EXCELLENCE is a beginning point
INTEGRITY is at the core of our decision making and actions
EMPOWERMENT with accountability makes better decisions
COLLABORATION leverages the best in everyone
BALANCE gives us fuel to do our best
STEWARDSHIP ensures a future
CARING for each other is what holds us together

In architecture, the foundation is critical. Everything that is outwardly visible and beautiful in a building, and everything a building does for the people who will use it, depends upon a stable structure with the strength to endure over time.

Organizations are no different. Those that succeed and prosper over generations are those with a clear understanding of the core values that drive them. These values serve as a touchstone over time, guiding decisions, policies, and strategies through years of ease and years of change. Leadership structures or business models may evolve over time, but a company’s values tend to remain steadfast.

LS3P’s values of excellence, integrity, empowerment, collaboration, balance, stewardship, and caring have anchored our firm through nearly sixty years of growth and change. We have expanded from a one-man office in Charleston to a firm of over 350 across the Southeast, and we have continuously evolved along with the world around us. Through the decades, we have found that the strength of our values lies in the firm as a whole, depending not upon any one leader or individual, but upon the collective actions of all of us working together to uphold the values that anchor us.

The fact that “excellence” is our first value is not an accident: excellence is a beginning point for everything we do, and it informs all of our values. In our efforts to live out these values as a firm –in our daily interactions as well as our monumental decisions- we’re not working towards “just fine.” We’re striving to reach the highest standards as individuals and as a firm. That’s what keeps a guy like me around for 32 years and counting, and what drives our success.

LS3P’s values support our vision: “In our commitment to the Southeast, we create architecture that enriches community through a culture of design excellence, expertise, innovation, and collaborative engagement.” We are, first and foremost, a design firm, and design excellence is our contribution to our clients and our communities. We believe that every project, no matter how big or small, presents an opportunity for design excellence, and that every design matters to the people who will use it. Alchemy, our internal Knowledge Team dedicated to design excellence, serves as a firmwide resource to elevate our work. Our Design Leaders are on call to contribute ideas, lead charrettes, and offer perspectives to help every project reach its full potential, regardless of size or project type or budget. This design collaboration is instrumental to our success.

Our ability to achieve excellence in our designs depends upon excellence in all of the business and practice functions that keep our firm and our projects running smoothly. To that end, LS3P has invested in multiple new Knowledge Teams devoted to innovation (Ignite), sustainability (Integrate), risk management (Advance), and interiors (Image). Working with team members from across all offices and all experience levels, we dedicate time to examine our processes, disseminate knowledge, and explore new opportunities in support of our projects, our teams, and the firm.

Similarly, LS3P’s Operations and Finance Managers (OFMs) focus on excellence in business and practice in each office. This role exists to help streamline workflows for better efficiency and productivity, allowing project teams to focus on design. OFMs have the privilege of working closely with staff at all levels to deliver the best results for our projects and our clients, and providing the resources necessary for each team member to thrive, succeed, and develop as professionals. As OFMs we learn and grow along with our office teams, and we are proud to collaborate in pursuit of excellence in all that we do.

Our product is architecture, and the value of our work warrants an unwavering commitment to its betterment. The buildings we design have a lifespan of 50-80 years (and beyond), and the design choices we make today will continue to impact our communities for decades. Our design choices have profound impacts on energy use, carbon emissions, resource conservation, and human and environmental health. Designing for excellence in terms of sustainability and resilience will continue to be critical as climate change intensifies.

In striving for excellence, we set a high bar for continuous improvement. We are dedicated to listening to our clients, our colleagues, and the people who will inhabit the spaces we design, and we understand the importance of transparency and two-way communication. We strive to be proactive in our work to build a better built environment, and reflective about the ways in which we can improve as we work for together with integrity towards excellence and positive change.

About Allen

LS3P Principal Allen Taylor serves as Operations and Finance Manager for the Columbia office, overseeing day-to-day management of projects and staffing allocations.  He also serves as Studio Leader for the office. Celebrating 32 years with the firm, he started as an intern architect in the Charleston office before relocating to Columbia in 2005 to help grow the firm’s new “start-up” office.

Throughout the years, Allen has developed a solid background in sustainable project design, project management, and quality control document production while also gaining considerable experience in a variety of project types, including educational, correctional, military, commercial, and others.   With a passion for renewable energy early in his career, Allen spearheaded LS3P’s commitment to sustainable design to maximize both economic and environmental performance.  Over the last two decades, he has focused on K-12 schools in the design and management of new and renovation/additions projects, many of which are award-winning.  Through this work, he has developed long-lasting relationships with clients who consider him their trusted advisor.