When “Frank Lucas, Architect” hung out his shingle in Charleston in 1963, he had a one-room office, a brand-new architecture license, and a drafting table built with an old door. His first projects included screened porch additions, a fire station, and a can wash at the local high school. A Clemson classmate, Sidney Stubbs, joined Frank in 1964 to form Lucas and Stubbs, Architects. The young firm entered a summer design competition for The Municipal Auditorium and Exhibition Hall for the City of Charleston. Despite a dramatic thunderstorm which flooded their basement office the night before the deadline, the team won the competition; when Gaillard Auditorium opened to critical acclaim in 1968, it won an Honor Award from the SC Chapter of the American Institute of Architects.

As the firm grew, so did its leadership. By 1982, additional partners included Vito Pascullis, Richard Powell, and Thom Penney and the firm name was changed to Lucas Stubbs Pascullis Powell and Penney, Ltd; in 1991, the lengthy firm name was shortened to LS3P, as it has remained ever since.


LS3P has grown from a one-man office into a thriving firm with over 300 employees across eight offices in three states. A series of strategic mergers over the years has greatly expanded the firm’s portfolio, expertise, and geographic reach. Each firm who has joined forces with LS3P has brought its own unique legacy; each has become an integral part of our identity and our team.  A 1999 merger with TBA2 Associates LLC of Charlotte, NC established the firm’s first North Carolina office while incorporating TBA2’s significant experience with mixed-use environments. LS3P’s Columbia, SC office opened in 2004 to provide a much-needed presence in the capital city. In 2005, LS3P merged with Boney Architects, a highly respected North Carolina firm with offices in Wilmington and Raleigh specializing in K-12 designs. A 2011 merger with Neal Prince Architects of Greenville, SC, brought with it a rich portfolio of residential, worship, and higher education projects, expanding the firm’s presence in the Upstate. 2016 brought two more strategic mergers: Hubbard Architecture of Myrtle Beach, SC expands the firm’s capacity in the Grand Strand/Horry County market, while Dawson Architects greatly enhances the firm’s historic preservation and higher education resources and establishes the firm’s first office outside of the Carolinas.


The editor of DesignIntelligence has called LS3P “the most local of the global firms and the most ‘world-class’ of the locals.” We have enjoyed a long legacy of design excellence, with over 490 design awards across diverse practice areas. Our mission is to “engage, design, and transform.” We believe in collaboration, innovation, and building lasting relationships with our clients, and we are deeply committed to the communities we serve.

Today, the firm is led by CEO Thompson  E.  Penney, who  started  at  the  firm  as  a  high school intern; Chief Practice Officer Katherine N. Peele; and Chief Operations Officer George E. Temple, IV. Major practice areas include aviation and transportation, office, residential, K-12 education, healthcare, higher education, hospitality, worship, and federal projects.


Our mission is simple: To engage our clients and communities, to design meaningful places, with proven results that transform. To us, that means our design excellence is rooted in relationships. These relationships include those with our highly valued team members, with our clients across the region and beyond, and with the communities we serve.