It started in 1967 with Emilio Fernandez, a Cuban native who immigrated to Cincinnati and founded SFA Architects. He built a small firm on the simple premise that each client deserves a high degree of personal service, and each project begets the search to find the “right” design solution, both artistically, and technically. Furthermore, his dedication to design innovation coupled with his commitment to his clients and peers set the foundation for SFA’s past 50 years of success.

Our firm grew from these humble beginnings into what is now a staff of more than 80 employees. This growth occurred organically as SFA continued to design in new markets and acquire new clients. In 2009, SFA joined forces with PDT Architects, a firm with its own long and successful history which was founded in 1949. PDT’s strength of nearly 70 years in the private sector, mainly on commercial and housing projects, added to the breadth of the existing SFA portfolio which featured mostly public sector work. In 2016, Roth Partnership joined the group, further expanding the skills and specialization offered by our firm. Roth was founded in 1933 and carried with it a history of design in healthcare, recreation, and education. The acquisition of Roth further strengthened our client reach and bolstered talent for the staff.

With each firm merger, our collective experience has increased. The combination of experienced, long-associated members working with knowledgeable younger members offering fresh, innovative ideas and approaches have lent to a continued focus on relevancy in the design world. In 2018, Elevar Design Group was born – a rebirth of three deeply established brands coming together with a vision to take design and client satisfaction to new heights. Our founder, Emilio Fernandez came into work at the Elevar office on a full-time basis with enthusiasm and vigor until he was 90 years old. He personified the passion, dedication, and determination on which Elevar planted its roots. 



555 Carr St.
Cincinnati, OH 45203

120 West Second St.
Suite 1800
Dayton, OH 45402

2360 Chauvin Dr.
Lexington, KY 40517

1220 West Sixth St.
Suite 300
Cleveland, OH 44113