Bryce A. Turner

Chairman
NCARB, FAIA, RA

Bryce Turner is the Chairman of the Board of DDG. He also serves as President and CEO of BCT Architects, which provides full services architecture in the U.S. Turner was elevated to the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects in 2016. A registered architect in twenty U.S. states, he has directed the design of projects in five countries within Europe, North America, and Asia. He is a major force in obtaining entitlements and approvals for the firm’s complex retail, commercial and mixed-use projects. Turner frequently testifies before public commissions and agencies regarding the merits of the firm’s mixed-use projects, and is an asset to a development team. Turner served as a Vice President of DDG until 1994 prior to joining BCT. With the acquisition of DDG in 2016, Bryce has been reunited with his DDG colleagues.

His achievements include mixed-use and retail buildings at National Harbor in Prince Georges County, (MD), Pike & Rose (MD), Pentagon Row Retail Renovation (VA), Downtown Silver Spring, (MD), Lockwood Place Retail, Baltimore (MD), Akmerkez (Istanbul, Turkey), Eastgate Complex (Harare, Zimbabwe), and Belvedere Square, Baltimore (MD).

Bryce is a leader with the Urban Land Institute in the U.S. after having served as served as Chair of the Baltimore District Council. He currently sits on the Advisory Board of the Washington District Council and Baltimore District Council. In 2007, Bryce received a Governor’s Citation for transforming ULI Baltimore and for Reality Check Plus – a 2005 program focused on proposed population and job growth strategies across Maryland that aligned with “quality growth principles”. In 2011, Former Governor Martin O’Malley appointed Bryce to the Maryland Sustainable Growth Commission, and Governor Hogan re-appointed him again in 2015.

Today Bryce speaks nationally and regionally about the importance of redevelopment for the revitalization of urban and suburban communities; and advocates for greater mixed-use density near existing infrastructure and transportation hubs.

Bryce is a Board Advisor to the University of Maryland Real Estate School and sits on the Boards of the Maryland Family Network, Higher Achievement, Charles Street Development Corporation and ULI, Washington Advisory Committee. A member of the Greater Baltimore Committee (GBC) and former Chair of the GBC Built Environment and Sustainability Committee, Bryce is a 1980 graduate of Virginia Tech’s College of Architecture and Urban Studies. He has completed various graduate business courses at Loyola of Maryland.

Professional Affiliations
United States Green Building Council (USGBC)
American Institute of Architects (FAIA)
National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB)
Urban Land Institute (ULI)
International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC)

Robert William Gehrman III

Director
AIA, RA, LEED AP

Since 1996, Bob has guided many of BCT’s projects to success. An accomplished, hands-on architect, his wide background in a variety of building typologies makes him an invaluable resource for any project team. In addition to his skills as an architect, Bob is also responsible for scheduling the firm’s workload, enforcing the quality of the documents, and fostering collaboration among staff, consultants, and clients. Bob graduated from the University of Texas and has been registered as an Architect since 1998.

Bob continues to be a driving force in the successful completion of many complex projects both inside and outside of the office. As an adjunct faculty at the Johns Hopkins University Carey Business School, Bob teaches classes in the Masters of Science in Real Estate Degree Program – teaching future real estate professionals about the practice. Also, as a member of the Friends of Architecture at Morgan State University, he sits on the advisory board for the undergraduate and masters programs. A successful and accomplished presenter, Bob is capable of winning audiences with his presentation skills at community meetings, in front of Architectural Review Boards, and in assisting clients with making a pitch.

A graduate of the Greater Baltimore Committee’s elite Leadership Program in 2012, Bob is heavily involved in the community as well: he volunteers for several organizations, including the Neighborhood Design Center and the Incentive Mentoring Program, and serves on the Gutierrez Memorial Fund Board. He served as the League Commissioner of the Catonsville Youth Baseball League for 9 years.

Professional Affiliations
American Institute of Architects (AIA)
US Green Building Council (USGBC)
Construction Specifications Institute
International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC)
International Code Council (ICC)
Urban Land Institute (ULI)

Anthony van Vliet

President
AIA, NCARB

As President, Tony’s leadership, professional passion, singular vision, and inspired international planning and design perspectives exert a powerful influence on DDG. For more than two decades, Tony has been instrumental in providing insight, inspiration and strategic direction to the firm, helping to guide DDG’s evolution into a premier global planning, architecture, graphics and design company.

It is appropriate that the same professional characteristics that Tony values most about the professional culture at DDG – innovation, creativity, and collaborative problem-solving – are also frequently used to describe Tony himself. In over two decades of professional experience, Tony has worked on a wide variety of large mixed-use developments, as well as retail, multi-family residential, resort and hospitality projects in the United States, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Turkey, South Africa and South America.

A graduate of Tulane University in New Orleans, where he earned his Bachelor of Architecture Degree in 1984, Tony first joined DDG in 1987. An NCARB and AIA-certified professional architect, Tony enjoys the challenges posed by both smaller and larger projects alike for their unique complexities. He builds upon his approach to urban planning as both a creative and a connective process; fitting pieces together in ways that expand boundaries and reinforce the notion that the whole truly is greater than the sum of its parts. Tony finds himself drawn to the horizontal culture and the collaborative exchange of ideas at DDG. He approaches each project without preconceived ideas and biases, and his commitment to creating new solutions generates innovative design concepts that are notable for the ways in which they balance practical and creative concerns. Immersing himself in the design process, Tony thrives on the interaction of ideas and perspectives in a group dynamic, and he enjoys working closely with clients to achieve their vision.

Roy Higgs

Founder, Vision Keeper

As a founder of DDG, Roy Higgs contributes to the design and execution of retail, entertainment, hospitality, office, residential and mixed-use projects of every imaginable scale in all corners of the globe. The list of award winning projects that bear his imprint is extensive. It features a diverse mix of projects located across the USA and around the world including South Africa, Turkey, Indonesia, India, Ecuador, Taiwan, Portugal and China.

Higgs served as the firm’s CEO for more than 15 years. During his tenure, the firm earned over 100 design awards, including many International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) awards for Innovative Design and/or Renovation. The firm has twice received the coveted Urban Land Institute (ULI) Award of Excellence, and has received the Pacific Coast Builder’s First Place Award (the “Gold Nugget”) for outstanding new town planning. FIABCI has honored the firm with several awards for excellence. As the company’s Founder, he continues to have a strong influence on the firm’s work.

Higgs has been a spokesperson, design awards juror and consultant for numerous architectural, design, retail, planning and development associations in the domestic and international arena. His professional affiliations are extensive, he contributes regularly to industry periodicals and journals published worldwide, and he has served on the jury for Maryland’s Economic Growth, Resource Protection & Planning Commission’s (The Growth Commission) Smart Growth Awards competition.

Finding inspiration in unique international cultures, Higgs is an avid collector of model buses and taxis from around the world. He was named as a recipient of the Maryland State Award for International Business Leadership.

James P. Andreone

Principal
RA, NCARB

Jim Andreone views architecture as an exercise in problem solving. Jim’s approach to his work with DDG reflects that perspective; applying penetrating insights and a results-oriented approach to every step of the design process. From concept and planning, to design development and construction documentation, through to groundbreaking and ribbon-cutting, he immerses himself in a project. Colleagues are as likely to discover Jim crouched over a model with a glue gun as they are to find him on the phone with a client, poring over site plans or absorbed in a book on the architecture of Ancient Greece. This combination of persistence, flexibility, creativity and curiosity makes him the ideal candidate to successfully spearhead some of DDG’s most innovative and trend-setting projects and qualifies him to lead DDG design teams all over the world.

Jim joined DDG as a project architect in 1993. His early work on projects in places like Indonesia, Taiwan and Abu Dhabi was an invigorating international experience that reinforced the elements of project architecture he values most: challenging site-context issues and environmental concerns, clear communication, stylistic variety, cultural nuance and respect for the design process.

He has helped create dramatic themed retail, entertainment and cinema destinations that resonate with a unique sense of place; energized designs incorporating eye-catching graphics and dramatic visual flair. Designing beyond “bricks and sticks” architecture to explore new solutions, Jim Andreone helps DDG continue to expand the boundaries of retail and entertainment design; responding to traditional questions with exciting answers.

Rajesh Gulati

Principal + Director of Planning
RA

Since joining DDG in 1992, Rajesh Gulati’s evident appreciation for the human design element has been reflected in his award-winning work. His understanding of the organic quality of a space and how cities, towns, villages and communities evolve over time has helped him to create groundbreaking retail, residential, mixed-use and urban design projects that capture a definitive sense of connection, becoming genuinely memorable destinations.

Rajesh has always been fascinated by designed space. Before he even knew what an architect was, he was appraising his surroundings with the eye of a designer and the instincts of a planner. As a young man in Delhi, India, he was captivated by the ornate spiral staircase and grand high-ceilinged auditorium of his turn-of-the-century high school, already unraveling the thought process behind the architecture and analyzing how fellow students moved through the space.

After graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in architecture in 1985, Rajesh worked briefly for a firm in India before coming to the US in 1987. He earned his Master of Architecture and Urban Design at the University of Texas in Austin, where he studied under renowned American architect Charles Moore. Moore’s architectural field trips exposed Rajesh to places and designs that still resonate through his work; his influences range from the dusty grandeur of Mexican cities and architectural landmarks, to the historic towns of India, to small communities across the American Southwest.

Sa’d Irshaid

Principal + Design Director

Whether developing master plans or conceptual designs for retail and mixed-use projects or themed destinations, Sa’d Irshaid works by hand, using his evocative freehand drawings and renderings to impart unique character and breathe life into an idea. The body of his work with DDG reflects a design career based on a lifelong appreciation for artistry and craft.

Growing up in the Middle East, Sa’d desperately wanted to be a painter. His mother, an artist and schoolteacher whose paintings he had long admired, was sympathetic, but insisted that the necessary art supplies were too expensive. By the time he was a teenager, the generosity of some neighbors and the connections of an uncle finally secured him the paints, canvases and brushes he’d longed for – but something had changed. Visits to friends who were less fortunate made painting seem impractical – art an extravagant indulgence. Sa’d wanted to create something substantial, something more functional. He wanted to become an architect.

Sa’d achieved that goal in 1987, when he joined DDG after earning his Master of Architecture at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. The same creative spirit that inspired him as a young artist has characterized his tenure at DDG. His father once told him “The world needs architects more than it needs artists.” To his credit, Sa’d Irshaid happens to be both.

Bob Northfield

Director
NCARB, RA

Architectural design has never been an abstract concept to Bob Northfield. Maybe it was the fact that his earliest exposure to great architecture wasn’t through a museum or textbook, but through his father, pointing out the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed houses of family friends. Or perhaps it was discovering that he derives his greatest professional satisfaction from exceeding client expectations and achieving real, lasting results that are not only aesthetically pleasing, but also financially profitable. Bob has always liked to build, create, play and learn; since his career began, he has been putting those skills to concrete use.

A college work/study program at the University of Cincinnati gave Bob the opportunity to experience several different fields – interior design, retail, entertainment, high-end residential – a background that has translated into an appreciation for mixed-use projects and a knack for assembling various pieces of a puzzle into a cohesive and successful solution.

Bob is an architect who values process. He understands that client interaction, client servicing and project management are tools used to nurture exciting projects to fruition. Ultimately, Bob Northfield’s ability to make things work, to combine a passion for design with a thorough understanding of critical components – products, tenants, materials, merchandizing, systems – enables him to create dynamic, viable spaces, destinations that are structurally engaging and visually captivating, but at the same time ring with undeniable authenticity.

With more than 25 years of national and international design experience in retail-driven, mixed-use projects, Bob excels at retail planning and managing multi-disciplined teams for both large and small scale projects. His creativity and strong interpersonal skills have played a significant role in the positive outcome of projects in the United States as well as China, Turkey, South Africa and Southeast Asia.

Professional Affiliations & Registration
National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB)
International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC)
Urban Land Institute (ULI)