TBA2 Associates PLLC was a direct offshoot of an international firm headquartered in Charlotte, NC. Named after the original four principals, Clark Tribble Harris and Li was founded in 1973 with operations in Charlotte, Washington, DC, New York City, Sarasota, Florida, and London, England. The firm was listed as a public company on the London Stock Exchange in 1986 as THL – Tribble Harris & Li. The firm was primarily engaged in providing architectural services for developers on the East Coast and in the United Kingdom. Its business approach and tag line was “A remarkable return on design investment” with responsibility for varied projects that included Discovery Place and the Mint Museum in Charlotte, Georgetown Park in DC, the 40-story 100 East Tower in Milwaukee, the 25-story Enterprise Center in Jacksonville, Fl., the 25-story Dominion Bank in Roanoke and Circuit City’s headquarters in Richmond. The Sarasota office was headed by Gene Aubry, former partner of Morris Aubry in Texas. The Charlotte Office principal was Mike Tribble, the Washington Office principal was Tom McDuffie, now a principal with the world-wide facilities firm of Jacobs, the New York City principal was Jerry Li, and the London principal was Joe Harris, who would later head Heery and HLM; both national design firms.
In April of 1991, ten architects and three support staff left to form CTHL which in 1994 became TBA2. With a major commission for Crestar Bank in Richmond, VA, TBA2 moved from a 3,000 sf office on 5th Street into a 10,000 sf office on S. Tryon Street in the heart of Charlotte. TBA2’s statement of purpose read ”Architecture to the next power” and continued the tradition of serving major developers and corporate clients. In addition to Crestar, TBA2 was awarded major commissions for Springs Industries in Fort Mill, SC, Joe Gibbs Racing in Huntersville, NC, Volvo Trucks in Greensboro, The Research Triangle Institute at Research Triangle Park, Rotunda and Sealand Corporation in Charlotte as well as a dozen other buildings in the SouthPark area.
While their corporate clients were developing more diverse mixed-use projects, they remained committed to the service and expertise within the firm. Their combined efforts resulted in a variety of specialty mixed-use environments. The first was a shop-live-work complex in Charlotte called Phillips Place. This innovative development gained national recognition from the Urban Land Institute as one of the trend setters in 1998 for combining retail with housing above in combination with a movie complex and a hotel gathered around a pedestrian friendly main street. Next was an involvement in the development of a 2,000-acre tract called Ballantyne that continues to this day. This development became home to national corporate clients such as Equitable as well as retail and resort hotel clients clustered together around an 18-hole golf course and a series of interconnected street systems. With all of these facilities located in buildings designed by TBA2, the reputation of the firm attracted many new clients.
This relatively small practice of professionals dedicated to innovative solutions to clients’ needs ultimately was responsible for the design of more than 32 million square feet in approximately 30 states with a construction value of nearly two billion dollars. TBA2 grew in size from the original dozen employees to more than 60 at the time of the merger with LS3P in 1999.