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About the Office

Swift Lee Office (SLO) is a Pasadena-based, multidisciplinary design collaborative. Our work affirms the importance of architecture and art in both spatial and cultural production, framing civic space as an agent of social change and community connection. We are committed to honoring the cultural, social, and ecological environments and identities that contribute toward a sense of place. We are constantly pushing the boundaries of innovative design that strive to curtail climate change and address social inequities. As a full-service architecture firm, we offer a wide range of services:

  • New Construction Designed for Net Zero Energy

  • Tenant Improvement

  • Additions and Alterations

  • Rehabilitations/Renovations of  Historical Structures 

  • Accessibility Upgrades for ADA Compliance

  • Design and Preparation of Drawings and Specifications

  • Building Evaluation and Feasibility Reports

  • Master Planning and Programming Studies

  • Conditional Use Permit and Entitlement Support

  • Design-Build Project Delivery

  • Civic Art


Our Founding

SLO was founded in Los Angeles in 2000 by Gloria Lee and Nathan Swift. They met while studying at Harvard Graduate School of Design and subsequently established SLO in an artist’s complex in Downtown L.A. SLO was launched as a multidisciplinary design laboratory, combining an architectural design studio, a hands-on prototyping workshop, and a gallery showcasing the work of local artists.

SLO has grown to a full-service architectural firm with an extensive portfolio of complex and innovative civic, educational, residential, commercial, and industrial projects. SLO retains its founding spirit of inventiveness and its interest in the cross-disciplinary practice of architecture. We think of ourselves as design evangelists, preaching the value of ingenious problem solving with a will to experiment, innovate and collaborate.

Nearing the end of our 19th year, we’re looking back, moving forward, and standing still in the here and now.


Our Clients

An iterative process and close collaboration with our clients and expert specialists, make SLO a privileged member in the field of public and private architecture projects.


Alliance Public Schools  

Bright Star Schools 

City of Los Angeles Bureau of Engineering 

City of Pasadena Public Works

Clifford Beers Housing

CoHab Development

County Library of Los Angeles 

Erik Karlshoej Education Foundation 

Fortune School of Education

KIPP: Public Charter Schools

The Korean Scholarship Foundation

Los Angeles County Arts Commission 

Los Angeles Unified School District  

Metropolitan Water District of  Southern California 

Orange County Parks 

Orange County Public Libraries 

Orange County Public Works 

Partnerships to Uplift Communities 

Pasadena Unified School District  

Rocketship Public Schools  

REAL Journey Academies

San Diego Public Works 

Turner Impact Capital, LLC


Awards & Recognition

SLO’s work has been widely recognized through publications, exhibitions, and awards, including AIA/LA design awards, SXSWEDU Learn by Design Finalist, LafargeHolcim Sustainable Construction Award, Citation Award from the National School Boards Association, and a grant from the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts. 



Selected Recognition





AIA Citation Award, Civic Art Installation, Woodcrest Butterfly Wings & Scales

LafargeHolcim Foundation Building Better Recognition, 2017

Sustainable Design Award from Metal Architecture, Twin Rivers Charter School

Selected to present at SXSW EDU “Learn By Design”  



Led Reading Hour as part of public engagement for the LACAC civic art installation project, South Los Angeles

“Infrastructure Space” Forum participant, Detroit, MI



Biocity Symposium, Keynote Speaker, Palermo, Italy

Panel Discussion Lead at the 1st “Next Generation” Awards Lab held in New York City 



Public Engagement Workshop with Trash 4 Teaching at Woodcrest Library, South Los Angeles, CA

Grant from the Open Space District, Los Angeles County Arts Commission for Creative Graffiti Abatement Project



“Economy of Sustainable Construction” Forum participant, Mumbai, India



Pecha Kucha, Femme Fatale

AIA/LA Next LA Award

Special Citation Award National School Boards Association Exhibition of School Architecture

Holcim Global Award for Sustainable Construction   



Winner: Prototype School Design Competition Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Design Charrette 



Creating Green Homes Charrette: Providing a foundation for developing green building criteria for future affordable housing projects in the City of West Hollywood, Global Green USA & The City of West Hollywood

Oberdick Research and Teaching Fellowship, University of Michigan

International Design Resource Awards, Stud Series TM Furniture Line, Honorable Mention



Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, Stud Series TM Research and Development

AIA/LA Design Award, Stud Series TM, Honorable Mention