Who is behind SAA


Ernest L. Smith


Ernest L. Smith, Design Consultant and Project Designer. He is a registered architect in the State of Florida and a member of the American Institute of Architects and the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards with over 35 years of professional experience designing a variety of award winning projects. Ernie is a duate of Auburn University, receiving his Bachelor of Architecture degree with honors. As a founding member of Smith Barnes Architecture, Inc. in 1985, his extensive design experience and leadership have guided the firm’s success for over two decades. Ernie’s extraordinary talent has resulted in the design of numerous high rise residential towers throughout Florida, including his involvement with 14 luxury towers for visionary residential developer, Raymond Lutgert. Ernie’s designs also include: The Alagon on Bayshore (Tampa) and The Grandview (Harbor Island). Prior to Smith Barnes Architecture, Ernie was one of the original founders of The Design Advocates, Inc. (1975). His designs for commercial office, residential, recreational and golf course developments have also been recognized locally and nationally through awards and publications.


Alcides Santiesteban

AIA, Pres.

Alcides Santiesteban, Project designer, is the firm’s President. He is a registered architect in the State of Florida and a member of the American Institute of Architects. Al is a graduate of the university of Florida where he graduated at the top of his class (Bachelor of Design in Architecture, 1987) and earned awards and high honors for his academic achievements. Al received his Masters degree at Harvard University in 1990 where he continued to be recognized for his academic success by maintaining a 4.0 GPA and earning the Harvard Grant. His thesis project was nominated for the Kelly Award, recognizing the top thesis project. Prior to working with Smith Barnes Architecture, Al was involved in a wide variety of commercial office, residential, educational, religious and public projects. Most notably, Al worked at the office of Antoine Predock in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where he collaborated on the design of the University of California – Santa Cruz Musical Facility and the American Heritage Museum, both published in Architectural Record magazine. In 1995, Al received the Eduardo Garcia Award for Design Excellence, awarded by the Tampa Bay Chapter of AIA Florida. Beginning as an associate member with Smith Barnes Architecture, Inc. in 1996, Al has played a key role in the firm’s success through the unique design of more than 10 high-rise condominium developments. His ability to efficiently design complex residential developments and have direct involvement through construction has contributed to the recent success of the firm. In 2003, Al joined the executive tier as a principal and the firm emerged as Smith Barnes Santiesteban Architecture. Al has designed several notable projects including: WFTS Channel 28 (ABC-Tampa), The Regent, Provence, Aria, and Azure for the Lutgert Companies, Trump Tower Tampa, and Ovation.


Justin Kimmich


Justin Kimmich, Junior Partner and Managing Associate. Justin received his Masters of Architecture degree from Texas A&M University in 2009 after graduating with honors from Southern Illinois University Carbondale in 2007 (B.S. Architectural Studies). Throughout which he proved his talent, skill and commitment to excellence in receiving numerous awards and scholarships including the Student Merit Award from the Association of Licensed Architects in 2007. During his college career he worked as a draftsman at a local Illinois firm as well as producing construction documents for Houston based Kendall-Heaton Associates whose client base consisted of world renowned Design Architects such as Foster+Partners, Cesar Pelli, & Pickard Chilton Architects. Continuing in design excellence and integrity when he came on the team of SSA he completed and managed several retail jobs and worked on many single & multi-family developments. In 2011 he produced and managed overseas projects in our Riyadh, Saudi Arabia office for several months. Shortly after this he was asked to join the partnership team of SAA. Justin excels in design through technology, complex integrated relationship, 3D design and rendering as well as Construction & Contract Document development.

The Staff

In addition to the leadership of the principals, Santiesteban & Associates Architects relies on a staff of multi-talented professionals that provide the necessary support and teamwork required to consistently deliver quality projects for our clients. The support staff consists of architects, project managers, technical specialists and support personnel. We are committed to our staff and are fortunate to retain a consistent and reliable team of professionals who make it possible to uphold our exceptional reputation. Santiesteban & Associates Architects is also committed to maintaining the latest technological resources through the implementation of state-of-the-art CAD software and hardware. AutoCAD, Revit Architecture, 3D MAX, Photoshop CS2, and Adobe are actively used to develop and convey the 2D and 3D qualities of the designs. New technologies are continuously evaluated and implemented as required by each project’s unique circumstances.

For other design services beyond our scope, Santiesteban & Associates Architects has built close relationships with engineers and consultants who are leaders in their respective fields. These include structural, mechanical, plumbing, electrical and acoustical engineers, as well as contractors. Additional consultants for wind tunnel analysis, lighting, interior design, code review, cost estimating, elevators, glass and glazing, and roofing are often utilized for their knowledge and expertise in their respective fields.

Santiesteban & Associates Architects’ devotion to design excellence, commitment to our clients’ goals, and dedication to technical competency has proven to be a successful strategy. We look forward to providing professional architectural design and consulting services and sharing our clients’ visions.

Santiesteban & Associates Architects is a full-service architectural firm based in Tampa, Florida. Established by principal Alcides Santiesteban in order to build upon his extensive experience acquired during a 15 year tenure with Smith Barnes Architecture, Santiesteban & Associates Architects dedicates itself to the continuation of the high standards of design excellence.

Northdale Plaza | 3903 Northdale Boulevard, Suite 120W | Tampa, Florida 33624 | Phone: 813-251-1884 | Fax: 813-253-0110

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