Cope Linder Architects, whose work includes the Element by Westin and W Hotel project rising over Center City, has been acquired by architecture-and-design firm Nelson.

The merger of the Philadelphia firms, which became effective June 1, will create a combined local workforce of 125, Nelson said in a release.

Also joining Nelson on June 1 was KA Architecture of Cleveland, according to the release.

Nelson chairman and chief executive John "Ozzie" Nelson Jr. described the acquisitions as a "first strategic move" by his company toward competing for high-rise assignments and other large-scale projects.

Nelson's Society Hill headquarters was recently acquired by developer Tom Scannapieco, who has said he has plans for a condo project involving the site.

Nelson spokeswoman Laura Johnson had no immediate details about if or when the firm would move from that building.