Seamless service from a veteran of retail architecture

With over seven decades of experience in the design world, MCG Architecture has seen trends come and go. One constant is MCG's genuine service to the client. Trends certainly leave impressions, but service embodied by generosity and sincerity is timeless.

“MCG recognizes that service is the driving force of business, defining our reputation,” says Rick Gaylord, CEO. With revenues of $25 million, MCG has eight offices throughout the country, including New York, Cleveland, Denver, Las Vegas, and several in California. The firm has embraced the concept of providing good design and exceptional service by creating a “seamless office” environment in which architects in several branches work together.

“Our offices are interrelated — they do not compete with each other. It's one group that allows the architects and designers to do their job in a stable environment, providing value to our clients,” says Gaylord. An example of this is where employees in San Diego are working simultaneously with Denver employees on the Lowry Town Center in Denver, an open-air mixed-use project. MCG typically has about 500 projects going at the same time.

“We decide where our offices should be based on our clients,” says Gaylord. “It would be much easier to have 150 people in one place, but we take the service and experiences we've gained [through various projects] and instill that in every location. We've opened these offices to serve our national clients.”

Some of the firm's most recent clients include Roseville Galleria in Roseville, Calif., a 1.2 million-square-foot regional shopping center, which includes an open-air theater and waterfalls. Another 1.2 million-square-foot lifestyle center in Phoenix, Ariz., called Desert Ridge, is under construction, and includes several large-scale stores such as a grocery, a Barnes & Noble and an entertainment area. Typical components to other shopping centers, Roseville and Desert Ridge include marble, tile, exposed concrete, glass and skylights.

“Recognizing the value of technology is also important,” Gaylord adds. Using existing Internet advancements allows the client to access architectural drawings of its project from the Internet at any time. This password-protected program is more efficient than the traditional way of collaborating.

“An existing option is to send the client a set of prints which they will receive the next day, make some changes to the drawings, and send back,” Gaylord says. “With this program, we can see the same prints at the same time, and even work on the design over the phone. It saves costs, it's quicker, and it provides a higher level of communication,” says Gaylord.

Gaylord concludes, “five to 10 years ago, there weren't as many multi-use projects. With land now as a premium clients are expecting the teams to take on challenging issues like energy efficiency and the use of advanced technology.”

Whether this trend endures, MCG will ensure one trend that doesn't come and go and that is their level of service.