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Meeting in the middle

image L-R: Robert Luna and Barry Middleman, having similar temperaments and cultures in their firms, have combined to form Luna Middleman Architects.

SAN ANTONIO - More than a decade after first meeting and working together, Robert Luna, Luna Architecture + Design, and Barry Middleman, Mdn Architects, have combined their architectural practices to form Luna Middleman Architects. Luna is the president and CEO of the new firm, and Middleman is principal, staying on as a consultant, mentor and advisor.

    “I have been looking for years for a sort of succession plan,” explains Middleman, who turns 77 this month. “I really don’t want to literally retire, because I love architecture. I just don’t want to run a business anymore, and that’s where Robert is taking major pressure and the load off of me. So I’ve got the best of both worlds. I’ll still be able to exercise what ability I have, because this is my one and only real hobby in the world, actually since I was 8 years of age.”
    Luna notes that he and Middleman have known each other since working on Plaza Las Campanas, and coincidentally, they both graduated from Jefferson High School here in San Antonio.
    “My respect for him and what he has accomplished was vital, ” Luna, 56, says of Middleman. “I looked to him as a mentor as we were developing our firm, and so from that initial coordinated work effort, I think it was a unique relationship that we established. I saw it as a learning experi-ence for us, and Barry was agreeable to working with us. Since then, we stayed in touch, and all the way until we finally culminated an agreement and put this together. It’s been an exciting process. I’m just glad that Barry is still in the office helping me through the transition and guiding me along. It’s a wonderful way to be able to transition into a bigger and better firm.”
    The merger of the two firms was official in March, coinciding with the 44th anniversary of Mdn and the 23rd anniversary of Luna. The continuity of both firms, totaling 67 years in the industry, is intact with all 23 team members joined together.
    Along with its staff, Luna is bringing its Pro Sports Development division, which is in negotiations to build new stadiums similar to San Antonio’s Toyota Field in several cities, including Van-couver, Fort Collins and Fort Worth.
    Also, coming to the table is Luna Creative, Luna’s marketing and media division, which includes services such as branding, graphics, 3D printing, and drones for videography.
    Luna Middleman is based at 9639 McCullough Ave., formerly Mdn Archi-tects’ office location. The firm has already contracted a $130 million resort in the Caribbean and is in the early stages of negotiation on new Morgan’s Wonder-land parks in Fort Lauderdale and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. –mh

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Mary Hazlett mary@constructionnews.net