SCB is an architecture, planning, interior and urban design firm. Founded in 1931, SCB provides design services from Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, and Seattle.

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Firm History

Since our inception, a strong current of innovation has run through SCB. The design legacy born of our bold and visionary founders continues today through a talented, diverse, and creative community of colleagues, each dedicated to their craft and creating better places.

  • 1931

    Founding of SCB

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  • 1956

    John Cordwell Joins

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  • 1961

    Sandburg Village

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  • 1963

    John Buenz Joins

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  • 1970-80

    Urban Developments

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  • 1983

    John Lahey Joins

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  • 1990

    Interiors Studio Established

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  • 2002

    Planning and Urban Design Studio Established

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  • 2007

    San Francisco Opens

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  • 2007

    A Sustainable Loyola University

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  • 2009

    Honolulu

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  • 2009

    The Legacy at Millennium Park

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  • 2017

    Los Angeles

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  • 2019

    Studio ORD

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  • 2019

    Fulton Market

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  • 2019

    Seattle Opens

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  • 2021

    Boston Opens

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  • 2024

    The Story Continues

    Image

In 1931, Lou Solomon, a recent graduate of the University of Illinois, began the architectural and development firm L.R. Solomon & Associates. The business was focused on buying and remodeling apartment buildings in Chicago and included his brother Irving, who oversaw construction, and sister Sylvia, who served as a property manager. After WWII, the firm expanded and began specializing in the design, construction, and management of modern high-rise apartment buildings along Chicago’s burgeoning Lake Shore Drive. By the mid-1950’s, the practice had shifted solely to architectural design, but the design-build-operate business model left an indelible legacy, instilling a holistic approach to design that addressed a building’s marketability, constructability, and operations.

In 1956, John Cordwell, an English-born and trained architect and planner joined the firm. Shortly thereafter he was elevated to partner, making the firm L.R. Solomon J.D. Cordwell & Associates. During WWII, Cordwell had been a POW in Stalag Luft III where his graphic skills were put to use in forging passports as part of the escape that would be immortalized in the 1963 film The Great Escape. After the war, Cordwell came to Chicago where he worked as a planner for the city, eventually becoming the Director of Planning. During his tenure, he was instrumental in convincing Mayor Martin Kennelly to reserve a mass transit corridor in the center of the city’s new Eisenhower and Kennedy expressways. In retirement, the gregarious Cordwell opened Chicago’s first, and then-only, English pub, The Red Lion Pub in Lincoln Park. Today, his son Colin continues the pub’s operations as proprietor.

In 1961, L.R. Solomon, J.D. Cordwell & Associates, along with developer Arthur Rubloff & Company, won a City of Chicago-sponsored design competition to reimagine a blighted 16-acre parcel of land between LaSalle and Clark Streets on the city’s near-north side. The realized project consisted of 2,610 units of market-rate rental apartments in a mix of five high-rise towers, one mid-rise, and a series of townhomes. A below and above ground parking garage was concealed with landscaped plazas, tennis courts, and pools for the residents. The variety of scales, housing types, and plethora of indoor and outdoor amenities was a radical departure from the highly efficient and dense identical towers that had become the model for most of the urban renewal projects of the 1950s and 60s. The project was completed over the course of eight years, with the final phase delivered in 1971. The legacy of prioritizing the residential experience and building community remains at the core of our multifamily practice today.

In 1963, John Buenz joined the firm after completing apprenticeships under Eero Saarinen and Harry Weese. Buenz began his long tenure with the firm as a design architect and was made a partner in 1968, when the firm became Solomon Cordwell Buenz & Associates. By then, the firm was one of the most recognized high-rise residential practices in Chicago. Buenz helped extend the practice beyond residential into new sectors that included hotels, office buildings, and retail throughout the 1970’s and 1980’s. His landmark Crate & Barrel store on Michigan Avenue established a new paradigm for flagship retail and redefined the shopping experience by glazing the exterior wall to both showcase products to passersby and connect shoppers to the famed retail corridor. In 2019, we helped transform the building into the Starbucks Reserve Roastery, the largest in the world.

SCB’s work on large-scale HUD-sponsored urban redevelopment projects continued into the 1970’s. Projects such as McClurg Court (1971), 111 E. Chestnut (1972), 1555 N. Astor (1975), and Presidential Towers (1979) added thousands of residential units to Chicago’s downtown and along Lake Shore Drive. Marking the end of this era of our practice was 5415 N. Sherdan Road. Originally master planned for three towers in a triangular formation, only one of the 54-story striking black aluminum-clad towers was completed. By the 1980’s, funding for large urban renewal projects had lessened, giving way to smaller, privately sponsored developments. Our expertise in the multifamily market allowed us to meet the design challenges posed by smaller, more constrained urban sites. One example stands at 1418 N. Lake Shore Drive, a 30-story condominium building sandwiched between two existing buildings on a narrow 45-foot-wide parcel. The slender tower features one unit per floor and a saw-toothed eastern facade to optimize views of the lake and Chicago skyline.

John Lahey joined the 18-person Solomon Cordwell Buenz & Associates from Murphy/Jahn in 1983. Initially a project designer, he became a partner in 1986 and ultimately assumed the role of President/CEO in 1993. During his nearly three-decades of leadership, the firm experienced tremendous growth by expanding into new project sectors, practice disciplines, and geographical markets. His strategic business acumen was matched with a keen design sensitivity and charismatic leadership style. SCB transformed from being a small, respected Chicago-based firm into a 350+ person, nationally-recognized design practice with multiple offices throughout the country.

As SCB expanded into new markets and sectors, we also expanded in disciplines, starting an interior design studio under Beth Durkin in 1990. The Walsh Corporate Headquarters became our first fully integrated architecture and interiors project in 1993, setting a precedent for excellence. The studio quickly grew, securing projects for some of Chicago’s premier law firms and corporate offices, including notable names like Hinshaw & Culbertson, Hub Group, Michael Best, Mondelez, United Airlines, Vital Proteins, and Walgreens. Diversification followed, with the practice expanding its work across the country and into the multifamily residential, hospitality, and aviation sectors. Today, with forty-nine million square feet of built work for some of the world’s most renowned developers, companies, and brands, we continue to innovate and redefine the interior experience, ensuring every space we create is both unique and impactful.

Following the legacy of John Cordwell, in 2002 SCB established a planning and urban design studio under Christine Carlyle, a registered architect and planner. The group quickly differentiated itself with its deep knowledge of the complexities of city planning, paired with an understanding of implementable development and architectural design. With the financial crisis of 2008, the practice expanded overseas with numerous large-scale commissions in the Middle East, the largest of which being the Capital City Centre Master Plan in Abu Dhabi in 2010. Stateside, we became a trusted partner to numerous municipalities and community organizations, completing a wide range of comprehensive city, district, downtown, and transit-oriented development plans. Today, our planning and urban design practice is engaged on numerous large-scale projects across the country.

Leveraging the presence of staff coordinating the construction administration of the first-phase tower at One Rincon Hill, SCB officially opened an office in San Francisco in 2007. As the city raised its long-restricted building height limitations, few local firms possessed our level of experience with the building typology, making us uniquely positioned to meet the demands of the quickly emerging market. The newly established office was immediately hit by the 2008 financial crisis yet managed to maintain its presence in the city under the leadership of Chris Pemberton, who had relocated from Chicago to head the new office. The team used the building hiatus to connect with the local development community, completing studies on the numerous high-density residential parcels in the downtown area. These efforts would pay dividends when the market returned and the office quickly grew in staff. In 2012, we expanded into the higher education sector on the west coast with the hiring of nine architects from Sasaki’s shuttered San Francisco office.

Since the early 1980’s, SCB has enjoyed an ongoing partnership with Loyola University Chicago. With the arrival of Rev. Michael J. Garanzini, S.J., in 2001 as the university’s president, we entered a new phase of our relationship with Loyola that would transform the campus and our approach to sustainable design. Under Garanzini’s leadership, Loyola grew its endowment by over $500 million, enabling the university to reimagine its campus and set a new standard for addressing climate change. Over the last two decades and across all three of Loyola’s campuses, we have designed some of the most advanced sustainable buildings in the country. These range from a mixed-use student life, recreation, and athletics complex to a naturally ventilated research lab building to a living-learning community focused on environmental sustainability to a library for the modern day and a vertical campus for the downtown Quinlan School of Business.

SCB’s first foray into Honolulu was winning a design competition for a, ultimately unbuilt, residential building in 2009. Soon to follow, however, was an invitation to compete for One Ala Moana, a luxury condominium project proposed to be built over an existing parking garage. Our attention to the residential experience and unit design led to us being awarded the project, quickly followed by the award-winning Park Lane Ala Moana. This began a decade plus-year history of work on the island with clients including Howard Hughes, Kobayashi Group, MacNaughton, and Brookfield Residential. In 2012 we were engaged to design Anaha, a luxury condominium tower in Ward Village; our first project in the former industrial turned mixed-use district. Since then, we have updated the master plan for the village, completed ʻAʻaliʻi and Victoria Place, and broken ground on The Park Ward Village and Kalae; in total, 2,500 residential units.

Following the completion of Chicago’s Millennium Park in 2004, a surge of residential high-rise development began behind the historic Michigan Avenue Streetwall, capitalizing on the views of the new park. This influx of residential development set in motion the transformation of the Loop from a business district to a mixed-use, 24/7 neighborhood. The SCB-designed Legacy at Millennium Park is the tallest and most complex of these projects. The slender 72-story tower was carefully designed and constructed around three preserved historic facades along Wabash Avenue, which now conceal parking and offer new academic space for the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Upon completion, the project was awarded the Urban Land Institute’s Vision Award for Best Urban Project.

With a decade of growth in the Bay Area, SCB’s west coast practice expanded southward to Los Angeles. Atelier, our first project in the city, was completed in 2017 and was one of the first new mixed-use residential towers downtown. Soon to follow were projects that would transform full-city blocks and redefine the downtown skyline; increase residential density alongside the city’s expanding public transportation system; and add office square footage to meet demand from the evolving entertainment and media industry. When delivered, our current 15 projects under design and in construction will add 3,000 residential units and over four million square feet of office space to the greater Los Angeles area.

In 2018, the City of Chicago announced an international design competition to select an architect for a new O’Hare Global Terminal (OGT) at O’Hare International Airport. With a long history of work at O’Hare and with United Airlines, and a leadership team with significant international aviation experience, SCB embarked on assembling a team that would represent a union of Chicago’s visionary design talent, international expertise in aviation, and proven success at delivering complex, large-scale projects in the city. Ultimately, Studio ORD was formed, a joint venture between SCB, Studio Gang, Corgan, Milhouse Engineering and Construction, and STLarchitects. 40+ additional engineering and specialty consultants also joined the Chicago-based team, whose makeup proudly includes 39% minority and women-owned businesses. The team’s design took inspiration from the iconic convergence of the branches of the Chicago River to create a new hub for international and domestic travel. After a rigorous selection process and public vote, Studio ORD was selected for the transformative project. Once completed, the new OGT will be one of the largest and most advanced airport facilities in the United States.

SCB’s 90+ year legacy in Chicago continues today as the city grows westward. The city’s Fulton Market has transformed from a once industrial and meat-packing district to a vibrant, mixed-use neighborhood with spaces and places for people to live, work, and play. Our experience working in the district spans the firm’s full range of services including architecture, planning, interior and urban design. Our first project in the district was a new headquarters for Vital Proteins, a collagen-based wellness start-up, in 2019. Soon to follow was a new corporate headquarters for Mondelez International, one of the world’s largest snack providers. Working with the City of Chicago’s Department of Planning, we completed a comprehensive set of design guidelines for the district, in the context of the greater West Loop. We have designed and delivered two office projects, 210 N Carpenter and 320 Sangamon, which together have added over 550,000 SF of creative office space to the neighborhood. In addition, we delivered our first residential tower in the district and are engaged on six more residential projects, representing over 1,000 units.

Following the success of the San Francisco office, SCB saw a unique opportunity as one of the country’s leading multifamily design firms to expand into the Pacific Northwest market, which was experiencing record population growth. Building from the successful precedent of growing from within set with the San Francisco office, the Seattle office was opened in 2019 by a team made up of Chicago and San Francisco transplants, led by Nolan Sit. The office was quickly engaged in a series of multifamily high-rise projects, which ground to a halt with the arrival of the Covid-19 pandemic. However, within that challenging time, an opportunity arose. As work became untethered from the office, many smaller cities in the area began to welcome a new crop of remote-working residents. Always nimble, we were able to shift focus to cities like Bozeman, MT, Boise, ID and Redmond, WA where we were instrumental in helping imagine and define an urban residential experience in what were traditional suburban communities. Since opening our office, five projects have broken ground in the region, including 12th & Idaho, the tallest residential building in Idaho.

With SCB firmly established as a national design firm, attention turned eastward. We had long designed and delivered projects up and down the east coast, and in 2019 completed our first in Boston – Hub50House, a 38-story residential tower at the Hub on Causeway, a 1.5 million square-foot mixed-use development encompassing the TD Garden and North Station transit hub. With active and ongoing large-scale projects in Boston, Philadelphia, and the greater DC metro area, we decided that a full-time presence on the east coast would benefit an expanding client base and we opened an office in Boston amidst the pandemic in 2021. Clara Wineberg, a 17-year SCB veteran and principal, relocated to lead the effort. Since opening in 2021, our office has grown in both staff size and active projects in the life science, multifamily residential, office, mixed-use, and higher education sectors.

The most recent chapter of SCB’s history began with two momentous occasions: a global pandemic and a new generation of leadership at the firm. Both events prompted a look toward navigating the future. As a firm, we embarked on a strategic planning process and a re-branding effort to authentically represent who we are, what we do, and why we do it. Today, SCB employs over 250 people across four offices; our established residential, office, mixed-use, and higher education practices have grown to encompass new sectors, including aviation and science and technology; and our impact as designers and planners can be seen in over 100 cities and 65 campuses across the country.

  • 1931

    Founding of SCB

    Image

    In 1931, Lou Solomon, a recent graduate of the University of Illinois, began the architectural and development firm L.R. Solomon & Associates. The business was focused on buying and remodeling apartment buildings in Chicago and included his brother Irving, who oversaw construction, and sister Sylvia, who served as a property manager. After WWII, the firm expanded and began specializing in the design, construction, and management of modern high-rise apartment buildings along Chicago’s burgeoning Lake Shore Drive. By the mid-1950’s, the practice had shifted solely to architectural design, but the design-build-operate business model left an indelible legacy, instilling a holistic approach to design that addressed a building’s marketability, constructability, and operations.

  • 1956

    John Cordwell Joins

    Image

    In 1956, John Cordwell, an English-born and trained architect and planner joined the firm. Shortly thereafter he was elevated to partner, making the firm L.R. Solomon J.D. Cordwell & Associates. During WWII, Cordwell had been a POW in Stalag Luft III where his graphic skills were put to use in forging passports as part of the escape that would be immortalized in the 1963 film The Great Escape. After the war, Cordwell came to Chicago where he worked as a planner for the city, eventually becoming the Director of Planning. During his tenure, he was instrumental in convincing Mayor Martin Kennelly to reserve a mass transit corridor in the center of the city’s new Eisenhower and Kennedy expressways. In retirement, the gregarious Cordwell opened Chicago’s first, and then-only, English pub, The Red Lion Pub in Lincoln Park. Today, his son Colin continues the pub’s operations as proprietor.

  • 1961

    Sandburg Village

    Image

    In 1961, L.R. Solomon, J.D. Cordwell & Associates, along with developer Arthur Rubloff & Company, won a City of Chicago-sponsored design competition to reimagine a blighted 16-acre parcel of land between LaSalle and Clark Streets on the city’s near-north side. The realized project consisted of 2,610 units of market-rate rental apartments in a mix of five high-rise towers, one mid-rise, and a series of townhomes. A below and above ground parking garage was concealed with landscaped plazas, tennis courts, and pools for the residents. The variety of scales, housing types, and plethora of indoor and outdoor amenities was a radical departure from the highly efficient and dense identical towers that had become the model for most of the urban renewal projects of the 1950s and 60s. The project was completed over the course of eight years, with the final phase delivered in 1971. The legacy of prioritizing the residential experience and building community remains at the core of our multifamily practice today.

  • 1963

    John Buenz Joins

    Image

    In 1963, John Buenz joined the firm after completing apprenticeships under Eero Saarinen and Harry Weese. Buenz began his long tenure with the firm as a design architect and was made a partner in 1968, when the firm became Solomon Cordwell Buenz & Associates. By then, the firm was one of the most recognized high-rise residential practices in Chicago. Buenz helped extend the practice beyond residential into new sectors that included hotels, office buildings, and retail throughout the 1970’s and 1980’s. His landmark Crate & Barrel store on Michigan Avenue established a new paradigm for flagship retail and redefined the shopping experience by glazing the exterior wall to both showcase products to passersby and connect shoppers to the famed retail corridor. In 2019, we helped transform the building into the Starbucks Reserve Roastery, the largest in the world.

  • 1970-80

    Urban Developments

    Image

    SCB’s work on large-scale HUD-sponsored urban redevelopment projects continued into the 1970’s. Projects such as McClurg Court (1971), 111 E. Chestnut (1972), 1555 N. Astor (1975), and Presidential Towers (1979) added thousands of residential units to Chicago’s downtown and along Lake Shore Drive. Marking the end of this era of our practice was 5415 N. Sherdan Road. Originally master planned for three towers in a triangular formation, only one of the 54-story striking black aluminum-clad towers was completed. By the 1980’s, funding for large urban renewal projects had lessened, giving way to smaller, privately sponsored developments. Our expertise in the multifamily market allowed us to meet the design challenges posed by smaller, more constrained urban sites. One example stands at 1418 N. Lake Shore Drive, a 30-story condominium building sandwiched between two existing buildings on a narrow 45-foot-wide parcel. The slender tower features one unit per floor and a saw-toothed eastern facade to optimize views of the lake and Chicago skyline.

  • 1983

    John Lahey Joins

    Image

    John Lahey joined the 18-person Solomon Cordwell Buenz & Associates from Murphy/Jahn in 1983. Initially a project designer, he became a partner in 1986 and ultimately assumed the role of President/CEO in 1993. During his nearly three-decades of leadership, the firm experienced tremendous growth by expanding into new project sectors, practice disciplines, and geographical markets. His strategic business acumen was matched with a keen design sensitivity and charismatic leadership style. SCB transformed from being a small, respected Chicago-based firm into a 350+ person, nationally-recognized design practice with multiple offices throughout the country.

  • 1990

    Interiors Studio Established

    Image

    As SCB expanded into new markets and sectors, we also expanded in disciplines, starting an interior design studio under Beth Durkin in 1990. The Walsh Corporate Headquarters became our first fully integrated architecture and interiors project in 1993, setting a precedent for excellence. The studio quickly grew, securing projects for some of Chicago’s premier law firms and corporate offices, including notable names like Hinshaw & Culbertson, Hub Group, Michael Best, Mondelez, United Airlines, Vital Proteins, and Walgreens. Diversification followed, with the practice expanding its work across the country and into the multifamily residential, hospitality, and aviation sectors. Today, with forty-nine million square feet of built work for some of the world’s most renowned developers, companies, and brands, we continue to innovate and redefine the interior experience, ensuring every space we create is both unique and impactful.

  • 2002

    Planning and Urban Design Studio Established

    Image

    Following the legacy of John Cordwell, in 2002 SCB established a planning and urban design studio under Christine Carlyle, a registered architect and planner. The group quickly differentiated itself with its deep knowledge of the complexities of city planning, paired with an understanding of implementable development and architectural design. With the financial crisis of 2008, the practice expanded overseas with numerous large-scale commissions in the Middle East, the largest of which being the Capital City Centre Master Plan in Abu Dhabi in 2010. Stateside, we became a trusted partner to numerous municipalities and community organizations, completing a wide range of comprehensive city, district, downtown, and transit-oriented development plans. Today, our planning and urban design practice is engaged on numerous large-scale projects across the country.

  • 2007

    San Francisco Opens

    Image

    Leveraging the presence of staff coordinating the construction administration of the first-phase tower at One Rincon Hill, SCB officially opened an office in San Francisco in 2007. As the city raised its long-restricted building height limitations, few local firms possessed our level of experience with the building typology, making us uniquely positioned to meet the demands of the quickly emerging market. The newly established office was immediately hit by the 2008 financial crisis yet managed to maintain its presence in the city under the leadership of Chris Pemberton, who had relocated from Chicago to head the new office. The team used the building hiatus to connect with the local development community, completing studies on the numerous high-density residential parcels in the downtown area. These efforts would pay dividends when the market returned and the office quickly grew in staff. In 2012, we expanded into the higher education sector on the west coast with the hiring of nine architects from Sasaki’s shuttered San Francisco office.

  • 2007

    A Sustainable Loyola University

    Image

    Since the early 1980’s, SCB has enjoyed an ongoing partnership with Loyola University Chicago. With the arrival of Rev. Michael J. Garanzini, S.J., in 2001 as the university’s president, we entered a new phase of our relationship with Loyola that would transform the campus and our approach to sustainable design. Under Garanzini’s leadership, Loyola grew its endowment by over $500 million, enabling the university to reimagine its campus and set a new standard for addressing climate change. Over the last two decades and across all three of Loyola’s campuses, we have designed some of the most advanced sustainable buildings in the country. These range from a mixed-use student life, recreation, and athletics complex to a naturally ventilated research lab building to a living-learning community focused on environmental sustainability to a library for the modern day and a vertical campus for the downtown Quinlan School of Business.

  • 2009

    Honolulu

    Image

    SCB’s first foray into Honolulu was winning a design competition for a, ultimately unbuilt, residential building in 2009. Soon to follow, however, was an invitation to compete for One Ala Moana, a luxury condominium project proposed to be built over an existing parking garage. Our attention to the residential experience and unit design led to us being awarded the project, quickly followed by the award-winning Park Lane Ala Moana. This began a decade plus-year history of work on the island with clients including Howard Hughes, Kobayashi Group, MacNaughton, and Brookfield Residential. In 2012 we were engaged to design Anaha, a luxury condominium tower in Ward Village; our first project in the former industrial turned mixed-use district. Since then, we have updated the master plan for the village, completed ʻAʻaliʻi and Victoria Place, and broken ground on The Park Ward Village and Kalae; in total, 2,500 residential units.

  • 2009

    The Legacy at Millennium Park

    Image

    Following the completion of Chicago’s Millennium Park in 2004, a surge of residential high-rise development began behind the historic Michigan Avenue Streetwall, capitalizing on the views of the new park. This influx of residential development set in motion the transformation of the Loop from a business district to a mixed-use, 24/7 neighborhood. The SCB-designed Legacy at Millennium Park is the tallest and most complex of these projects. The slender 72-story tower was carefully designed and constructed around three preserved historic facades along Wabash Avenue, which now conceal parking and offer new academic space for the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Upon completion, the project was awarded the Urban Land Institute’s Vision Award for Best Urban Project.

  • 2017

    Los Angeles

    Image

    With a decade of growth in the Bay Area, SCB’s west coast practice expanded southward to Los Angeles. Atelier, our first project in the city, was completed in 2017 and was one of the first new mixed-use residential towers downtown. Soon to follow were projects that would transform full-city blocks and redefine the downtown skyline; increase residential density alongside the city’s expanding public transportation system; and add office square footage to meet demand from the evolving entertainment and media industry. When delivered, our current 15 projects under design and in construction will add 3,000 residential units and over four million square feet of office space to the greater Los Angeles area.

  • 2019

    Studio ORD

    Image

    In 2018, the City of Chicago announced an international design competition to select an architect for a new O’Hare Global Terminal (OGT) at O’Hare International Airport. With a long history of work at O’Hare and with United Airlines, and a leadership team with significant international aviation experience, SCB embarked on assembling a team that would represent a union of Chicago’s visionary design talent, international expertise in aviation, and proven success at delivering complex, large-scale projects in the city. Ultimately, Studio ORD was formed, a joint venture between SCB, Studio Gang, Corgan, Milhouse Engineering and Construction, and STLarchitects. 40+ additional engineering and specialty consultants also joined the Chicago-based team, whose makeup proudly includes 39% minority and women-owned businesses. The team’s design took inspiration from the iconic convergence of the branches of the Chicago River to create a new hub for international and domestic travel. After a rigorous selection process and public vote, Studio ORD was selected for the transformative project. Once completed, the new OGT will be one of the largest and most advanced airport facilities in the United States.

  • 2019

    Fulton Market

    Image

    SCB’s 90+ year legacy in Chicago continues today as the city grows westward. The city’s Fulton Market has transformed from a once industrial and meat-packing district to a vibrant, mixed-use neighborhood with spaces and places for people to live, work, and play. Our experience working in the district spans the firm’s full range of services including architecture, planning, interior and urban design. Our first project in the district was a new headquarters for Vital Proteins, a collagen-based wellness start-up, in 2019. Soon to follow was a new corporate headquarters for Mondelez International, one of the world’s largest snack providers. Working with the City of Chicago’s Department of Planning, we completed a comprehensive set of design guidelines for the district, in the context of the greater West Loop. We have designed and delivered two office projects, 210 N Carpenter and 320 Sangamon, which together have added over 550,000 SF of creative office space to the neighborhood. In addition, we delivered our first residential tower in the district and are engaged on six more residential projects, representing over 1,000 units.

  • 2019

    Seattle Opens

    Image

    Following the success of the San Francisco office, SCB saw a unique opportunity as one of the country’s leading multifamily design firms to expand into the Pacific Northwest market, which was experiencing record population growth. Building from the successful precedent of growing from within set with the San Francisco office, the Seattle office was opened in 2019 by a team made up of Chicago and San Francisco transplants, led by Nolan Sit. The office was quickly engaged in a series of multifamily high-rise projects, which ground to a halt with the arrival of the Covid-19 pandemic. However, within that challenging time, an opportunity arose. As work became untethered from the office, many smaller cities in the area began to welcome a new crop of remote-working residents. Always nimble, we were able to shift focus to cities like Bozeman, MT, Boise, ID and Redmond, WA where we were instrumental in helping imagine and define an urban residential experience in what were traditional suburban communities. Since opening our office, five projects have broken ground in the region, including 12th & Idaho, the tallest residential building in Idaho.

  • 2021

    Boston Opens

    Image

    With SCB firmly established as a national design firm, attention turned eastward. We had long designed and delivered projects up and down the east coast, and in 2019 completed our first in Boston – Hub50House, a 38-story residential tower at the Hub on Causeway, a 1.5 million square-foot mixed-use development encompassing the TD Garden and North Station transit hub. With active and ongoing large-scale projects in Boston, Philadelphia, and the greater DC metro area, we decided that a full-time presence on the east coast would benefit an expanding client base and we opened an office in Boston amidst the pandemic in 2021. Clara Wineberg, a 17-year SCB veteran and principal, relocated to lead the effort. Since opening in 2021, our office has grown in both staff size and active projects in the life science, multifamily residential, office, mixed-use, and higher education sectors.

  • 2024

    The Story Continues

    Image

    The most recent chapter of SCB’s history began with two momentous occasions: a global pandemic and a new generation of leadership at the firm. Both events prompted a look toward navigating the future. As a firm, we embarked on a strategic planning process and a re-branding effort to authentically represent who we are, what we do, and why we do it. Today, SCB employs over 250 people across four offices; our established residential, office, mixed-use, and higher education practices have grown to encompass new sectors, including aviation and science and technology; and our impact as designers and planners can be seen in over 100 cities and 65 campuses across the country.

SCB Foundation

The SCB Foundation was established to encourage students from wide-ranging socioeconomic and diverse backgrounds in their pursuit of a career in architecture, interior design, and urban planning. Each year, the SCB Foundation awards scholarships to deserving students who are in need of financial assistance to further their design education. In addition, each scholarship is accompanied by a paid summer internship at an SCB office. Learn more about the SCB Foundation Scholarship, as well as how to apply for this year’s program.
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