David Johnson joins SERA Architects as Bay Area presence grows

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David Johnson, principal, SERA Architects

David Johnson has joined SERA Architects in San Mateo as a principal for the practice that SERA says in a statement has “recognized leadership in private and public sector work and decades of experience with sustainable urban placemaking.”

The news release says SERA “has been integral to the development of Portland, Oregon, where it was founded 50 years ago, and the firm has been bringing that knowledge base to the Bay Area for the last eight years, focusing on workplace, multi-family housing, hospitality, and urban design.”

Recent Bay Area projects include planning and workplace environments for Google, LinkedIn’s Middlefield Campus, Homewood Suites in Belmont, and Redwood City Parks planning.

“We believe that his (Johnson’s) range of experience and his deep understanding of the dynamic markets in the Bay Area and nationally offer tremendous value to our clients,” said principal Clark Brookman. Brockman, who has been leading SERA’s work in the Bay Area and opened the Bay Area office in 2015, will be taking a sabbatical from the firm beginning in spring of this year.

Johnson has been based in the Bay Area for most of his career. For the past 12 years he has worked closely with sustainability pioneer William McDonough, most recently as partner and managing director with William McDonough + Partners.

Mary Davidge, director of global design on Google’s Real Estate Development team, said in a statement: “SERA has been a longtime valued partner of Google’s in urban design, masterplanning, interiors and sustainability R&D. I’m pleased that both David and SERA share our values and commitment to placemaking and developing communities that prioritize the health and well-being of people and the environment.”

Don Young of D.R. Young Associates, a Bay Area developer and owner’s representative who has worked with both SERA and Johnson, sees this as “a positive step” and good news for clients. “This demonstrates SERA’s commitment to Bay Area clients,” he says. “I believe that owners will appreciate this expansion of depth, architectural expertise, and Bay Area knowledge in the SERA office.”

Nadav Malin, president/CEO of BuildingGreen, a consultancy and information resource said: “Over the past two decades I’ve watched SERA nurture the Living Building Challenge, advance the industry in healthy materials and indoor air quality, develop EcoDistricts, guide the smart urban development of Portland, and champion progressive public policy in Oregon and California. I’ve seen William McDonough and his partners, including David Johnson, use Cradle to Cradle thinking to bring design solutions to seemingly intractable problems. It’s exciting to see these leadership tracks converge. Johnson and SERA are both leaders in innovation and creativity; together they are perfectly positioned to apply that innovation at all scales in the Bay Area and beyond.”

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