Founded in June 1976, EDI International is a global architecture, planning and interior design firm operating in the multifamily, residential, leisure, hospitality and large-scale commercial sectors. After nearly 40 years in business, EDI now has offices in New York, Houston and San Francisco, but the firm often finds itself on projects in all corners of the globe.
“We work all over the United States and internationally,” says Victor A. Mirontschuk, founder, president and CEO of EDI. “We started in Houston in 1976, which at the time was a boom town with a great deal of buildings going up quickly. EDI found its footing in housing and then we started moving into the commercial markets.”
In 1984 EDI established its San Francisco office, followed by the northeast expansion into New York in 1986. “We started doing work overseas shortly thereafter – from England to Africa and all over,” says Victor. “One of our philosophies has always been to diversify geographically and in the building types we design.”
Victor got his start in the building industry at just 15 years old. “I started designing house plans for a builder in Arkansas,” he recounts. He went on to attend the University of Arkansas, earning his Bachelor of Arts in urban studies and Bachelor of Architecture degrees.
“I started in engineering, but quickly found I didn’t enjoy it as much as architecture because architecture combines a more creative and artistic perspective,” he says. Since establishing EDI, Victor has been recognized as an innovator in the design industry and widely published by industry magazines as an expert on the topics of residential design and planning.
Point people on large-scale projects
EDI now employs 60 professionals in a wide range of areas of expertise including architecture, interior design, urban and town planning, landscape architecture, construction administration and sustainability certification. Members of EDI’s top leadership team include principals Richard C. Handlen, AIA, LEED AP, Brit L. Perkins, AIA, LEED AP BD+C and Andre Landon, AIA.
To date, EDI’s team has designed almost 1 million dwelling units in various densities, planned over 500,000 acres and created 15 million square feet of commercial and multiuse developments. “We really excel in complex, mixed-use projects,” says Victor.
The firm is also well-equipped to handle clients’ sustainability goals. Many of EDI’s professionals are LEED AP’s, recognized for their knowledge of the LEED rating system. “Each EDI project team has at least one LEED AP who acts as the LEED Coordinator and sustainability champion,” explains Victor.
EDI’s team has extensive experience in providing quality construction documents suitable for the constructability of large-scale projects. “Clients have come to rely on our quality service when it comes to building codes, technical specifications, construction documents and administration,” says Victor. “Each project team is led by an experienced principal and project manager, who is responsible for maintaining current knowledge of industry issues. As a result of our experience, we are able to provide various services in-house.”
Since the early ’90s, EDI’s in-depth knowledge has even drawn the attention of oil and gas clients. “We recently completed a large compound for an oil company in Africa, complete with offices and maintenance facilities,” says Victor. “In Houston, we’re working on a large number of multifamily projects and in Chicago we have several large hotels underway.”
In the Northeast, EDI is in the midst of a decade long Transit Oriented Development (TOD), currently one of the largest redevelopment projects in the U.S. “This project is complete with thousands of residential units and approximately 1 million square feet of retail,” adds Victor.
Helping hands at Har-Ber Meadows
Har-Ber Meadows, a 416-acre Traditional Neighborhood Development (TND), was Arkansas’ first TND. At Har-Ber Meadows, Victor was able to expand his boundaries from traditional architecture to carry his expertise, knowledge and resources forward, ensuring community integrity. Parallel to his development and building role, Victor also helped put in place the social components necessary for a successful and viable community such as concerts in the park, social gatherings, neighborhood events and communications.
Har-Ber Meadows profits were directed to fund a family center to serve as the cultural, recreational, educational and social heart of the region and the Northwest Arkansas community and state at large. The goal was to create a family center that would be free of charge to citizens for generations. Victor led 20 consultants and fellow architects through a comprehensive design charrette to transform the major trucking terminal into this family center. When the 230,000-square-foot Jones Center for Families (JCF) opened, it was described as a “world-class facility” and “surreal” in its design, benefit and service to the community.
The success of the project is evident some 20 years after opening. Today, JCF welcomes more than 1 million visitors annually, making a profound impact on the community. “This project was a meaningful contribution EDI was very proud to be a part of,” adds Victor.
Victor is pleased to say he sees a great deal of more international work coming down the line for EDI, as the company continues to build back up to peak pre-recession volume. “Before 2008 we had about 160 employees and through the recession that number dipped to 30 – it was devastating,” he recounts. “We’re building back up now with 60 employees; our reputation and portfolio allows the business to speak for itself and continues to draw customers.”
EDI International continues to press forward, committed to unconventional design, leading technology and industrywide recognized quality work.
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