SBJ Group is a full service architectural and interior design firm
led by Alexander B. Jacobs AIA, Jennifer Cheuk AIA, and
Isaac-Daniel Astrachan AIA. Each principal has over 25 years of
experience with the firm. Originally founded in 1967 as
Stephen B. Jacobs Group, PC, Stephen B. Jacobs FAIA (1939-2021),
along with interior designer Andi Pepper, set the benchmark for
the design excellence and technical expertise for which the firm
is known. Over the decades, we have completed a wide range of
commissions, including high-rise condominiums, international and
boutique hotels, office and educational buildings, adaptive reuse
and preservation projects. In many commissions, the firm has
provided turn-key services, including architecture and interior
design. The combination of architects and interior designers
working together under one roof from day one facilitates a
seamless integration of the two disciplines. The work of the firm
has been extensively published and has won numerous awards for its
A core SBJ Group belief is that design excellence, combined with the highest level of technical know-how, produces a unique level of architectural service that is not readily available. This pragmatic approach differentiates us from our competitors and has made the firm uniquely qualified to provide architectural services for owner builders and developers. Through this experience, SBJ Group has gained an exceptional understanding of the total development process, from the real estate, economic, design, expediting, construction and marketing viewpoints.
SBJ Group is the ultimate team player, and we have served as architect/interior designer, design architect, interior designer, and executive architect.
Housing, encompassing low-rise, mid-rise and high-rise buildings
as well as individual houses and apartments designed for private
clients, are a specialty of the firm. This includes large
scale high-rise projects built in a dense urban context, low
density suburban developments, and everything in between.
Our projects span the entire gamut of the housing industry from government assisted affordable housing to the most expensive rental and condominium projects in the city. Completed projects include The Encore and Hawthorn Park near Lincoln Center, Chelsea Green, 325 Fifth Avenue, The Edge and Level BK in Williamsburg, Alta LIC, wood modular affordable projects in the Hamptons, and Sutton Tower, a 850-foot supertall luxury condominium.
SBJ Group has specialized in hotel design from its earliest days.
We were the originators of the Hotel Gansevoort concept and
popularized the roof top as a hotel amenity.
We designed a significant number of New York City's leading boutique hotels, including 60 Thompson, the Hotel Giraffe, The Library Hotel, the Mansfield Hotel, the original Hotel Gansevoort in New York City's Meatpacking district, as well as the Gansevoort South Hotel in Miami Beach, and the Gansevoort Park Avenue Hotel.
Other hospitality projects include Hotel X in Toronto, citizenM Bowery, the world’s tallest modular hotel, and the recently completed Fouquet’s New York in TriBeCa.
Historic preservation and adaptive reuse have been a focus of the
firm since its inception. Over the years, the firm has
successfully completed the renovation and restoration of numerous
historic buildings, many of which have been listed on the State of
National Register of Historic Properties. SBJ Group was one of the
earliest firms proposing to use obsolete mercantile buildings as
rental and/or condominium housing. Our portfolio is full of
numerous adaptive reuse projects of every imaginable building type
including factories and mills, hospital buildings, carriage
houses, stables, and office buildings.
Stephen B. Jacobs, FAIA, was an early advocate for using obsolete buildings as a housing resource. His projects have become textbook examples of how to develop the highest economic potential of an existing building while, at the same time, preserving its architectural and historical significance. This achievement was recognized by the New York chapter of the American Institute of Architects, when he was awarded the Andrew J. Thomas Pioneer Housing award.
SBJ Group is committed to designing sustainable, efficient, and
environmentally responsible projects. We have several LEED
certified professionals on staff. The firm’s list of LEED
certified buildings includes The Edge, a thousand unit development
on the Williamsburg waterfront, Village Green, Chelsea Green,
Emerald Green, and Hotel X in Toronto.
Our focus on sustainability has been at our core for half a century. We were responsible for the installation of the first large flat plate solar collection system in New York City in 1980 for The Printing House project, as part of the adaptive reuse of a former printing plant into new residential apartments. A HUD grant covered most of the cost of the installation. The firm received one of the earliest conservation awards for that project.
Drawing upon the firm’s extensive experience in Adaptive Reuse, SBJ Group has been designing a number of educational projects over the recent years. We have completed three charter schools and have studied the zoning and schematic designs for many more for our clients looking for the right site. SBJ Group brings to these projects a pragmatic approach, maximizing the existing while designing new contemporary charter schools. SBJ Group is experienced in dealing with the challenges inherent in working within existing buildings, transforming them into new architectural spaces. SBJ Group has also been working with the SCA, performing millions of dollars of work on a multitude of educational projects. A gift from the City Football Group to the City of New York, SBJ Group worked with the SCA to coordinate and build an indoor soccer field on the roof of a public school in East Harlem.