Saunders + Crouse Architects

We’re a team of creatives, true collaborators, committed innovators, and natural leaders.

Most clients come to us as at the genesis of a multi-phase project. We take a uniquely tailored approach to planning architecture by looking at it through the lens of economic development. For 40+ years, we’ve considered and planned for the potential long term impacts of a project. It’s this extensive experience in orchestrating complicated long-term ventures that our clients trust. 

Our Expertise 

Combining ‘Smart Growth’ Concepts With Design Aesthetics





Saunders + Crouse Architects, LLC, (S+CA) was founded in the summer of 2013, but our partnership far predates that. 

Burrell F. Saunders, AIA, and John H. Crouse, AIA, led award-winning CMSS Architects, PC, for 28 years before selling the firm. They wanted to pursue their passion for community planning and architecture. From that passion, Saunders + Crouse Architects, composed of a small, dedicated team of passionate creatives, was founded. 

Operating on the creative plane means we can see what others miss. It's this commitment to innovation that guarantees we find the creative solutions needed to turn your vision into a reality.

The heart of what we do is creating the hearts of cities. 


Donald R. Bowers


John is a mixed-use expert with a career punctuated by versatility. Well-versed in architectural problem-solving, with many retail, corporate, and institutional projects to his credit. 

Through the years, John has provided urban design and planning to a diverse pool of clients, including regional developers and Federal agencies such as the U.S. Navy, Army, Air Force, and the Department of State.

His revitalization work on Diggs Town, a public housing project in Norfolk, Virginia won three national awards, including the AIA National Honors Award for Planning, and set a new national benchmark for effective public housing. John, working closely with the City of Norfolk and a regional developer, led the way in the creation of the Heritage at Freemason Harbour, the first new residential development in downtown Norfolk in more than two decades and the catalyst for a residential migration back to the city's core.

John specializes in the design of local projects, green design and has headed the design of three overseas embassies in Europe, Asia, and Africa. As a certified LEED professional, John heads the firm's green design initiatives.


John Crouse


Don's extensive experience in a wide variety of projects qualifies him to lead our team from project conception to project delivery. He offers guidance through the interconnected phases of design, construction documents, and construction administration to project completion.

Though well-versed in diverse project types including office buildings, multi-family developments, and rehabilitation projects, Mr. Bowers specializes in hospitality projects. Don's many, diverse hospitality projects have had a significant impact on transforming the Virginia Beach Oceanfront into one of the most popular tourist destinations on the East Coast.

He manages the complex relationship between the owner, contractor, and multi-disciplinary design teams by consistently delivering quality projects within budget and on schedule. Don embraces the notion that good design is good business.

Burrell Saunders is one of the regions' leading experts in planning and designing mixed-use communities. His passion and skill lie in pushing the boundaries of architecture and creating communities that instill a sense of pride in their residents. 

Recognized as an authority on the creation of town centers and New Urbanist principles, Burrell has conducted lectures and seminars for several organizations and community groups including the Urban Land Institute (ULI) and the American Institute of Architects (AIA). He has published several articles in Urban Land, the monthly journal of ULI, on the planning and design of several town center projects.


Burrell Saunders


Meet S+CA Leadership