johannes j. merkler aia, ncarb



  1. B.S. Architecture - Lawrence Institute of Technology ; emphasis in Historic Preservation

  2. Harvard University GSD - Continuing Education (High Technology Building Design)

  3. ULI Real Estate School - Development Track

Professional memberships & Affiliations:

  1. Licensed Architect - California & Massachusetts

  2. AIA, AIA California Counsel, AIA San Diego, NCARB

Professional recognition:

  1. Woodworking Institute - Museum of Art/SD - 2001 Excellence Award

  2. San DIego Design Awards -Chairman 2000 & 2001

  3. San Diego AIA - Public Service Award 2001

  4. NAVFAC/North Div - Design Award 1987 - “USS Nautilus Memorial, Submarine Force Library & Museum


Architecture is more than design, it is a process. At its best, it is an inclusive process that captures ideals and reaches beyond all expectations. When truly successful, each participant is changed by it, and every community is transformed.

Johannes (John) Merkler has dedicated over 30 years perfecting this process. As an Associate at Boston’s AIA’s “Firm of the Year” - Cambridge Seven Associates, he helped to pioneer the Project Manager role which he formulated while managing national projects, and coordinated distant teams with local designers. At The Architects Collaborative, founded by Gropius, one of the largest and most prolific architectural firms of its day, he added international project experience to his portfolio.

Mid-career, Project Management beckoned. Not fulfilled with managing only the architects role in construction, he began working on the owner’s side. The first project was the completion of Master Plan for the Boston University Medical Center expansion - BioSquare. Recently, Merkler acted as lead for the British award winning firm McAslan + Partners on their 3.4 m sf, $645 m mixed-use proposal for a private developer in the city of San Diego - “BallPark Village.”

Throughout his career, Merkler’s operating philosophy has been “on time and on budget.” As an example he developed novel Value Engineering Workshops to assist clients in meeting their budget and timeline objectives. Between 2003 and 2005 he led VE workshops for the Los Angeles Community College District across 9 campuses resulting in savings of over $30m over 13 projects, all the while ensuring that the design integrity, construction quality and LEED standards were never compromised.

Active in sustainability design and construction, Merkler’s LEED experience dates from 2001 when he lead the LEED analysis for one of the first LEED “Silver” laboratories in the State of California.

His current practice has evolved to include Owner’s Representation/CM, where he is charged with selecting, negotiating and managing design and construction teams for various projects. In this capacity, he recently completed the $40m renovation of a new biology lab and vivarium for Pomona College (LA), and the $25m renovation of the flagship San Francisco Marriott Hotel.

Merkler has solid expertise in all types of project delivery methods - Fast Track, Hyper Fast Track, Design-Build and traditional Design/Bid/Build. He is a talented leader and facilitator of stakeholder programming and review meetings. He is equally at ease presenting to Boards of Directors, Design Review agencies as running OAC meetings.

He believes that management of the design and construction process from inception to completion is truly an ‘art-form’, requiring skills of active listening, effective negotiation and an overarching dedication to the goals and aspirations. John Merkler is an expert at this role. The Projects and Skills tabs highlight project objectives and accomplishments.

35 years of Design & Owner’s Services

San Diego Museum of Art

Greensboro Cultural Arts Center - Greensboro, NC

Photo: John Durant - John Durant Photography