America's Most Indestructible Buildings by SHOKO SMITH

©Jeff Goldberg / Esto

©Jeff Goldberg / Esto

The Salt Lake City Public Safety Building was named one of "America's Most Indestructible Buildings" along with One World Trade Center in New York and The U.S. Bank Tower in LA by Bob Vila on  

"If an earthquake hits Utah's capital, one of the best places to hunker down would be the Salt Lake City Public Safety Building, which houses the city's fire and police departments. An architectural triumph of steel, the 175,000-square-foot structure is not only LEED certified for energy efficiency, but it’s also built to withstand earthquakes measuring up to 7.5 in magnitude. The building owes its temblor resistance to seismic dampers that absorb shock, allowing everyone inside to remain safe."  -  Manasa Reddigari for Bob Vila

Click here to see other most indestructible buildings.

Three GSBS Projects “Most Outstanding” by SHOKO SMITH

Awards for 2017 Most Outstanding Projects presented December 12 by Utah Construction & Design (UC&D) include three GSBS-designed projects among the 35 receiving awards determined by a panel of 7 industry professionals.

GSBS is recognized in the December issue of Utah Construction & Design   in three categories for its design of Herriman City Hall and Towne Center (Best Municipal Project), Home Depot Bulk Lumber Distribution Center (Best Industrial Project), and Regent Street (Best Public Space Project). 

Herriman City Hall

Herriman City Hall

Herriman City Hall is the centerpiece of The Towne Center, a 10-acre park with a splash pad, ice ribbon, a history walk, large playground, gazebo, and an amphitheater with a  band-stand. It consolidates city activities under one roof, allowing residents access to all government services. In addition to providing city services as well as the Justice Court, the new building houses the Unified Police Department’s Herriman Precinct.

Home Depot Lumber Distribution Center

Home Depot Lumber Distribution Center

Home Depot's Bulk Lumber Distribution Center is a 260,000 square foot structure for indoor and outdoor storage and staging of lumber products. It is served by 2 rail spurs, one serving the outdoor area and one extending 300 feet into the building.  This spur, along with two truck lanes running the length of the building provide weather protection for sensitive materials.  There is also a 5,000 square foot office area.

Salt Lake City Regent Street

Salt Lake City Regent Street

The Redevelopment Agency of Salt Lake City hired GSBS Architects to design plans for Regent Street located between 100 and 200 South, parallel with Main Street. The space opened in the Fall, a unique thoroughfare where the look, and function was designed for people to enjoy themselves and the built environment.  It is scaled for people, not cars, and is generating a rhythm of its own.

GSBS President Kevin Miller said teams of designers, contractors, and engineers worked hand-in-hand to create these Utah projects which are recognized among the best in Utah.

New Herriman City Hall Opens, Fulfills City's Dream for a Town Center by SHOKO SMITH


Herriman City leaders first envisioned a new town center and city hall in 2008.  After years of preparation and financial planning, city officials broke ground in late 2015 on a major project they believed would serve as a gathering place for the community as well as stimulate economic growth through its all-inclusive design.

Scott Henriksen, AIA, GSBS Design Architects said “The architects spent several weeks working with the city council and city staff to verify the program and needs of each department while maintaining functionality and efficient use of space.  After several ideas and concepts were considered, GSBS Architects submitted interior and exterior designs for the new structure and surrounding town center amenities. The GSBS Team included Scott Henriksen, Brian Jacobson, Erin Holcombe, Jeff Bolinger, Allison Mitchell, Jesse Allen, Bryce Ward, Eric Stanley, David Brems, and Christine Richman. 

On September 22, 2017, the dream was realized when the doors to the new Herriman City Hall were officially opened. City Hall is the centerpiece of The Towne Center, a 6-acre park with a splash pad, ice ribbon, a history walk, and an amphitheater and band-stand. The park will be outlined by retail buildings with restaurants and boutique style shopping. Herriman’s New City Hall consolidates city activities under one roof, allowing residents access to all government services. In addition to providing city services as well as Justice Court, the new building will also house the Unified Police Department’s Herriman Precinct.

Herriman officials said they “are thrilled to be continuing the vision from years ago when the city secured this location for city hall. We have worked long and hard on the design and layout to assure the facility and park are an enhancement to the area while keeping with the traditional look and feel that is Herriman City.”


Long Canyon Mine: Among ENR Southwest Best Project Winners 2017 by SHOKO SMITH


GSBS Architects and Big D Construction are being recognized by ENR Magazine for winning “Best Project 2017” in the Energy/Industrial Category for design and construction of facilities to support the function of a new, ground up, gold mine in the Goshute Valley in western Nevada. A detailed article will appear in the November issue of ENR Southwest. A panel of eight judges represented the varied demographic imprints in the industry — from project manager to vice presidents and senior architects.  

According to, Justin Jacobs, AIA, Sr. Project Manager with GSBS Architects,  the development includes a 31,000 square foot fleet maintenance facility, 7,300 square foot wash bay and 15,800 square feet in two materials processing buildings along with approximately 18,000 square feet of administration support in three separate buildings and two fueling stations, one specifically designed to serve the needs of heavy mining equipment. Due to the array of mobile equipment planned to be used on site, the maintenance facility was designed to accommodate widely varying sizes and shapes of vehicles.


A single 40 ton bridge crane, capable of lifting the dump bed off of a haul truck spans the length of the building and is mounted at a height to maintain approximately 48’-0” clear within the space. An indoor lube room housing nine separate vertical storage tanks ranging in size from 3,000 – 8,000 gallons in volume sits adjacent to the maintenance bays to deliver six different weights of motor oil as well as grease and hydraulic oil efficiently to the necessary points of delivery. A heavily reinforced concrete floor was designed to eliminate the need for jointing to accommodate shrinkage. Translucent panels ring the high bay to provide natural light into the space to supplement the high-output efficient LED lighting.


Five GSBS-designed Schools Win Energy Star Certification by SHOKO SMITH

Hillside Middle School

Hillside Middle School

Five Salt Lake City schools designed by GSBS Architects,  have fulfilled their original promise of energy efficiency.  The five schools were designed by GSBS between 1999 and 2007. GSBS Architects, in conjunction with MKK Engineers, verified the energy performance by evaluating energy bills and with on-site verification.  All of the schools are in the top 75th percentile nationally.

According to Garth Shaw, who led the project for GSBS,  the effort was undertaken on a pro bono basis to help the firm benchmark their designs and to illustrate their commitment to the highest level of energy performance.

Energy Star Certification goes toRose Park Elementary, Bonneville Elementary, Beacon Heights Elementary,  Glendale Middle School, and Hillside Middle School.

Beacon Heights Elementary School

Beacon Heights Elementary School

Our unique perspective began with our founders and continues today. by SHOKO SMITH



Ever been to lunch with Mike Stransky?

Typical one-hour power lunches with the long-time Principal of Salt Lake-based GSBS Architects (Gillies Stransky Brems Smith) tend to organically stretch into two hours and change because of his magnetic presence and gregarious personality.  Stransky is also easy to spy in a crowded room, with his signature white hot, close-cropped hair.

“He has a big presence…that big shock of white hair,” said GSBS President/CEO Kevin Miller. “When you walked into a room you knew he was there. Everybody knows who Mike is.

“When we officed in the Walker Center we’d go to lunch at Lamb’s or Judge Cafe.. I was still a young guy and didn’t go to lunch all the time. We’d walk over to Caputo’s and an hour lunch would be an hour and a half because he knew everybody. That ability to be visible and not just represent the firm but the profession in the community…is unique.”

“I called him Mr. Mayor,” quipped Tom Batenhorst, Principal and Manager of the firm’s Fort Worth, Tex., office. “It should be a five minute walk down the block, but  Mike was always busy talking to people, shaking hands. He’s just a great mentor--how he conducted himself in interviews, his ability to network.”

“Mike’s gift is his ability to work with people,” said David Brems, Principal and Director of Design. “Mike can walk into a room and walk out with a job. People are attracted to him and trust him. Leading the marketing efforts for our firm was his responsibility and he was one of the best at it. Mike is the guy you want in the room to work through problems.”


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GSBS Earth Day - Glendale Middle School by SHOKO SMITH

Fifteen years after designing Glendale Middle School, GSBS architects returned as teachers on Earth Day 2017.  

For Earth Day 2017, GSBS put on the “Build a Better World workshop” about engaging new generations in sustainability and architecture through building a scaled modeled tree house.  The “Latinos in Action” students at Glendale participated in this workshop. The students first had to conceptualize their dream tree house, then learn how to draw their own floor plans tomake their ideas come alive, and then build a model. They were encouraged to consider environmental conservation and protection in their project.

According to the GSBS architect who led the workshop Ben Lowry, AIA LEED AP, “We tried to engage the students in the ideas of sustainability through solar panels, rainwater collection and green roofs.    Most of them really seemed to benefit from the activity.” 

The class teacher said one of his students had a difficult time expressing interest or understanding what to do on a previous hands-on project.   In the tree house project he totally embraced it. He got all of the materials he needed and focused on his project, building two tree houses in the allotted time that the other kids built just one.  Lowry said, “Once the kids started to build things and dive into the project their excitement, creativity, and interest in the project was all there.”

Over the years GSBS has sponsored school events to honor and promote the principles of a clean, healthy, green planet through architecture and help expose and interest young people in the field of architecture. One year students at Bountiful Elementary School learned from GSBS architect the “Top 10 Principals to Go Green,” earning a bookmark and seeds to plant an herb garden.   Another year, at Hillside Middle School designed by GSBS Architects as the first LEED-designated building in the Salt Lake City School District, art students photographed the “green” elements of the new building for an assembly program.

The idea of having the workshop on Earth Day was to reinforce environmental conservation and protection efforts.  Lowry said GSBS team leaders Melissa Gaddis, Kelsey Madden and Baylee Lambourne did a great job engaging the students and “all of us look forward to doing another hands-on project with students based on the same commitment to building a better world.”

Salt Lake City Regent Street by SHOKO SMITH

Regent Street Project Manager Jesse Allen, an architect and landscape architect with GSBS Architects, led a select team to design and create the space which is wrapping up its final stages of construction on Regent Street, and which is highlighted in this post by Salt Lake City Magazine. Allen said the unique mid-block street’s look and function was designed to celebrate its rich history and create a destination downtown.  While it still allows cars and even occasional semi-truck deliveries to the new Theater, it is intended as a place for people and is generating a rhythm of its own.

Read the full article.