Anshen & Allen

Anshen and Allen was an international architecture, planning and design firm headquartered in San Francisco with offices in Boston, Columbus, and London.[1][2] The firm was ranked eighth for sustainable practices,[3] and nineteenth overall in the "Architect 50" published by Architect magazine in 2010.[4] They also ranked twenty-eighth in the top "100 Giants" of Interior Design 2010.[5]

Anshen and Allen Architects
Founded1940 (1940)
San Francisco, California
FounderBob Anshen
Steve Allen
Number of locations
4 offices (2010)
Area served
Key people
Roger Swanson, CEO


Anshen and Allen was founded by Samuel Robert "Bob" Anshen (1910-1964) and William Stephen "Steve" Allen Jr. (1912-1992) in San Francisco in 1940. Anshen was born in Revere, Massachusetts, in 1910 to Louis Joseph Anshen and Sarah Jaffee, both of whom were Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe. At the time of his birth, they owned a jewelry shop and were prosperous enough to afford a servant.[6] Allen was born in Neptune Township, New Jersey, in 1912.[7]

Their relationship began while they were studying at the University of Pennsylvania School of Architecture. Upon graduation, they both received a traveling fellowship that eventually led them to San Francisco in 1937.[8]

Keck Science Center at Pepperdine University, designed by Anshen and Allen

Their first project was the Davies House, a 6,000-square-foot (560 m2) Tudor Gothic inspired mansion in Woodside, California, commissioned by Ralph K. Davies, a senior vice-president of Standard Oil of California. The house was completed on November 30, 1941. After the end of World War II, as a generalist practice, the firm developed gas station prototypes for Standard Oil, parking garages and interior naval architecture.

Joseph Eichler and John Calder Mackay, both residential real estate developers, commissioned Anshen and Allen to build the initial Eichler homes and Mackay Homes in the California Modernist style beginning in the 1950s.[9][10][11] The firm continued to build tract housing until 1962.

In the late 1970s and early 1980s, under the leadership of Derek Parker, the firm was transformed into a modern international architectural practice.

During the mid-2000s, Anshen and Allen adopted the use of Building Information Modeling (BIM).[12] In 2007, Anshen and Allen participated in the development of Integrated Project Delivery by serving on the IPD Definition Task Group of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) California Council.[13]

Anshen and Allen used shipping containers in their design for clinics for Containers 2 Clinics (C2C), a nonprofit organization that provides access to healthcare for women and children in rural areas.[14]

In 2009 the firm was identified as specializing in sustainable designs for the healthcare and academic markets.[15][16][17]

Anshen and Allen was acquired by Stantec in 2010.


The Anshen and Allen papers are kept in the Environmental Design Archives at the University of California, Berkeley.[18]

Selected projectsEdit



  1. ^ Building Design & Construction. July 7, 2009. "Top 75 International Design Firms." Archived 2009-12-23 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ Tulacz, Gary J. Engineering News-Record. April 21, 2010. "The Top 500 Design Firms."
  3. ^ Dickinson, Elizabeth Evitts (28 April 2010). "Top 10: Green". Architect. Retrieved 2010-05-06.
  4. ^ Hurley, Amanda Kolson (28 April 2010). "The 2nd Annual Architect 50". Architect. Retrieved 2010-05-06.
  5. ^ Davidsen, Judith (1 January 2010). "2010 Giants: A Spoonful of Sugar". Interior Design. Retrieved 2010-04-18.[permanent dead link]
  6. ^ "Samuel Robert Anshen (Architect)". Pacific Coast Architecture Database. Accessed 18 March 2021.
  7. ^ "William Stephen Allen Jr. (Architect)". Pacific Coast Architecture Database. Accessed 18 March 2021.
  8. ^ Cleper-Borkovi, Felicia et al. (2007). Modernity in Healing and Learning: The Architecture of Anshen + Allen.
  9. ^ Arbunich, Marty. (2002). Eichler: Modernism Rebuilds the American Dream.
  10. ^ Ditto, Jerry et al. (1995). Eichler Homes: Design for Living.
  11. ^ "Mid-Century Mackay Homes Deserve Respect". The Eichler Network. Retrieved 2017-02-26.
  12. ^ Barista, Dave. Building Design & Construction. July 28, 2009. "BIM Adoption Rate Exceeds 80% Among Nation's Largest AEC Firms" Archived 2010-04-19 at the Wayback Machine.
  13. ^ Integrated Project Delivery Definition Task Group, May 15, 2007. Integrated Project Delivery: A Working Definition Archived August 16, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  14. ^ Nicholas Tamarin (25 March 2010). "Anshen + Allen Turns Containers Into Clinics". Interior Design.
  15. ^ Engineering News-Record. July 6, 2009."The Top 100 Green Design Firms".
  16. ^ Building Design & Construction. July 7, 2009. "Top 100 Healthcare Design Firms." Archived 2009-12-23 at the Wayback Machine
  17. ^ Building Design & Construction. July 7, 2009. "Top 100 University Design Firms." Archived 2009-12-26 at the Wayback Machine
  18. ^ Anshen & Allen Collection, Environmental Design Archives, University of California, Berkeley.
  19. ^ University of Nevada, Reno. Facilities Services. Campus Architectural Drawings Collection; AC 0645. University Libraries; University of Nevada, Reno
  20. ^ Beautyman, Mairi. Interior Design. June 27, 2005. "Anshen + Allen Architects Receives AIA Award."
  21. ^ Fabris, Peter. Building, Design and Construction. May 1, 2007. "Nurturing a Passion for Healthcare."
  22. ^ Beautyman, Mairi. Interior Design. February 14, 2008. "IIDA Northern California Bestows Honor Awards."
  23. ^ Tamarin, Nicholas. Interior Design. October 5, 2009, "Anshen + Allen Snag LEED Silver for Columbus Office."
  24. ^ Tamarin, Nicholas. Interior Design. April 16, 2009. "Northwestern Health-Care Facility Wins Vista Award." Archived April 23, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  25. ^ Editorial staff (1 October 2009). "To Your Health". Contract. Archived from the original on 2010-04-20. Retrieved 10 November 2010.

External linksEdit