July 1, 2012, marks the 25th anniversary of Reich+Petch, a leading international multi-disciplinary design and architecture firm headquartered in Toronto, Ontario.
In 1987, Tony Reich and Whit Petch were sole practitioners, early in their architectural careers, doing custom residential and commercial projects. When presented with an opportunity to jointly develop a high-profile project for Canada’s leading newspaper the Globe and Mail, Reich+Petch Architects Inc. was formed. In 1993, faced with the chance to work globally for World’s Fairs and major corporate museums, Reich+Petch Design International Inc. was added by the founding partners. In 2009, in response to a decade of museum design work in the United States, Reich+Petch Design International US Inc. was founded. By this time, Stephen Petri, the former Chief Designer of the Royal Ontario Museum had become the third partner at Reich+Petch (in 2007).
Today, with offices in Toronto and Washington D.C., Reich+Petch is a leading international design collaborative with a team of experts and innovators offering design and planning services in architecture; and exhibit, interior, graphic, and way-finding design, as well as facility planning and master planning. The firm’s portfolio includes more than 300 projects in 22 countries. Reich+Petch has created innovative destination experiences for over 200,000,000 visitors worldwide, and has completed projects at some world-renowned museums across the globe.
“I am inspired by the way museums have developed over the years. They are now thinking in multi-dimensional terms and at the level of social responsibility. At Reich+Petch, our multi-disciplinary creative approach is built on these new social-ways of thinking, communicating and experiencing the world. It is this changing nature of design that challenges us to make every project, fresh, exciting and full of impact,” says Tony Reich, principal at Reich+Petch.
25 YEARS OF DESIGN
In the early years, Reich+Petch designed non-profit residential, corporate office interiors and small-scale museum exhibits. Exhibit design brought the firm its first international work for the Ontario Exhibit at the Canada Pavilion, Expo 92 in Seville, Spain. Following that success, the firm developed internationally, designing multiple galleries at the Saudi Arabia National Museum (completed 1999); the Hong Kong Heritage Museum (completed 2000), and the World Museum Liverpool (completed 2005), amongst others. This international experience helped Reich+Petch win the prestigious commission to design the Kenneth E. Behring Family Hall of Mammals at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C. This project opened in 2003 to rave reviews and has won over 15 design awards. Since then, Reich+Petch has worked on eight additional projects for the Smithsonian, including the recently opened and award-winning David H. Koch Hall of Human Origins.
“Over 25 years we have evolved our perspective on design to create extraordinary moments, to create opportunities for people to have encounters that change their understanding and their point of view of the world they live in,” says Stephen Petri, principal at Reich+Petch.
Reich+Petch is also proud to have worked on exhibits locally for such clients as the Art Gallery of Ontario, Fort York National Historic Site and Ontario Science Centre. Reich+Petch is also celebrating its 25-year working relationship with the Royal Ontario Museum that began with multiple galleries in the late 1980s including the Egypt Gallery and the newly opened, award-winning Schad Gallery of Biodiversity.
In addition to providing exhibit design services, Reich+Petch also designs architecture for museums and cultural institutions. Working alongside other prestigious architectural firms, Reich+Petch has designed the Art Gallery of Windsor (with Moffat Kinoshita Architects Inc), Canada Aviation and Space Museum Expansion (with Cole + Associates Architects) and the new Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum (with Teeple Architects and ATB Architects).
25 YEARS OF DIVERSE DESIGN PROJECTS
Creating exciting and meaningful experiences for visitors is at the root of our practice. Similar to designing museums and exhibits, Reich+Petch develops visitor centres guided by design principles that are visitor-centric. This can be seen at the recently completed Upper Canada Village Discovery Centre and Lake Superior Provincial Park Visitor Centre, which were designed by Reich+Petch and built in time for the War of 1812 Bicentennial.
Simultaneous with its successes in the cultural sector, Reich+Petch has earned recognition in the entertainment attractions sector over the last 16 years. Balancing a fast-track architectural and interior design process, Reich+Petch completed the $150 million Casino Niagara in 1996, in an astonishing seven months. Thereafter, Reich+Petch completed design and/or planning of the other casino and racetrack facilities across Ontario that have since opened, including Thousand Islands Casino, Casino Sault Saint Marie and Woodbine Racetracks Slots.
The firm also designs retail outlets including the Sporting Life stores located in the Greater Toronto Area. Tony Reich designed the Sporting Life flagship store on Yonge Street in 1986 and more than 25 years later, he is elated to have worked on the Toronto landmark again for its large scale renovation and addition. The re-design was completed in April 2012.
Today at Reich+Petch Reich+Petch continues to work both locally and internationally, on projects ranging from museums in Saudi Arabia to visitor attractions in Kingston, Ontario. The firm recently designed the exhibits, wayfinding and graphics for the new $35 million Sunnylands Center & Gardens in Palm Springs, California. First opened to the public in March 2012, the exhibits at the Center include information on the art and architecture of the Annenberg estate as well as its famous guests including presidents, royalty, Hollywood stars and foreign dignitaries.
"Our 25 years have been highlighted by an ever-evolving set of ground-breaking projects and a team of people who have been a pleasure and honour to work with,” says Whit Petch, principal at Reich+Petch. “We attribute our numerous awards and accolades to this dynamic, creative and brilliant group.”