Shepley Bulfinch, Office and Design Studio (Phoenix)

Phoenix, AZ | 2014

The restoration and adaptive reuse of one of Phoenix's iconic mid-century buildings celebrates an important architectural landmark and advances the city's vision for the revival of the Midtown Central Avenue corridor.

The South Rotunda of the Phoenix Financial Center was an underutilized gem in an area characterized by being "in between" the city's original development and tremendous outward growth. As development pressure continues, existing structures such as the South Rotunda are finding unique and creative contemporary uses to avoid demolition. Shepley Bulfinch took one such approach to reactivate a once-thriving bank as the firm's new home.

The Phoenix Financial Center, with its iconic tower and rotundas, was designed by Peruvian-born architect W.A. Sarmiento and completed in 1964. In renovating the South Rotunda, the design creates a modern space that respects the existing structure, reintroducing lost elements in ways that distinguish old from new. In doing so, the studio balances the restoration of the original intent of Sarmiento's design and a modern interpretation of the space for contemporary use. Iconic elements of the original design, many of which had been lost or badly altered, are now core features of the space.

The open environment of the ground floor is maintained as an architectural studio while the former bank vault is now gallery space. Mezzanine offices now serve as collaboration rooms while two private offices were combined to create a break room. Throughout the rotunda, existing light fixtures were retained and refitted with high-efficiency lighting.


Shepley Bulfinch Team

Ryan Grabe
Alison Rainey
Tad Jusczyk
Gina Fombelle
Julio Guevara
Amy Loeschen
Calvin Cangco
Natalie Shutt-Banks



  • Docomomo Modernism in America, Design Citation of Merit: Commercial
  • 2016

  • Arizona Forward: Buildings and Structures, Award of Merit for Historic Preservation
  • 2015

  • Winner, Interior Design Magazine Best of Year Awards Designer's Own Office), 2015

View awards list »

©2017 Shepley Bulfinch