- Written by: Molly Shaw
- Produced by: Caitlin Mugford
- Estimated reading time: 4 mins
According to Anthony Ricciuti, director of business development for NORR, there’s no job that’s too big or too small for the industry-leading global architectural design firm. “We truly run the gamut when it comes to jobs of all shapes and sizes,” explains Ricciuti. “We’re the construction architect of record for the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building located in Dubai; yet, we also deliver about 90 CVS Pharmacy stores per year in the U.S.”
Since 1938, NORR has built an expansive client base, delivering creative, fully integrated architectural, engineering, planning and buildings solutions on a worldwide scale. “We’re a fully integrated firm,” shares Ricciuti. “We have architectural, structural, mechanical and electrical services all in-house.”
In addition, NORR offers everything from master planning to project management, landscape architecture to interior design, as well as programming, document management, renewable energy systems and 3-D design, encompassing a broad range of industries.
“Our U.S. business is primarily retail-driven, but we also serve the commercial and educational sectors,” notes Ricciuti. “We deliver commercial office buildings, and have been getting more and more into educational-type projects. We were just awarded a job with the state of Michigan for the Cadillac Square building, which is a government project but in the commercial realm. NORR has also been on the forefront of the modular housing movement, completing projects in North Dakota and Florida in recent months.”
Not only does NORR span multiple industries with extensive in-house capabilities, the company also reaches nearly all corners of the globe. “We were established in 1938 by John B. Parkin, originally as a Canadian-based and -owned company,” recounts Ricciuti. “We still have offices throughout Canada; in Toronto, Calgary, Ottawa, Kingston, Vancouver and Edmonton, but we also have U.S. operations headquartered in Detroit in the historic Chrysler House [formerly the Dime Building] built in 1912.”
Today, NORR has 21 locations worldwide, from Abu Dhabi to Mumbai, New Delhi to London, Hong Kong to Washington, D.C., and Sacramento to Chicago, just to name a few. “We have approximately 60 people working in our Detroit office and 100 employees all together throughout the U.S., but more than 800 professionals throughout our various locations around the world… with plans to expand.”
Landmark, LEEDing Projects
From Asia to Canada and the East Coast to the West Coast, NORR has assisted in the creation of some of the world’s most distinguished landmarks. One that, quite literally, stands out is the 2,700-foot-tall Burj Khalifa, which holds the record as the world’s tallest tower.
Emaar Properties selected NORR to supervise the structure’s architecture and design coordination during construction. NORR’s crews analyzed every aspect of the architectural design to ensure constructability and code compliance, from reviewing mock-ups to samples and technical drawings to manufacturer’s data and advising the client on a variety of complex construction issues.
“Another one of our significant undertakings on the domestic front is the Motor City Casino Hotel in Detroit,” reveals Ricciuti. “It’s a true landmark in the city and we are gearing up for more major interior renovations to come.”
NORR also frequents big-name clients, such as CVS, Starbucks, Panera and Family Dollar Stores, on a nationwide level. “We deliver about 200 Starbucks locations a year out of our Chicago office,” details Ricciuti. “Retail remains one of our primary sectors.”
The global company is at the forefront of LEED-certified design and construction, championing a new age of sustainable design. “We recently finished the new state-of-the-art Ojibway Nature Center, which opened in spring 2011 in downtown Windsor,” reveals Ricciuti. “The $2.5 million facility received LEED Silver certification by incorporating locally sourced materials, such as Ontario White Cedar and granite blocks that were recycled from the city’s Ambassador Bridge.”
The company is also tackling a Windsor fire hall, striving to achieve LEED Gold certification. “We are fortunate to have a tremendous amount of LEED-certified talent in our office,” says Ricciuti.
The company is equally busy at home in Detroit. “Construction is underway on Wayne State University’s ATEC facility, an advanced technology education center,” details Ricciuti. “We have the ability to deliver nearly every service in-house. We also have an established network of subcontractors across the country, but we often bring in expertise from our other offices. Chances are somebody has done something, somewhere before.”
After only recently establishing a presence in Detroit, Ricciuti says NORR has a lot to look forward to in the local market. “We started in Detroit in 2006 with just 16 people, now we have 60 employees, which is pretty amazing considering the economy at the time,” he shares. “The retail market has helped carry us through the tough times, allowing us to grow the most.”
In fact, the company has experienced so much growth that NORR now ranks No. 21 in the nation among architectural design firms, according to Engineering News Record (ENR). “We’ve been going strong for 75 years,” notes Ricciuti. “We just celebrated this milestone anniversary with a huge party at our Detroit headquarters.”
As a global leader, NORR has much to celebrate, commending 75 years of creative solutions that meet the needs of clients with confidence, commitment and superior results.
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