Since 1997, Jim and Meg Mehserle have broken new ground in unexpected places. Having opened JMA Architecture, the first architecture and interior design firm in the small southern city of Perry, Georgia, they have seen their practice grow from providing service to local homeowners to creating commercial projects for clients across the state of Georgia. Along the way, their office has expanded to include a highly professional staff that embraces new technology to create and construct its designs.
JMA Architecture had modest beginnings. Jim and Meg moved to Perry in the late 1990s after cutting their teeth as staff architects with large firms in Atlanta. Jim fondly remembers, “We started as sole practitioners, from answering the phone and hand-creating each project to doing the cleaning.”
After initially handling residential and small commercial projects, their first large project was for a local county government. This experience led to work with other municipal and county governments as JMA expanded its staff of highly qualified and inspired design professionals. Their current workload includes projects for the State of Georgia, higher education clients, and corporate facilities and headquarters. “We’re very blessed that our whole Georgia community continues to allow us to serve them even more in our current growing economy,” Meg says. “As we celebrate our now 20 years in business, it’s amazing to look back and see how many people we have come to know and appreciate. Our work has resulted in so many good friendships.”
JMA’s design process is rooted in an approach that encourages clients to be engaged in the process of design. “The design benefits foremost by our listening to and learning from our clients—early and throughout the design process,” Jim says. “This makes our building designs richer and more responsive—and clients happiest. We seek to give each client the best solution. That really is the ultimate goal for us.”
The firm’s designers find that the tools now available in their profession enhance their ability to communicate with clients and more quickly create clear client understanding and responses. “There has never been a more exciting time to be a design professional,” Jim says. “We have tools, materials, and systems that architects and designers in the past could only dream about.” JMA is committed to providing state-of-the-art services and to continuously developing and enhancing its offerings.
The firm consistently seeks out the most reasonable and cost-effective ways to create sustainable solutions. With this approach, the firm is currently designing a building that incorporates electrochromic glazing, a clear energy-saving solution. According to Jim, the use of this material is key to achieving an envelope that benefits the building life cycle and the client. “We are committed to developing buildings for our clients that bring effective and long-term value,” he says.
The use of new technologies for design and construction allows JMA to be more creative and efficient as it works with each client. “In many cases, these technologies allow us to be more creative as we look for value.” Jim says. With its commitment to the success of each client, there’s plenty of room for creative thinking in JMA’s future.