Celebrating our 85th Anniversary: Architectural Sketches

This year Steffian Bradley Architects (SBA) is incredibly fortunate to be celebrating 85 years in business. We are commemorating this milestone with a series of blog articles on our past, present and future.

My favorite part of this blog campaign is that it gave us an excuse to dig through our old archives. In doing so we discovered hundreds of hand drawn sketches that dated back to SBA’s beginnings. Looking through these drawings, we couldn’t help but become mesmerized as we created a visceral connection with each one.

In today’s “digital” world, computer-aided design software is a core part of the architectural design process.  We use these programs to develop designs, produce construction documents and make presentations. To some degree, architectural sketching has become a thing of the past, but we believe sketching will always hold upmost importance in design. Through sketches we are able to express the interaction of our mind, eyes, and hands, conceptualizing architecture in a way computers cannot.

For this month’s feature we wanted to share some of our favorite sketches. We’ve included a range of drawings- some are of projects Edwin Steffian designed, others depict structural layouts, while some detail objects and landscapes. 

Our hope is  that these sketches will encourage you pick up a pen, pencil, paintbrush- whatever it is -  and let your imagination take over! Because, what is architecture without sketches?


The above sketch was showcased in a promotional brochure created by William C. Codman and Son & Elmer H. Bright & Co. for their properties on Gerrish Island, ME. The sketch depicts “the type of small, simple summer place which can be built at moderate cost (around $5,000) and which will provide a comfortable summer home for a family of four or five with accommodations for week-end guests.”

The following two sketches are the proposed floor plans for the home.



As we continue look back upon our history, we are excited to share special moments that have shaped the foundation of who SBA is today. As always, we feel very fortunate and honored to be able to continue to design environments that enhance people’s lives, and hope to be able to do so for the next 85 years!


  • NFPA Journal- Looking at the Evidence

    Post by Kirsten Waltz, AIA, ACHA, EDAC, LEED AP - President U.S....

    Looking at the Evidence- How a New England hospital utilized the evidence-based design process to recognize efficiencies, save money, and, most important, improve patient outcomes The full publication with graphics can be found in the Jan/Feb 2018 issue of the NFPA Journal

  • The Center for Health Design- Member Spotlight: Kirsten Waltz

    The Center for Health Design started the year with a member spotlight on SBA's...

  • SBA Announces 6 Promotions

    Steffian Bradley Architects (SBA) is pleased to announce the promotion of Theresa Harris, AIA, NCARB, EDAC, LEED AP BD+C to Principal. Harris has been with SBA for 4 years in her previous role as Associate Principal, serving as a senior healthcare planner and architect for SBA

  • Seven Workplace Design Trends

    Post by Chu Foxlin – Principal, Design Director 

    I have found that the main driving design factors in a commercial workplace environment are typically quite similar to those in a healthcare or science research environment. Designs must utilize real estate in the most efficient and productive manner in order to create a space

  • Healthcare Meets Retail: Be One of the First to See Mass General Assembly Row Primary Care Facility

    Post by Nicole Ward - Senior Designer/Manager, Interior Design

    Steffian Bradley Architects (SBA) recently completed the design and construction of Mass General Assembly Row Primary Care facility located at Assembly Row in Somerville, MA. Mass General Assembly Row Primary Care is an innovative, team-based primary care practice located in

  • 08/23/2016

    Two prominent Pioneer Valley companies, Valley Venture Mentors (VVM) and Paragus, enlisted SBA to create a masterplan for their future combined space, which includes a new innovation cafe and restaurant, roof-deck, and 4-story open office co-working space. VVM provides key support to the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Springfield and the greater Pioneer Valley by uniting carefully selected

  • 10/23/2015

    Located on an island off Xiamen, a major city in southeastern China, Gulangyu is a small 0.77-square-mile pedestrian-only tourist destination that is home to approximately 20,000 residents. On Gulangyu’s narrow streets, only electric tourist buggies and a few fire trucks provide any vehicular traffic. Songyu ferry terminal had currently become inadequate to meet the demands of local and

  • 10/22/2015

      2014 was a year of breakthroughs for development in Qianhai, China. This rapidly expanding hot spot saw extensive new construction, financial innovations, property development, and institutional progress. 20 important projects were initiated by Qianhai in December.    Investment for these new projects totaled more than $16 billion (US). They will include

  • 06/15/2015

    The new Art Performance Center at Berkshire Hills Music Academy is currently in design and we couldn't wait to share these exterior sketches by Principal Designer Derek Noble, AIA, LEED AP. To learn more about this project, check out our previous blog post.   

  • 04/06/2015

    Reception Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) intends to open a 21,300 square-foot Outpatient Oncology and Infusion Center in Waltham, Massachusetts. This Center will provide cancer patients with ongoing evaluation, planning, treatment, and follow-up services subsequent to diagnosis. It is intended to accommodate the growing needs of MGH’s Cancer Center patients who are seeking care closer to