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1412 I Street Northwest
Washington, DC, 20005
United States

With a professional working relationship spanning three decades, Gary F Martinez FAIA and Thomas E Johnson FAIA founded Martinez+Johnson Architecture in 1994 to bring their design sensitivities to institutional and cultural projects in urban locations. The 25-architect firm has since established an expertise in three main architectural areas – the restoration and adaptive reuse of historic structures, institutional buildings in urban areas and community settings, and the design and planning of performing arts venues.

Known for a thoughtful design approach to public facilities, M+J develops an intimate understanding of the needs of users, patrons, and operators destined to inhabit the projects of the firm. M+J looks to the future in their design aesthetic even when the context may be firmly rooted in the past and executes creative solutions to facilities both new and historic, where flexibility, ease of operation, and high but versatile performance characteristics are requisite. Venues express aspirational values and goals of the communities within which they are located, and at the same time conform to issues of economic value at the highest levels of environmental sustainability.




Martinez+Johnson Architecture, PC

With a professional working relationship spanning three decades, Gary F Martinez FAIA and Thomas E Johnson FAIA founded Martinez+Johnson Architecture in 1994 in Washington, DC to bring their design sensitivities to cultural arts and institutional projects. The 25 architect firm is a nationally recognized design leader with expertise in three primary areas of architecture:

  • Planning and Design of World-Class Performing Arts Venues
  • Enhancing Community Vitality with Institutional and Cultural Arts Facilities
  • Restoration and Adaptive Reuse of Historic Structures


Planning and Design of World-class Performing Arts Venues

Known for a thoughtful design approach toward performing arts facilities, Martinez+Johnson endeavors to develop an understanding of the experience for the patron, the performer, and the operator. The firm looks to the future in their designs, even when the context may be firmly rooted in the past. Martinez+Johnson has had the challenge of designing both new facilities as well as ones for existing performance venues, where flexibility, ease of operation, and highly versatile performance characteristics must be maintained. Theatrical venues may need to accommodate opera, symphony, chamber music, and a single public speaker in successive performance slots.

In 2007 Martinez+Johnson was chosen for the National Excellence in Rehabilitation Award by the Society of College & University Planners recognizing Mississippi State University for the design of the Riley Center for Education and the Performing Arts in Meridian, MS - a project that included the rehabilitation and modernization of the 1000-seat Grand Opera House and a home for its performing arts curriculum.

Ongoing projects include venues such as the 6700-seat Smart Financial Centre in Texas – one of the largest venues in the country; the Maryland Theatre for the Performing Arts - a flexible 1000 seat facility in Annapolis, MD; the refurbishment of the 1392-seat Byrd Theatre in Richmond, VA; and historic preservation planning of the Wayzia Cinema in Yangon, Myanmar made possible through the prestigious Fulbright Specialist Program.

With the addition of its New York City office in 2010, led by Stewart Jones AIA, Martinez+Johnson has advanced its philosophy of a balanced approach between exemplary design, practical solutions, and sound project management in the execution of cultural and performing arts buildings. Projects such as the Paper Mill Playhouse Study in Millburn, NJ and the renovation of the Charles Playhouse Theatre in Boston, MA attest to the success of the firms’ operational model in which every project receives the attention of at least one Principal as it addresses the concerns and needs of its clients and the communities in which it practices.


enhancing community vitality with institutional and cultural arts Facilities

Martinez+Johnson believes that architecture can have a substantial influence on the environment around it. Whether a new structure or a remodeling/restoration, Martinez+Johnson integrate the structure to become a focal point for the neighborhood, the city, and the region in which it resides.

Opening some of the most significant buildings in the country running the gamut from universities, not-for-profits, local and regional governments, and globally prominent promoters and presenters of live entertainment, has re-energized entire neighborhoods, cities, and regions. For example, in New Orleans, Martinez+Johnson designed the restoration of the Mahalia Jackson Theatre and the Saenger Theatre after Hurricane Katrina devastated both facilities. In Brooklyn, NY Martinez+Johnson completed a $95M design of the historic restoration to the Kings Theatre which is transforming Flatbush Avenue into a gentrified community. In Cedar Rapids, IA, the design of the Paramount Theatre brought the community alive again after a catastrophic flood destroyed the city’s downtown area. And finally, the renovation of the Howard Theatre – the oldest historically black music hall in America – brought the Shaw Neighborhood of our nation’s capital to life and created a venue to revitalize the region’s traditional jazz roots.


Restoration and Adaptive Reuse of Historic Structures

Over the past 20 years, Martinez+Johnson has executed more than eighty commissions involving theatres and cultural arts facilities, including reopening and updating some of the most significant structures in the country for a varied client base that includes universities, not-for-profits, municipalities, and the largest promoters and presenters of live entertainment in the world. Martinez+Johnson is presently in the process of re-establishing and re-positioning the Martin Luther King Jr Memorial Library in Washington, DC as a state-of-the-art learning resource center while preserving this building designed by Mies von der Rohe in the mid-twentieth century.

Martinez+Johnson’s theatre restoration efforts range from larger venues such as the 3600-seat Kings Theatre in New York city and the 3300-seat Peabody Opera House in St Louis, MO to smaller stages such as the 1000-seat Paramount Theater in Charlottesville, VA, the 800 seat Howard Theatre in Washington DC, and the 1000-seat Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield, MA.


- Nancy Dolensek | Former Executive Director for Maryland Theatre for the Performing Arts