Omni celebrating 40 years
In 2015, Omni Architects is celebrating its fortieth anniversary as one of Kentucky’s most accomplished design firms. This significant achievement has been marked by many noteworthy milestones along the way - some of which may have seemed unimaginable for founding partners Samuel H. Halley III and Joseph Williams in 1975. But through perseverance and a strong commitment to a distinct design philosophy, the firm has completed over a billion dollars worth of construction throughout the Commonwealth, delivering vibrant and meaningful environments for its education, healthcare, worship, hospitality, civic, and workplace clients.
Halley and Williams strategically named the firm to set the stage for a collaborative culture. Omni, meaning “all", exemplifies the philosophy that every member of the firm and each client are important contributors to successful projects. Halley reflected, “We wanted to avoid the use of personal names or initials, to let people know that this was a firm that embraced the input of all participants. And it still is.”
Since Omni’s inception in 1975, the A/E/C industry has seen technological advancements that forever changed the methods for delivering professional design services: the introduction of personal computers; the development of software to create more accurate construction documents, faster; 3-D imaging software; and more recently, Building Information Modeling (BIM), which has become a construction coordination staple to ensure accurate construction drawings and effective, timely coordination and communication among the design team members.
Along the way, Omni Architects embraced these advancements, using them to develop improved methodologies for project delivery and create more effective and sustainable environments for our clients. But while change may be constant, Omni has remained steadfastly true to three facets of project delivery: Innovative design, technical proficiency, and client satisfaction beyond expectations. By adhering to these guiding principles, the firm has built a reputation for consistently creating architecture of exceptional design and great value. In fact, Omni has earned more awards for design excellence from AIA Kentucky than any other firm in the state, and has been honored as Kentucky Distinguished Firm of the Year two times – a rare distinction.
Joe Williams has since retired, but Halley - a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects - remains at the helm as president. He is joined by partners Michael W. Jacobs, AIA, CID, LEED AP, who began work at Omni soon after its inception; and Eric J. Zabilka, AIA, CID, LEED AP. Their leadership is supported by a cadre of professional and support staff, many of whom have been with Omni over fifteen years. These seasoned professionals provide career guidance and mentoring for junior staff, and also offer their services, knowledge, and skills to community organizations in need.
The concept of service in general is revered at Omni Architects. Each member of the firm is deeply committed to serving the architectural profession, educational programs, their communities, and their clients. “Service to mankind is at the heart of architecture,” says Sam Halley. “This is what we believe, what we practice, what sets us apart from most architectural firms.”
This is the legacy established by Sam Halley in 1975, and the reason Omni Architects will continue to endure for another forty years.