SB Architects, an international architecture firm renowned for creating award-winning design solutions tailored to the distinctive heritage and character of each location, is pleased to announce the appointments of Keith Houchin, Harris Christiaansen, Matt Peterson, and Krystal Solorzano to the role of Associate Principal. Since the firm was founded in 1960, SB Architects has expanded its portfolio and grown its practice across the globe. From Austin to Albania and from California to the Caribbean and beyond, the firm has designed a diverse range of projects, from custom residential to hospitality, mixed-used destinations, and multi-family residential communities. With an approach founded on a commitment to design excellence and characterized by open communication and collaboration, the firm has forged lasting relationships with clients, brands, and design partners, and created iconic spaces that exceed clients’ expectations.
Behind these award-winning destinations is a dynamic team of passionate, creative individuals who are nurtured within SB Architects’ collaborative work environment, which was recently recognized in Fortune magazine’s 2021 list of Best Small & Medium Workplaces. While the architectural profession has been ever-changing over the past few decades, shifting from traditional to contemporary architecture and transitioning from CAD to Revit software in project delivery, SB Architects has been able to adapt and evolve with a well-rounded team whose range of skills and design and technical expertise span the entirety of its practice.
“It’s called an architectural ‘practice’ for a reason – we are constantly looking at the markets that we serve and imagining new ways to optimize our approach,” said President and Principal, Scott Lee. “SB Architects has achieved over 60 years of design excellence because instead of resting on our laurels, we continue to innovate, embrace new talent, and cultivate our employees’ unique skillsets and passions. Our newly promoted Associate Principals embody this spirit of growth, and they will be instrumental in shaping the strategic evolution of the firm.”
Looking toward the future, SB Architects aims to improve the scale, quality, and complexity of projects and broaden its global reach. The following individuals have been promoted to help achieve these goals:
Vice President Keith Houchin has been promoted to Associate Principal, having been named Vice President in early 2021. He has been involved in some of the firm’s most significant projects, including the St. Regis Quivira, Los Cabos, Mexico, Pendry Park City Residences, Utah, and The Grand Hyatt Limassol, Cyprus.
“At the beginning of Keith’s career at SB Architects, our very first encounter was presenting a project together for a competition, and we won,” said Lee. “He dove right into the process of presenting the work and managing the design, and at every juncture since that moment, Keith has continued to impress me with his ability to think on his feet, wear many hats, and inspire confidence in others, including the junior staff he mentors. He has made significant contributions to projects with his attention to detail, clarity, and enthusiasm for taking on new challenges, and we are excited to welcome Keith into the ownership of SB Architects.”
Vice President Harris Christiaansen has been promoted to Associate Principal, having been promoted to Vice President in early 2021. His project work includes The St. Regis Quivira, Los Cabos, Crescent Hills Resort in Xiamen, China, and various projects in the Middle East.
“It’s hard to believe Harris has been with SB Architects for just over three years, considering the depth and geographic reach of his project work, from North America to the Middle East and Asia,” said Mark Sopp, Senior Vice President and Principal. “A natural leader and mentor, Harris embodies the traits that will take SB Architects to the next level, and without a doubt, he will be an industry leader for years to come. I’m honored to announce Harris as a new Associate Principal and owner with the firm.”
Vice President Matt Peterson has been promoted to Associate Principal. Working out of SB Architects’ Miami office, Matt’s recent project work includes designing a wide range of structures including multiple restaurants and a waterpark for the 1,000-acre project, Grand Hyatt Baha Mar in Nassau, Bahamas.
“Matt epitomizes everything that an architect should be and has made invaluable contributions to the firm’s practice and company culture over the last eight years,” said Vice President and Principal, Jorey “Shosh” Friedman. “He has earned his nickname, ‘Baha Mar Matt,’ as he has done extraordinary work for Grand Hyatt Baha Mar. With his wicked sense of humor, he makes collaboration on projects thoroughly enjoyable and builds instant rapport with clients. I am fortunate to have worked with him on several projects, both locally and in the Caribbean, and it brings me great joy to announce Matt as a new Associate Principal and member of SB Architects’ ownership team.”
Director of Marketing and Business Development Krystal Solorzano has been promoted to Associate Principal, marking the first time in the firm’s history that an individual who is not an architect has been elevated to the ownership level.
“Albeit Krystal is not an architect, she is integral to the success and operations of the firm,” said Lee. “She raised our business development and marketing efforts to new heights and surpassed the role for which she was hired, informing the overarching direction of the firm with great insight into how we operate, where significant growth opportunities lie, and what is happening in the industry on a global scale. With the ability to think independently, lead others, and respectfully challenge ideas and viewpoints with the betterment of the firm in mind, Krystal has been a guiding force, and this is just the beginning. I’m excited to welcome her to the ownership and look forward to seeing the giant strides she makes in her future.”
From offices in San Francisco, Miami, London, and Hong Kong, SB Architects has leveraged its architectural craft to create hospitality, residential, and mixed-use buildings that elevate the human experience. With a new leadership team that is diverse in skillset and race and ethnicity, age, and gender, the firm will continue its steady evolution, strengthening the core business while expanding its international portfolio.