Now in its 30th year, Smith Dalia Architects (SDA) has enhanced communities through historic preservation & adaptive use, multi-family, mixed-use & university architecture — always on the beat of social change. SDA’s practice has expanded from design that honors history and place to designs anchored in sustainability. Located in Atlanta’s Old Fourth Ward, SDA has consistently transformed underutilized buildings and blighted neighborhoods into vibrant communities.
SDA was organized in 1987 from the shared vision of Markham Smith and Tom Dalia, who believed that responsible architecture could spark positive community change. Their professional beginnings in the richly historic city of New Orleans involved high-profile historic preservation projects, which readily translated to the Atlanta streetscape.
SDA’s other principals are Dan Koch, Greg Cross, Robyn Zurfluh and Brian Whitfield – each specialists in their own right. The firm is experiencing new growth and change as it embraces younger principals; the age of the Millennial; and the blossoming of Atlanta’s streetscapes and skylines. SDA’s projects have received 29 design awards in the past 5 years alone, including the ULI Atlanta “Development of Excellence” award for Inman Quarter.
One of the first firms to undertake large-scale adaptive use of industrial buildings, SDA helped forge an architectural vocabulary now iconic to urban Atlanta. Its long-term links with City government and the Atlanta BeltLine, affordable housing agencies and neighborhood groups effectively realize even intricate programs.
The Firm’s central tenet of common-sense sustainability is fostered via comprehensive LEED and other sustainability services. Although SDA has designed and built four LEED Platinum buildings, sustainable features are in-built into every design.
SDA’s focus also includes the affordable housing and nonprofit market, restoring a human face to these projects. Its LEED Gold Retreat at Edgewood won four design awards amid a complex public/private partnership. By de-institutionalizing traditional expectations of affordability, Smith Dalia has improved the quality of life for many disadvantaged persons.