John Beasley was an accomplished architect with a passion for design when he met Lamar Wakefield in the 1970s. Lamar was an intern at his previous employer’s firm, and John immediately recognized Lamar’s intelligence, creativity and versatility. The two founded Wakefield Beasley in their respective basements later that year. While their young children played underfoot, John and Lamar built the foundation for a successful international architectural design firm.
John took his romantic idea of starting his own firm and cultivating the type of design portfolio he wanted to manage and coupled it with Lamar’s interest in development. They quickly made a name for themselves in Atlanta designing smaller projects. When they were awarded the Governor’s Ridge office condominium project (the first of its kind in Atlanta) at Power’s Ferry and Windy Hill Road, John hired more employees. He knew at that moment that Wakefield Beasley was going to be a formidable competitor in the global design market.
Now, nearly four decades later, John is quietly proud of the firm’s success. Under his leadership, Wakefield Beasley has delivered some of the most culturally significant developments across the world, and in his own backyard. Atlantic Station, Atlanta’s first mixed-use development, set the standard for mixed-use attractions in the southeast. The Forum on Peachtree Parkway met the needs of a diverse group of retailers and developers by consistently drawing in clients to the unique shopping experience. Dubai Festival City is widely recognized as one of the most successful retail experiences in the United Arab Emirates. From humble beginnings in his basement, to delivering the firm’s first international project in 1984, John has weathered recessions and delivered great results.
John simply attributes the firm’s success to its relationships with people. While he credits Lamar for his ability to adapt and change to a situation or a person, John knows that Wakefield Beasley thrives because of the talented personnel on staff and their ability to connect with clients across the world. To him, the bottom line means nothing if the firm can’t take care of its people or its clients. He hires the brightest minds to lead each design studio in Atlanta, Florida and Panama, and he fights to keep them even during times that other firms would have downsized. And that’s why Wakefield Beasley is run by architects and not by accountants. It’s rare and unusual, but John has built a firm whose commitment to people and client service is what sets it apart in the competitive design industry. He looks forward to seeing what next great project, employee or mission the firm takes on in the next decade and beyond.
Bachelor of Architecture
Georgia Institute of Technology
Memberships & Affiliations:
Member, American Institute of Architects (AIA)
Member, National Council for Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB)
LEED Accredited Professional (LEED AP)