Culture > OBM International Celebrates 80 Years of Architectural Excellence

OBM International Celebrates 80 Years of Architectural Excellence

Surviving and thriving for over eight decades is a reason to celebrate for any business, but perhaps even more so for an architectural firm where succession planning can be complex. Nevertheless, for over 80 years, with its rich history rooted in Bermuda and the Caribbean islands, OBM International has been designing lifestyle experiences with a potent blend of beauty, innovation, sustainability, and authenticity. Today, we are proud to have offices in Antigua & Barbuda, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Madrid, Miami, Middle East and Trinidad & Tobago.

In the early 1930s, however, is when it all started, when native Bermudian architectural scholar Wilfred Onions and French Canadian Valmer Bouchard formed a friendship that would soon change the course of Caribbean architecture. In 1936, Onions and Bouchard were born, and together they shared a vision of transforming their architectural dreams into living, breathing, enduring history. Transforming architecture to the internationally known “Bermuda style”, they attracted a wealthy social set leading to the firm’s success in domestic architecture which landed them the now iconic Bermuda City Hall. Then, in the 1950s, the firm added another partner, John Edgar McCulloch (the M in OBM) who saw in the success of the Bermuda development pattern, opportunities to expand the reach and impact across the Caribbean.

By the early 1990s, a new generation of leadership rose, moving its headquarters to Miami, FL, and opening new offices in Madrid to serve the needs of our international clientele. Today, OBM is known as OBM International (OBMI), a successful, industry-leading, global architectural design firm, and has enjoyed several generations of leadership. Needless to say that the contributions, approach to, and respect for the Bermuda vernacular of our founders remain at the heart of OBMI’s core values.

We won’t settle for only the success stories of the past, however, and are framing a bright future in keeping with and celebrating our innovative heritage. As we look to the next 80 years, we continue to pair dedicated, passionate experts with the most cutting-edge tools and technologies of today. From landscape design to luxurious residences to resort master plans, every OBMI design materializes from hand-drawn sketches paying homage to the firm’s history and that of its industry. However, OBMI then takes it to the next level, integrating the latest technological advances of today to bring client’s projects closer to life with 3D modeling and visualization capabilities, and, better yet, virtual reality!

OBMI has and continues to focus on incorporating environmental sensitivities and natural landscapes into the whole of their projects. For more than 80 years, we have understood that only with the utmost sensitivity to its natural environment, culture, and history, will a site have a heart and soul. We believe that creating and planning the world’s future history is more than just a privilege, it is an opportunity for greatness. Solidly grounded in Bermuda and Caribbean roots, bringing the same social ease and personal design sensibility of Wil Onions and Val Bouchard, the future looks promising. Cheers to another 80 years.

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