LEGACY OF DESIGN EXCELLENCE

A SOLID FOUNDATION

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.

 

STRATEGIC EXPANSION

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. 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, LLC 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.

 

LS3P TODAY

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. Major practice areas include aviation and transportation, office, residential, K-12 education, healthcare, higher education, hospitality, worship, and federal projects.

 

A CLEAR MISSION FOR THE FUTURE

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.

V I S I O N
In our commitment to the Southeast, we create architecture that enriches community through a culture of design excellence, expertise, innovation, and collaborative engagement.

Over the last two years, LS3P has engaged in an intensive, deliberate process of planning for the next stages of our Firm’s evolution. The new strategic plan that emerged from this important endeavor is rooted in our enduring foundational values while setting ambitious goals to position us for future opportunities. As we look towards the next five years, we are proud of our accomplishments and excited about our forward momentum. As we worked through this evolution process, the new Vision that emerged quickly became a touchstone, helping us to develop our strategic goals and reinforce our values.

Laying the Groundwork
Why invest such a significant amount time and energy in creating and refining a Vision? Our aim is twofold: to help us plan and prepare for the future, and to unite us around an important, inspiring shared purpose. Vision, simply defined, is “the ability to think about or plan the future with imagination or wisdom.” Having developed our Vision with a deep understanding of our culture and values, we are better able to imagine our future as a high performing, high-purpose firm. Our Vision translates directly into actions, and becomes the lens through which we weigh, determine, and measure our decisions, operations, growth, investments, and client experiences.

Creating a shared purpose is an equally important consideration in implementing our Vision. When each of us has the opportunity to align with a shared Vision, we can all pull in the same direction and magnify our efforts. When a Vision is shared and communicated, we begin to internalize and believe it; when we believe in our Vision, we put it into practice; when we practice our Vision, it becomes inherent in everything we do.

Unpacking the Key Components
Our Vision contains a number of key components, each of which is core to our identity and collective values. We begin with our commitment to the Southeast; we are deeply committed to this region that we are proud to call home. Though we work outside of this geographic footprint, our eight Southeastern offices represent our significant investment in the cities and states where we have deep roots. Our knowledge of, and passion for, designing within this particular climate, culture, and tradition is unmatched for any other firm. Also foundational to our Vision is the concept of architecture that enriches community. We design buildings with careful attention to context and placemaking, with the needs of our clients and communities at the forefront, and with our process guided by these ideals and not by any preconceived notion of “style.” We design buildings for the greater good, striving with each project to create value – economic and cultural – for the people who will use it.

The tools which help us to implement these big ideas of commitment and community are design excellence, expertise, innovation, and collaborative engagement. These key elements drive the high performance work we do through our “design first” approach to projects, our industry-wide thought leadership, and our culture of authentic collaboration – both internal and external.

Translating Vision into Practice
Our Vision informs our practice, both in big-picture ideas and fine-grained details.

  • We have invested in new leadership roles (Chief Practice Officer, Chief Relationships Officer, Marketing & Communications Officer, Practice Leaders, Design Leaders, Knowledge Teams, and many others) and are aligning these roles with our Vision.
  • Our Vision will inform planning for future expansion into new markets and sectors and a greater geographic reach between and beyond our current office locations.
  • Our Vison compels us to find innovative ways to drive better design, create efficient processes, and elevate architecture that enriches our communities.
  • We are committed to collaborating at a level at which the right people on the right project maximizes design excellence and expertise.
  • We have developed a Strategic Plan that responds to the tenets of the vison, adding guidance to our purpose for future growth and success.
  • A clear Vision lends clarity to our decision making about how we grow into the future, make strategic hires, determine our relationships, develop markets and sectors, and so on.

 

Building Stronger Relationships
Our Vision is also critical to supporting and growing our greatest asset- our people. Our Vision is an important tool for attracting and retaining talent.  Do we think about recruiting and interviewing as a Vision-based concept? Could our annual performance reviews be measured around the Vision? As we strive for excellence in all that we do, does our Vision inspire aspirational goals to retain our best people? Our Vision is also key to building organizational culture.  Coupled with our Values, our Vision strengthens our cultural themes throughout the firm.  While our offices have unique place-based characteristics, our culture is the common Vison-based and Values-based thread that binds us together. Inspired by our Vision, we are committed to cultivating deeper relationships that matter across all of our communities.

If we allow our Vision to guide us, our paths begin to align, our future is clearer, and our reach is beyond our greatest imagination.