SAN FRANCISCO—Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects was awarded the 2017 American Institute of Architects’ honor on Wednesday, December 7, making them the nation’s top architecture firm. Two other San Francisco firms have been awarded this honor in the past 45 years; EHDD Architecture won the award in 1986, while Gensler Architects was the recipient in 2000.

LMS was founded by Marsha Maytum in 2001, and is led by William Leddy, Richard Stacy and Maytum. The San Francisco based firm was ranked 37 in the 2016 Architecture top 50, and was also awarded the AIA San Francisco’s 2016 Design Awards.

According to the the firm’s website, LMS takes pride in “recognizing no distinction between design and the other elements of practice, we encourage staff to become skilled professionals within an open office environment that promotes an educational transparency of purpose, process and action.”

The firm is working on creating permanent housing for the homeless with the Rene Cazenave project and senior housing through the Merritt Crossing project.

LMS has been involved in projects that include the North Beach Branch Library and the Ed Roberts campus in Berkeley.

“The three of us decided we had one career, and we wanted to use it to make positive change,” Maytum explained.

The AIA congratulated the firm in the announcement of their award, citing their “highly influential work that advances issues of social consciousness and environmental responsibility.”