50 Years of Architecture and Design

SGPA was founded in 1969 when Donald Schoell, Eugene Geritz, Robert Paul and Arthur Allard merged their architectural practices to form a new entity. Since opening our doors, we’ve designed an integral part of the Southern California and Bay Area landscape, providing places for thousands of people to live, gather, learn, and heal.

Today, we make up over 50 people across three offices in San Diego, San Francisco, and Fresno. Our founders could never have imagined the videoconferencing and collaborative technologies that allow us to function as one team across time and distance. So we can’t possibly imagine where technology will take us over the next few decades.

What we do know is that marketplaces will continue to change, especially as densification and mixed-use become more viable and desirable. We will rise to meet these changes by keeping our focus on what’s important: creating places that enrich daily life.

SGPA by the decades

What began as a retail-focused firm has grown into a mixed-use practice focused on retail, education, senior living, wellness, and residential.

  • 1970s: Our firm was founded in 1969 when four young architects—Schoell, Geritz, Paul, and Allard—combined their practices to form SGPA. Throughout the 1970s, we built a name for ourselves in retail and office work.
  • 1980s: As we grew and opened a second office in San Francisco, we branched out into mixed-use and larger-scale projects, creating such landmark projects as the Uptown District, Hazard Center, and a Horton Plaza renovation.
  • 1990s: We found success in the civic market with the San Diego International Airport expansion. Our San Francisco office also began taking on large-scale work throughout the Bay Area, including mixed-use village centers such as the Shops at Waterford and Rivermark Village.
  • 2000s: Our scope expanded as we added our Wellness studio to focus on clinic and senior living projects. Three-dimensional design technologies and building information management came to the forefront of our daily lives.
  • 2010s: The Education studio launched into full swing, focusing on K–12 and University projects.
  • Today: Now with three offices throughout California, we are focused on combining our diversified strengths into people-centric projects with a smart blend of uses.