Graham Downes Architecture Inc., whose namesake owner died last month, said the loss of its visionary founder is too great to overcome and will close its doors effective June 30.

Maria Carrillo, senior designer and longtime employee, said Downes, a South African native who moved here in 1986, was ingrained in the business so deeply that the surviving team determined that closing was necessary to properly honor his legacy.

The firm’s final project was a revamp of Tom Ham’s Lighthouse on Harbor Island which opened earlier this month, and will feature a plaque in tribute to the late architect.

Downes founded the firm in 1994 while the region was in an earlier recession. The business acquired a reputation as an innovative designer of urban mixed-use projects. Among the more notable are Hard Rock Hotels in San Diego and Puerto Vallarta, Padre Hotel, Tower 23 Hotel, Basic, Quicksilver, and Charlotte Russe.

— SDBJ Staff Report