From the firm’s inception BTA was been a partnership between Michael and Julia based on a shared deep belief in humanistic architecture.  BTA’s built work also reflected Michael and Julia’s insistence that excellent design is not only possible for healthcare architecture and planning but is expected to be achieved. This attitude, passed on to those who worked there, resulted in some of the best healthcare projects in the country.  Some of these are buildings designed by BTA alone or in collaboration with other firms.  Some are programming and master planning for projects designed by others. Many architects and planners had the opportunity to grow at BTA and are now part of many BTA alumni who are actively working in healthcare systems, design firms and construction management.


Michael Bobrow

During the Vietnam era Michael Bobrow was an architect in the USAF Surgeon General’s office and in his last year was appointed to act as the Senior Architect responsible for all Air Force projects during that time.

Michael founded as well as taught for seven years the hospital design program at UCLA one of three such programs in the nation at that time.

Michael made detailed studies of travel distance and other factors to develop efficient nursing unit layouts. Both at UCLA and at BTA he has been a great teacher about the principles of hospital master planning.

He has been involved with several university and other nonprofit boards. Most significantly Michael was President of the Friends of the Schindler House who financially supported its operation until granted funds by the state of California to purchase the house and property and start the rehabilitation of this 1920s icon.

Michael also was President of the board of the resurrected Arts and Architecture magazine.

Michael and Julia’s work and essays have been published in over thirty issues of international architecture and healthcare magazines, as well as being presented at nationwide design conferences.

When working with Julia in their role as Master Planners for the UCLA North Campus they discovered and developed conceptual designs for restoration of Arroyo Bridge which had been buried on the campus since the early forties.


When UCLA was discussing the development of the southern-most portion of the Main Campus as an ambulatory focused zone, they chose to experiment with a design- build approach. While our development team was not selected they chose to use our master plan for the ultimate design and it has been built much as our design proposed.


Julia Thomas

Julia Thomas graduated with the degree M.A. in Architecture form UCLA and in addition to leadership in the management of BTA has been actively involved in the design and planning of projects. Julia Thomas was very influential early in the movement to make hospitals less institutional; to open floor plans to incorporate courtyards and access to natural light and views. She was a pioneer advocate for artificial lighting with color temperatures like incandescent fixtures instead of harsh fluorescents.  She was able to persuade hospital executives that their facilities should be more hotel-like in atmosphere.

Julia was very active on numerous boards particularly at UCLA where as a member of the hospital advisory board generated the interest in the possibility of replacing the original hospital and raise necessary funds for its replacement, ultimately designed by the Pei Partnership.

Julia played the same board role at the Graduate School of Management where Harry Cobb was selected as its designer.  

Further she was active on the UCLA Foundation board and participated and led discussions regarding developing the master plan for the campus.

Julia has been actively engaged in helping to advance the role of women in architecture and planning.  Among her accolades:

Alumni Award for Excellence, University of California, Los Angeles, 1988

Outstanding Leadership Award from the Los Angeles section of the American Planning Assn. for her contributions to women in planning

President of the Committee of 200, an international organization of women corporate presidents

Design Excellence

Projects produced by BTA under the leadership of Michael and Julia received design awards and were featured in publications including Architectural Record and I+U.  Two projects received the Modern Healthcare Award:

Arrowhead Regional Medical Center, San Bernardino, California (with Perkins + Will)

Stanford Cancer Center for Advanced Medicine, Palo Alto, California

Collaborative Spirit:

Michael and Julia fostered a collaborative spirit within the firm as well as working collaboratively in joint efforts with other firms – a prime example is Arrowhead Regional Medical Center in association with Perkins + Will. 

Commitment to future generations:

In their educational and civic activities as well as their commitment to bringing along the aspiring architects within their firm, Michael and Julia have amply demonstrated their commitment to future generations.


Building Type Basics for Healthcare Facilities

Michael Bobrow and Julia Thomas, authors for Chapter 3, “Inpatient Care Facilities”; Co-Authors Richard A. Kobus, Ronald L. Skaggs, and Thomas M. Payette; Stephen A. Kliment, Series Founder and Editor; John Wiley & Sons, Inc.; 2000

Humanizing the Institution – The Architecture of Bobrow/Thomas Associates

Michael Bobrow and Julia Thomas, co-authors; Introduction by Raul A. Barreneche; Edizioni Press, Inc.; 2002

Michael and Julia and the work of BTA have been frequently featured in the Japanese publication a+u- architecture and urbanism.

Michael and Julia have written articles that go beyond the norm of the industry having been published in the Wall Street Journal and frequently in the Los Angeles Times

They also wrote a feature article for the New York Times in July 1993 entitled “Viewpoints: In Health Care, Reform Means Rebuild”.

Representative Healthcare Projects

Daniel Freeman Memorial Hospital, Los Angeles, California

Shriners Hospital for Children, Addition, Los Angeles, California

Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center, Los Angeles, California

City of Hope Office Building and Laboratory

Beckman Laser Institute, University of California, Irvine

Valley Presbyterian Medical Center, Van Nuys, California

Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital, Valencia, California

Santa Monica Hospital, Merle Norman Pavilion, Santa Monica, California

Veterans Administration Outpatient Clinic, Los Angeles, California

Motion Picture and Television Hospital, Brown Pavilion, Woodland Hills, California

U. S. Navy Medical and Dental Clinic, Yuma, Arizona

Mission Hospital, Mission Viejo, California

Stanford Cancer Center for Advanced Medicine, Palo Alto, California

Arrowhead Regional Medical Center, San Bernardino, California (with Perkins + Will)

City of Hope Ambulatory Care Clinic, Duarte, California

University of Arizona Cancer Center Addition, Tucson, Arizona

St Luke’s Medical Center, Main Entrance Outpatient Building, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Natividad Medical Center, Replacement Project, Salinas, California

Program for Cook County Hospital replacement, Chicago, Illinois

Program (Functional Brief) for a major new hospital in the New Territories, Hong Kong, China