History


K E A T I N G is a firm dedicated to Architecture, Design and a professional commitment to making positive contributions to the urban fabric and built environment.  The range of work extends from very tall buildings to landscape concepts and interior design.  The reputation of the Partners represents thirty years of built work totaling over sixty million square feet of construction, ranging over multiple project types and numerous regions of the United States and abroad. While known primarily for its design reputation, the firm is also pre-eminent in strategically planning its work to meet rigid economic demands.  Made up of unique individuals, each employee of the firm brings special skills and talents to our work. The firm maintains service and competency as one of its primary objectives, while carefully selecting only the projects to which it can make a difference and to which we can bring unique ideas. 

We feel that the practice of Architecture is for the benefit of society, and that the continuity of the urban fabric is the substantial representation of our culture.  Accordingly, our work is often simple in form and carefully finessed, with care and attention to details and materials.

The firm’s history is bound with Richard Keating’s career, but the type of projects and their design quality has remained constant.  Each project, whether large or small, is directed by Keating and a strong group of supporters – a process which has remained constant.  Another constant has been the primary client base of sophisticated building developers, which has created a longstanding culture among the KEATING team of working in terms of economics and investment strategy.

Graduating from the University of California at Berkeley in 1968 after spending a year on an excavation in Greece, Richard Keating informed his mentor in Architectural History that if he was to pursue a PhD in that field he wanted to write on tall buildings.  Intending to return to academia after gaining specific knowledge of high rise design and construction, Keating began his career at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill in Chicago.  His experience in his first several years at SOM persuaded Keating to pursue a career in architecture rather than history.  Working with senior partner Bruce Graham, he was a designer on numerous international projects, new towns, large office buildings, research facilities, and retail centers. Later, he was asked to open an office for SOM in Houston, Texas, which he grew to a practice of 200 architects, engineers, and interior designers. In 10 years, the Houston office of SOM designed and built nearly 40 million square feet of buildings.  It was during this time that Keating gained a national design reputation, and he was named a full partner at the youngest age in the firm’s history.  In 1986, Keating also assumed charge of SOM Los Angeles, which coincided fortuitously with the emergence of greater architectural opportunities in the West Coast and Pacific Rim markets.  In Los Angeles he is best known for the 52 story Gas Company Tower, named as the finest office building in America by many.

After 23 years at SOM, Keating formed his own firm in 1990. Since that time, he has designed a wide variety of U.S. corporate headquarters, won numerous competitions, and continued his lasting relationship with premier developers both in the United States and abroad. The firm has enjoyed extensive work in Asia, principally in Korea. Keating’s projects there have included the 1 million square foot Korea Development Bank and the Meritz headquarters Towers in Seoul and Busan, in addition to leading designs for the National Archives as well as the National Museum of Korea. He has been widely recognized for his skill and experience in making strategic design decisions in the most cost-effective manner, and has successfully completed numerous design-build projects. In addition, he has consistently contributed concepts for large-scale urban visions of his own volition, and frequently is called upon as an architectural participant in discussions about urbanism and the city.

Keating’s work has evolved to include a diverse range and scale of building types, from high-rise offices to performing arts facilities, high-rise condominiums and surgery centers.  In each case, relatively simple forms and optimized building systems allow for a skillful finessing of details and materials to achieve design excellence.  Richard Keating has been called an “architect’s architect”. He excels at utilizing his extensive knowledge of developers’ needs and the development process to bring high design integrity and beneficial cost results to all the office’s projects.