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Graham Downes Architecture to close after death of its founder

SAN DIEGO -- Nationally acclaimed architecture firm, Graham Downes Architecture announced that they will close their doors on June 30, 2013. The closure follows the passing of the visionary namesake founder, Graham Downes, in April 2013.

“It is with deep sadness that we must announce the closing of Graham Downes Architecture,” said Alix Veen, representative for the Downes family and estate.

Maria Carrillo, senior designer and long-time employee of the cutting-edge design firm, added, “Graham was a visionary of the rarest and most talented form. He was ingrained in his firm so deeply that we determined that closing the business was necessary for us to properly honor his legacy.”

The final project completed by Graham Downes Architecture is Tom Ham’s Lighthouse, which opened earlier this month and will display a plaque in tribute to the talented architect responsible for its design reinvention.

“We have met privately with the clients and staff of Graham Downes Architecture,” said Jerry Pugh, CFO of the firm. “We are ensuring that client work is completed or recommended to another qualified design team, and employees are being given ample notice to prepare for the next step in their careers.”

Graham Downes Architecture was founded by international architect Graham Downes in 1994. The creative agency is known for providing innovative solutions for retail, hospitality, entertainment and urban mixed-use projects, such as Neuhaus Ateliers, Tower 23 Hotel, Hard Rock Hotel San Diego, Hard Rock Hotel Vallarta, Padre Hotel, Gang Kitchen, BASIC, Blue Hound, THIN, Quicksilver, Sauvage, Love Culture and Charlotte Russe. BLOKHAUS, his development company, focused on redevelopment of the East Village, energizing urban infill projects like BarrioHaus and Hivehaus, and advancing his personal commitment and vision to renovate and revive distressed and blighted areas with his own projects.

Mr. Downes was fatally beaten outside his home in Bankers Hill during a late-night party on April 21, officials said. He was 55. An employee of Graham Downes Architecture, Higinio Soriano Salgado, 31, has been charged in connection with his death.

The Old Mission Beach Athletic Club (OMBAC) rugby team, of which Graham Downes was once a member and a player, held a tribute to Mr. Downes on April 27 between matches.