Even logical transitions often come as a surprise. Take the news that the office of Venturi, Scott Brown and Associates has officially changed its name to VSBA, LLC to reflect the new ownership of the firm by long-time associate Daniel K. McCoubrey. Robert Venturi, 87, and Denise Scott Brown, 81, announced they are passing the baton to McCoubrey, president and principal of the new firm, and to Nancy Rogo Trainer, also a principal. While McCoubrey says the terms of ownership are confidential, he adds, "the timing seemed right. We finished the Curtis School of Music’s Lenfest Hall in the fall of 2011, and are completing additions and renovations for the Allentown Art Museum [in Pennsylvania], along with the renovation of the 19th-century Fay House at the Radcliffe Institute at Harvard University.” In addition he says, the fact that “the firm had gone from 18 people before the 2008 recession to about 10 today, makes the transition easier to deal with.” McCoubrey, a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Architecture, has worked with Venturi and Scott Brown since 1981, and Trainer, also a Penn graduate, joined the firm in 1987.
As critic Martin Filler says about Venturi and Scott Brown in Makers of Modern Architecture, from Frank Lloyd Wright to Frank Gehry (2007), “Few present-day architects can equal the formidable array of skills they bring to their partnership: brilliant draftsmanship, a superb (if sometimes intentionally quirky) sense of proportion, keen understanding of the power of symbols, acute social insight, and an ability to apply the lessons of history meaningfully to contemporary purposes.”