The five guiding principles

These include translating a client's program into multiple design choices through constant collaboration; honoring the development budget to ensure a project's viability; employing sustainable building practices in the choice of building materials and energy use; and pursuing design excellence to foster client and civic enthusiasm. When a project is located within an existing neighborhood, its character may be used as a guide, but John believes the new building should reflect the time in which it is built and stand on its own.


Raised in New Jersey, John graduated from the School of Architecture at Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri in 1976. After serving as a senior manager at other Bay Area firms from 1977, he established his own practice in 1988. John Schlesinger, AIA, Architect is a registered small business enterprise with the City and County of San Francisco.


Civic engagement has been a consistent part of his practice, fostering strong relationships with local project review agencies and allied professional organizations. These efforts have included being AIA San Francisco Advisory Design Review Co-Chair, a pro-bono service to the San Francisco Planning Department and Planning Commission, from 1991-1994, AIA San Francisco Small Firms Great Projects Exhibition founding Chair from 1993-1995, AIA San Francisco Advocacy Commission Chair from 2003-2004, and AIA San Francisco Public Policy Chair from 2003-2012.


John was a contributor to the San Francisco Residential Design Guidelines in 2003, and was a contributing writer to Planning the City's Future, by AIA San Francisco and SPUR in 2003 and 2007. He served as a workshop leader before the San Francsico Planning Commission, where he lead forums titled Understanding Context in 2006, Designing for the Public Realm in 2006 and Design Challenges in Affordable Housing in 2007. He was a contributor to the San Francisco Urban Design Guidelines in 2016. He served as a Workshop Leader at the San Francisco Building Department, helping to streamline building permit processing, in 2007. Also in 2007, he had an article published in ArCA, the journal of AIA California Council, titled "The Language of Design Review."


Great houses inspire those who inhabit them, providing the stability to thrive, while at the same time being the respected standard bearer among their neighbors.

— John Schlesinger


AIA San Francisco Citizen Architect Award, 2016

City of San Francisco Public Advisory Committee Award, 2007 

AIA San Francisco Special Achievement Award, 2006

AIA San Francisco Presidential Commendation, 2003

©  Bill Davis Photography 

© Bill Davis Photography 

John Schlesinger, AIA    |    Registered small business enterprise with the City and County of San Francisco