CORRECTION – Architectural Firm AO Launches New Science and Technology Design Studio, Adds New Address in Northern California

AO acquires Silicon Valley-based science and technology architecture firm WHL Architects as part of its diversification growth strategy

ORANGE, Calif. and SUNNYVALE, Calif., Aug. 12, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- In a release issued under the same headline on Tuesday, August 11 by AO, please note that the terms "merges" and "merger" should be "acquires" and "acquisition of" in the subheadline and in the first and third paragraphs. The corrected release follows:

Architectural services firm AO today announces the launch of a new design studio, AO Science + Technology, following its acquisition of WHL Architects, a Sunnyvale-based science and technology design firm founded in 1987 by Douglas White, AIA, NCARB. White joins AO as a principal and will spearhead the new science and technology studio alongside AO Partner Rob Budetti.

With offices in three of the nation’s leading life science and tech hubs –  Silicon Valley, San Diego and Orange County – the AO Science + Technology design studio will provide design services for a range of specialty buildings and spaces, including data centers, standard and specialty research labs, process development and GMP manufacturing, and research and manufacturing support spaces. Utilizing its expertise spanning the entire spectrum of commercial real estate, AO will be able to design tech and science facilities in their entirety. 

“AO’s foray into science and technology is part of our diversification strategy and was motivated by the strength of the sector,” said Budetti. “Our acquisition of WHL enables us to leverage Douglas White’s extensive expertise and the legacy of his firm, which spans more than three decades delivering state-of-the-art labs and R&D facilities to industry-leading companies nationwide and internationally.”

White has more than 40 years of experience designing and managing teams on a wide range of specialty buildings for pharmaceutical, biotechnology, microelectronics, photovoltaic and aerospace industries, as well as social media companies and higher education institutions. His clients include Alphabet, Western Digital, Form Factor, Intarcia and Alta Devices as well as some of the world’s largest electric car and aerospace companies. 

“The merging of WHL’s capabilities with AO’s diverse and versatile design expertise will allow us to expand our Science + Technology services into key Southern California markets where AO has maintained a strong reputation for the past four decades,” said White. “Key to WHL and AO’s success has been a relationship-first approach, with each project led by a principal to ensure that clients receive the best architectural service and expertise. I look forward to continuing to deliver projects for clients leveraging the same winning formula.”

White will continue to operate from AO’s Sunnyvale office, which serves as the new base for AO’s 12 other design studios, enabling the firm to bolster its long-established presence in Northern California and better support its more than 25 projects currently in the works across the region.

About AO
AO (formerly Architects Orange) is a relationship-focused, design-driven architectural services firm helping clients create places where people and business flourish. In its 45th year, the firm has 13 distinct areas of expertise including multifamily, retail, hospitality, mixed-use, science and technology, restaurant, office, industrial, parking, landscape, global design, modular, and transit-oriented development. AO is known for its ardent collaboration with developers and owners, and deep expertise across various building types. The AO team of approximately 270 professionals operates from studios in the cities of Orange, San Diego and Sunnyvale, CA where it serves clients across the Americas, Asia, and beyond. Visit to learn more.

Media contact:

Alvina Olivier

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at

Douglas White_AO Principal