Stephen Ellis

Stephen Ellis

San Francisco, CA, US

View Portfolio


Greetings! My name is Stephen - a CA licensed architect currently practicing in San Francisco. 

I began my architectural journey at the University of Technology's Caribbean School of Architecture in my native Jamaica, attaining my Bachelors in Architectural Studies before pursuing a Masters of Architecture degree at the University of Pennsylvania. During my graduate school years, I spent a semester at the Architectural Association in London. Throughout my years of formal studies, I drew influences from constructibility, sustainability, generative design and other artistic disciplines such as fashion and illustration.

Several of my academic projects have been published in multiple editions of Pressing Matters, UPenn’s official design school journal, and the online forums PitCrit and ArchOutLoud. Additionally, I've earned awards for my underlying appreciation of construction, including the Charles Merrick Gay Scholarship and the Harry E Parker Prize, among others.

My professional experience in the Bay Area has been with Solomon Cordwell Buenz, earning the title of Associate and practicing as a registered architect. There, I developed an expertise in multi-family housing, primarily in the high-rise typology. Lessons learnt from developing a variety of projects fed my passion for user-oriented design at the community scale, assisting grassroots stakeholders in San Francisco. This work consists of pro bono services for United Playaz and the West Bay Filipino Center and advising on a STEAM program for Rosa Parks Elementary School. As a member of several design committees at SCB, I sought opportunities to bridge emerging talents with both the design community and the larger local community in need.

It is the connection between architecture and community that inspires me as an architect. As an instructor at the Academy of Art University, I aspire to build in the students their own awareness of community needs, emotional connections to underserved users of design and to develop their own architectural styles rooted deeply in positivity, thoughtfulness and sensitivity.


Solomon Cordwell Buenz (SCB), San Francisco, CA, US, Associate / Architect

As an Architect, my responsibilities include leading/participating in both conceptual and detailed-level project development, overseeing consultant coordination and working closely with clients, contractors and city officials. As an Associate, my roles include: mentoring junior staff, being a resource for office procedures, digital model management and general architectural knowledge, interviewing of prospective hires, carrying out various Principal-led initiatives within the firm and proposing activities geared at enhancing the office's design culture.

Major Projects //

- The Skylyne at Temescal, Oakland (completed)
- Transbay Block 4, San Francisco
- 1951 Shattuck, Berkeley
- United Playaz Clubhouse, San Francisco (pro bono)
- West Bay Pilipino Multi-Service Center, San Francisco (pro bono)
- Lake Merritt TOD, Oakland (competition)

Oct 2015 - current

Academy of Art University, San Francisco., San Francisco, CA, US, Instructor

Fall 2020 // ARH450 Studio 8: Integrated Design

ARH450, offered in the final year of the program, is an intensive design course that requires students to conceive and execute a comprehensive proposal for an urban housing complex. The proposals are sited in the Bay Area and include a variety of public and residential programs (typically with a multi-generational family component and focused on affordable housing). All students need to demonstrate, in their design, an incorporation of structural systems, building systems, and sustainable strategies.

Aug 2020 - Dec 2020


University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, US, MArch, Architecture

- Harry E Parker Prize, 2015
- John Stewardson Memorial Fellowship Finalist, 2015
- Featured in 2015-16 issue of school journal, Pressing Matters 4 - ‘Cyclical City’
- Featured in 2014-15 issue of school journal, Pressing Matters 3 - ‘Coreless Tower’
- E Lewis Dales Traveling Fellowship Competition 2nd Place Award, 2014
- Charles Merrick Gay Memorial Scholarship, 2013
- TC Chan Center Sustainable Design Competition 2nd Place Award, 2013
- Schenck-Woodman Design Competition 2nd Place Award, 2013

Sep 2012 - Apr 2015

University Of Technology Jamaica ( UTech ), Kingston, Jamaica, Bachelors, Architectural Studies

- Project featured in 2010-11 issue of annual school journal, Axis 11
- Dean’s List Award, 2009, 2010
- Highest Class GPA Award, 2009, 2010
- Outstanding Community Service Award, 2008

Sep 2007 - Apr 2011

Areas of Specialization