Bates and Forum Studio to Merge

New Firm Expected to be #1 in St. Louis

ST. LOUIS – March 23, 2018 – Forum Studio, a wholly owned subsidiary of Chicago based Clayco announced today that it will merge with Bates, a technology and architecture firm, and has formed a new company that will be headquartered in St. Louis. The new company will be called BatesForum.

BatesForum will be owned 50% by the current Bates partners and 50% by Clayco.

According to Clayco’s Chairman and CEO Bob Clark, “This is an incredible opportunity for the Bates and Forum teams to gain instant synergy in technology exchange, building talent and to partner with the Clayco companies’ fully integrated delivery process.”

Forum Studio is ranked #7 and Bates #10 St. Louis’ Largest Architecture Firms by the St. Louis Business Journal. The new firm will have over 200 employees and over 70 registered designers and architects with offices in St. Louis, Chicago, Springfield, MO, Bentonville, AR and San Francisco. Steve Warlick will be President and Kapil Khanna will be Chief Operating Officer. Using the 2017 ranking from the St. Louis Business Journal, the new firm will be the # 1 ranked architecture firm in St Louis.

Long standing Forum Chairman and Senior Principal, Chris Cedergreen, has announced his upcoming retirement.  Chris will participate and help lead the transition and integration of the two firms and will remain available as a consultant to the firm for special projects.

The company plans to close the transaction within 8 weeks at which time the new management team and organizational details will be announced.

Bates is one of the leading healthcare design firms in the Midwest and has innovative technology that increases transparency, introduces coordination as a discipline and provides a new deliverable that streamlines data from design through construction and into the lifecycle of the facility. Combined with the Clayco platform and capital strength, the full potential of the integrated technology will be brought to the market very quickly.

Forum Studio has long been known for its collaborative approach to complex projects and great design. The firm was born over 20 years ago and is an essential component in the Clayco design- build process.

In addition to leading the newly formed design and engineering company, Steve Warlick will have an essential role in Clayco’s healthcare business unit bringing a full service approach to project delivery.

About Bates
Bates is a leading design firm with technology and culture at its core. Our success is a testament to our dedication to disruption through innovation in our industry.  Our new approach to streamline the complex and creative world of design and construction enabled us to create a new deliverable beyond the world of architecture, which is our key differentiator. Bates is the first 21st century architecture firm leading the world in technology, design and culture.

About Forum Studio
Forum Studio focuses on enhancing the quality of the human experience and how design can impact each individual’s emotional being. By harnessing the power of integrated design, including architecture, workplace strategy, interior design, landscape architecture, urban planning and engineering the company achieves its clients’ goals and aspirations. Forum Studio designs for life and builds clients’ dreams.   Forum Studio is the art + science of building.  For more information, visit:

About Clayco
Clayco is a full-service, turnkey real estate development, master planning, architecture, engineering and construction firm that delivers clients around the world the highest quality solutions on time, on budget, and above and beyond expectations. With over $2 billion in revenue for 2017, Clayco specializes in the “art and science of building,” providing fast track, efficient solutions globally for commercial, institutional and residential related building projects. For more information visit