McMillan Pazdan Smith
is a regional, studio-based architecture, planning, and interior design firm whose mission is to help you — our client, create environments that embody your vision, enrich your brand, and enhance the quality of your communities.
Client service is, and always has been, at the heart of who we are and what we design. Many projects stem from repeat clients, a testament to our focus on design excellence and service to manage your unique needs.
We value a relationship-based (rather than a project-based) business model, which means our studios and project teams work diligently to develop a mutually beneficial, respectful client relationship based on trust, regardless of project size or scope.
When preparing for future growth and expansion, clients turn to us to examine and recommend the best options through a master planning exercise. Our planning and design studies include development and comprehensive planning, district and precinct planning, as well as usability or feasibility studies. These plans investigate optimal economic, environmental, and social factors that influence project needs and guide development over time.
Key stakeholders are brought in for a participatory process during each stage of master planning, which includes understanding the mission, goals, and metrics driving the institution or development opportunity. A discovery process includes site assessment, concept planning with options, design charrettes, initial budgetary numbers, and final recommendations.
When setting out to begin a design and construction project, nearly all of our clients ask the same questions: Is it feasible? Can we accomplish the pro forma goals while meeting our aesthetic and functionality objectives? Our feasibility process in the pre-design stage can give you answers before significant investment takes place.
The practice of Architecture encompasses everything we do. We help clients create environments that enrich their lives and enhance the quality of their communities. We strive to add value on each project by identifying ways to support peak performance — for the client, the building’s inhabitants, and the lasting contribution to the community fabric.
Our teams work collaboratively to deliver a superior client experience. The quality of any given project is based not only on aesthetics, technical attributes, cost-effectiveness, and timely delivery, but also through effective communication, collaboration, management, and execution of our design process.
An assessment of existing facilities includes a detailed analysis of the building along with creative options for potential adaptive reuse or improved performance. Our goal is to maximize the operational performance and purpose, so the investment returns to an optimal commercial asset for the owner. The process includes structural / site / function and context assessments, a building system analysis, an ADA review for code compliance, and creative considerations to identify the functional and aesthetic possibilities of a new purpose.
With over 100 years of combined experience, our interiors team has partnered with organizations and institutions across the Southeast to create individualized interior spaces with the power to inspire and engage.
We strive first to understand the client’s unique culture, brand, and over-arching purpose. Through the creation of well-designed and distinctive spaces, we are able to influence positive human behavior, increase performance and engagement, and encourage a sense of wellbeing and comfort. Our environments exemplify flexibility, safety, and functionality while representing the quality of an aesthetically pleasing and delightful experience for visitors and users.
One of McMillan Pazdan Smith’s distinguishing characteristics is our emphasis on the construction administration process and successful project close-out. Our construction administration professionals are trained to identify and resolve issues before they affect a project’s budget and schedule. We act as the client representative, constantly monitoring quality and keeping the project on time with consistent oversight, detailed documentation, and a team-oriented approach.
The construction administration team is engaged in the initial design phase to ensure selection of the most cost-effective construction materials and techniques. We are proficient in working within all methods of design and project delivery, using design-build, design-bid-build, partnering, construction-management-at-risk, and construction management methods with great success.
Speed-to-market and effective communication can give our clients a competitive edge in the design and construction process. We invest in the most advanced and proven technological tools to support collaboration among designers, consultants, contractors, and clients. Our design technology supports:
- Instantaneous feedback
- Cloud-based and mobile-friendly interface
- Improved clash detection with Building Information Modeling (BIM)
- Virtual reality (VR) capability to experience the space before it is built
- Building systems performance and construction detailing
McMillan Pazdan Smith strives to design buildings that are good stewards of the earth and the people who use them. From the initial stages of a project, we encourage a holistic view of the capital costs and the projected costs for operation and maintenance.
We are well-versed in achieving optimum results through the WELL Building Standard, a performance-based rating system that measures and certifies the building and its impact on human health and wellness.
Our sustainability framework examines building processes and lifecycle costs in environmental categories such as site and resource development, water and energy efficiency, indoor air quality, and the use of sustainable materials. Sustainability initiatives include certifications from the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED (or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) program, Green Globes, Energy Star, and the Georgia Peach Green Building Certification program.
Experienced in the conservation, restoration, and reuse of the built environment, historic preservation continues to be a guiding principle and special area of interest. Clients include city and county governments, private developers, and educational institutions who wish to preserve the history and heritage of the past — while addressing the financial, cultural, and technological requirements necessary for a building’s modern use. We understand that a specific site may represent significant historic context to a community, and a new design must appreciate that past while looking toward its future.
Restoring historic structures comes with the additional challenge of integrating new buildings into an existing or historic setting. Great care is taken to make these new or renovated additions both attractive and compatible with the surrounding environment while still meeting your established design guidelines.
Our expertise is often helpful in securing funding and raising support for historic projects. A long track record of proven proforma success is built on the foundation of strong municipal relationships, a thorough understanding of historic districts, and deep technical knowledge of standards and regulations. From this position of strength, we can help you effectively market your historic design project to financial agencies, moving a project from wish-list to accomplishment.
Our Core Values
We are client focused, sharing our clients’ values and understanding their needs and aspirations. From the earliest stages of design, we identify critical factors that breed success, and we use all necessary resources to exceed our clients’ expectations.
Our work follows a thoughtful, collaborative process that is inclusive of the client group, design professionals across disciplines, and experts in specific fields. Collaboration contributes to best practices in project management and construction administration.
Through the work in each of our studios, we strive to create a balance between serving the immediate needs of the client and the greater good of the community as a whole. Our clients share this central belief in community-oriented design.
We endeavor to treat everyone fairly and with respect. We value diversity in all forms and strive to create an atmosphere in which every individual rises to their highest potential. We believe in the dignity of the workplace.
We strive to achieve “Good Design,” defined as functional, beautiful, cost-effective, and well-constructed. We believe that Good Design is long lasting and contributes to the quality of life for our clients and all communities.
Practicing since 1955, we currently have offices throughout the Southeast in Charleston, Columbia, Greenville, and Spartanburg, SC; Asheville and Charlotte, NC; and Atlanta, GA.
400 Augusta Street
Greenville, SC 29601
127 Dunbar Street
Spartanburg, SC 29306
121 Calhoun Street
Charleston, SC 29401
328 West Carson Boulevard,
Charlotte, NC 28203
47 Rankin Avenue
Asheville, NC 28801
434 Marietta Street NorthWest
Atlanta, GA 30313
1316 Washington Street
Columbia, SC 29201