimed land.”

Robert Halverson

Halverson will lead the firm’s expanding multiuse projects in development and under construction in Atlanta, Chicago, Salt Lake City, Seattle, and throughout China.

“The interesting challenge is bridging the gap between limitations and great design and achieving the unique iconic designs Portman Architects is famous for. Achieving the best design possible with all of our projects is always our intent with all of our clients,” Halverson said.

From the beginning of his move to Atlanta, Halverson worked directly with John Portman on his newest designs, reviewing original drawings and details and investigating what was actually built. He maintained this working relationship with Jack Portman, the firm’s most recent chairman, both stateside and abroad.

“All clients desire great design, but not all clients think the same with regard to building systems, how these large projects will be sold independently, tenant customization, and beyond,” Halverson said. “Projects here in the states are typically smaller in scale, and equally as important with regard to design excellence and execution.”

To learn more about Portman Architects, its founders, projects, teams and offices, click here.

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Maria Saporta

Maria Saporta, Editor, is a longtime Atlanta business, civic and urban affairs journalist with a deep knowledge of our city, our region and state.  Since 2008, she has written a weekly column and news stories for the Atlanta Business Chronicle. Prior to that, she spent 27 years with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, becoming its business columnist in 1991. Maria received her Master’s degree in urban studies from Georgia State and her Bachelor’s degree in journalism from Boston University. Maria was born in Atlanta to European parents and has two young adult children.

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