Associate Principal

Sara Beardsley







Illinois Institute of Technology

Bachelor of Architecture


Sara Beardsley is an Associate Principal in SCB’s Chicago office focused on sustainable, mixed-use high-rise projects. Working domestically and internationally for over twenty years, Sara has extensive experience working with complex project requirements on challenging and unique sites. Her approach to design stems from a keen interest in livable urban environments, backed by a body of research on topics such as the decarbonization of cities, preservation and adaptive reuse of buildings, and high-performing building envelopes.

Key past projects include the 50-story FKI Headquarters in Korea, which features an integrated solar exterior wall; the 40-story Broadgate Office Tower in London; 830 Brickell Plaza, a 53-story office tower in Miami; the expansion of Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre Company campus, including the city’s only theater-in-the-round; the 95-story 401 N. Wabash (Trump Tower) mixed-use residential and hotel tower along the Chicago River; and the renovation of Mies Van Der Rohe’s Dirksen Federal Courthouse in the heart of downtown Chicago.

Sara is passionate about service to the profession, investing time in research, mentorship, and committee leadership. She currently serves on the AIA Chicago Board of Directors.  Appointed in 2021, she served on the City of Chicago’s Committee on Design, the first of its kind in the city’s history, and is a member of the Chicago Committee on High-Rise Buildings. She has lectured at local universities, and events ranging from Greenbuild and Facades+ to the AIA Women’s Leadership Summit. Her research has been published in the CTBUH Journal, the Tall Buildings Reference Guide, and, most recently: Supertall | Megatall: How High Can We Go? and Residensity: A Carbon Analysis of Residential Typologies. Sara received her Bachelor of Architecture from the Illinois Institute of Technology.

Happenings SCB’s Sara Beardsley Elevated to AIA College of Fellows
Solomon Cordwell Buenz (SCB) is pleased to announce that...