April 6, 2024
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JM Holliday Associates and De Vicente Mills Architecture to merge


Santa Barbara architecture firms JM Holliday Associates and De Vicente Mills Architecture are merging.

The two firms, which have been working closely together in the same office space, will officially merge to become DMHA Architecture & + Interior Design.

“Our new team more than doubles the size of our existing firms and dramatically increases our team’s abilities, capacities and expertise to position us to handle the increasing project workload we are experiencing in Santa Barbara and in work ranging from L.A. to Napa Valley,” architect and DMHA Principal Michael Holliday told the Business Times via email.

Holliday said the reason for the merger was an influx of new work. “Increasing the team’s capacity and bandwidth was one primary focus, and also to bring a new level of expertise to the team,” he said in an interview.

Holliday said the firms have been seeing an increase in work across the board — whether it’s high-end custom residential work, commercial expansions or refurbishing or repurposing of existing facilities. A number of clients are also having energy audits performed to figure out how to be more energy-efficient and sustainable. “People are realizing it makes sense to do that type of thing,” he said.

DMHA will have eight architects in the combined firm, which will remain in the offices at 1 N. Calle Cesar Chavez, Ste. 102, within Synergy Business & Technology Center in downtown Santa Barbara. “We love having our offices located just a few blocks from the beach in such a beautiful, creative studio space, complete with 30-foot high ceilings, natural day lighted interiors and surrounded by a number of other innovative organizations,” architect and Principal Designer Ryan Mills said in a statement.

Holliday’s past commercial projects include Cabrillo Business Park in Goleta and The Habit building in La Cumbre Plaza. He’s a LEED-certified architect and has been involved with a number of green projects in the area. Devicente Mills Architecture has worked on The Loop mixed-used project in Isla Vista, the Alchemy Arts Center in downtown Santa Barbara and the Four Seasons The Biltmore and Coral Casino in Montecito, among other commercial projects.

Along with Holliday and Mills, Edward DeVicente is also a principal and architect at the firm.

The merger is the second in the region’s architecture industry to be announced in recent weeks. Last week, San Luis Obispo-based RRM Design Group and Santa Barbara-based Peikert Group Architects said they were combining. Peikert is now RRM’s Santa Barbara office and is called Peikert+RRM Design Group.