Architecture firm expands from Brookings to Sioux Falls

May 10, 2019

An architecture firm that started in Brookings more than a decade ago has opened a downtown Sioux Falls office.

The firm designArc Group is led by architect and principal-in-charge Les Rowland. He and newly named partner Lynda Pierce founded the office in 2008.

After SDSU became a Division I university, the Brookings market started to attract more interest from regional and national architectural firms, Rowland said, forcing his business to look outside of the city for growth opportunities.

That led him to Sioux Falls, where he opened an office at 315 N. Main Ave. in late 2018.

“Sioux Falls is also a place where younger professionals want to be, which will make it easier to recruit employees,” he said.

“In the near future, we anticipate our company will grow. As we establish opportunities in the Sioux Falls market, we anticipate that there will be a need to bring on more team members. We will be searching for a business manager in the very near future.”

He has two full-time staff members based in Sioux Falls, plus five full-time employees and one part-time person in Brookings who are in Sioux Falls at least weekly.

As he has started to connect with people in Sioux Falls, Rowland said he’s often asked what the firm’s specialties are.

“This question is difficult,” he said. “In the smaller community of Brookings, we had to learn to be a jack-of-all-trades due to the reason that business wasn’t so abundantly available where we could afford to pick and choose our projects. To be competitive, we had to learn a hands-on approach to design that focused on the client and not the project. That is what I believe makes us different – our attention to detail with the design process.”

The team has strong skills in client interviewing, research and space planning, he said, “all of which translates into the design of buildings that are functional and beautiful. Once you become successful in these items, it can be translated to all project types, and that is what sets us apart.”

Some of the firm’s recently completed projects in Sioux Falls include the Holiday Inn & Suites/Crooked Pint Ale House, The Shoppes at Lake Lorraine, the office building for Sioux Falls Tower & Communications – now Vikor Teleconstruction – and several projects for McCrossan Boys Ranch and the University of Northwestern – St. Paul/KNWC radio station.

While the company primarily focuses on commercial design, it has done some residential work with a focus on additions and remodeling projects. That also could be an offering in Sioux Falls, Rowland said, adding that as the firm becomes more connected in the community, it anticipates its niches and focus will become more clear.

“There is a lot of good design being provided in Sioux Falls. Good design has become a minimum expected standard in the architecture profession,” Rowland said. “To rise above in the architecture industry requires much more than good design. I am convinced that creating opportunities in the Sioux Falls market is about developing relationships and providing great follow-through.”

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Architecture firm expands from Brookings to Sioux Falls

An architecture firm that started in Brookings more than a decade ago has opened a downtown Sioux Falls office.

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