James R. Fair - AIA
James R. Fair - AIA, LEED AP, NCARB


James Rutherford Fair - Architect P.C. allows
Owners, Facility Personnel and Architects to
access Jim's knowledge base in technically complex building types and his expertise in expediting project definition and institutional consensus.

The JRF-A consulting practice is focused on

- Project Definition and Approvals
- Site, Building and Interior Planning
- Sustainable Design

The JRF-A consulting practice is committed to supporting Organizational Intelligence and to Maximizing Value Through Design, with

- Clear Plans, that meet
- Functional Needs Efficiently, are
- Able to Absorb Growth and Change Effectively,
- Balance Appearance, Function, Durability & Cost,
- and are Environmentally Responsible


Jim has had the opportunity to design buildings in a wide variety of functional types, ranging from housing (residential, hotel and detention) to special uses (library, research, and educational). The 41 projects documented on this site are located around the world and across the United States.

Particularly experienced in the design of laboratories, he has completed 17 such facilities for educational, civic and corporate clients. Landmark educational laboratory projects include the master plan and completion of the first two buildings (totaling over 400,000 square feet) at Georgia Institute of Technology's Interdisciplinary Life Sciences and Technology Complex. Landmark civic laboratory projects include the Centers for Disease Control Infectious Diseases Lab, the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Lab at Ft. Gillem and the Westchester County Forensic Sciences Lab Expansion. Landmark corporate laboratory projects include the Hill's Pet Nutrition New Animal Facility in Topeka, Kansas, the first animal facility in the U.S. to be designed to comply with the European Union guidelines on research animal welfare.

Another multiple-building focus has been justice facilities, with five significantly scaled facilities completed. Although in some ways at the opposite ends of the architectural spectrum from each other, the two types (research & justice) share similar high levels of technical complexity and similar low tolerance for sub-standard building performance. Clients for both types of buildings usually have expectations that challenge budgets and schedules. Jim is adept at building consensus around design solutions that are functional, beautiful and affordable.

The projects for which Jim has had significant responsibility total over 13,000,000 square feet (almost 1,250,000 square meters) and have ranged in value from $500,000 to over $300,000,000 at the time of their design and construction.

Many of his projects have been cited for awards and publication and Jim has completed multiple projects for many clients. This recognition by peers and clients is the best demonstration of the competency of his work.


With 30 years experience in the planning and design of corporate, commercial, and institutional facilities, Jim's responsibilities have included directing the development and implementation of architectural design solutions in many regions of the United States and abroad.

Working directly with the client and project teams, he consults to the overall design process, offering specific and unique design solutions for each assignment and developing the consensus of support for the design that is necessary to carry it through to completion. His involvement continues during contract documents and construction to make sure that the final built work is a success.


As a design professional, Jim is committed to achieving client goals and maximizing the value of a client's investment of time and money. He has great respect for the effort that precedes design, the effort a client expends to accumulate resources, build internal agreement and set the stage for an architect to contribute to the process. Time and budget resources must be used wisely.

Jim also understands the impact architecture can have and believes that it is critical for buildings to offer not only an improved quality of life for users but also add to the quality of the surrounding community.


Jim held design positions with Hellmuth, Obata + Kassabaum, Inc. in Saint Louis (1973 & 1975-77) and San Francisco (1978-83). In 1983 he was appointed Design Principal, charged with opening HOK's Los Angeles office, which grew over the following 13 years to a size of 110 people. In 1994 he joined HOK's Board of Directors and in 1996 became Principal of HOK's Atlanta office, which grew over the next five years from 20 to 70 staff positions.

In 2001 he joined AHSC Architects, PC, a bi-coastal planning and design firm focused on healthcare and laboratory facilities. At AHSC his key assignment was to develop the company's laboratory facility design and consulting practice in the eastern United States. He resigned his position at AHSC in 2005, having brought significant new clients to the firm and established a significant laboratory planning and design practice in AHSC's New York office.

In 2006 Jim started JRF-A in order that his skills in planning and design be put to more effective use than was the case when the leadership responsibilities of a large office diverted most of his time in other directions.