Prior research has established a relationship between coordination of software development activities and software architecture both in collocated and distributed projects. Despite the recognized importance of the software architecture in the coordination of development activities, it is still unclear how software architects design the architecture of software systems in distributed projects. To better understand this scenario, this paper reports from a qualitative empirical study where we interviewed software architects to collect information about the software architecture of distributed projects. Information collected has exposed the wide adoption of Service Oriented Architectures (SOA), indicating a trend towards the usage of this low coupling architectural style by companies developing projects with distributed teams. More detailed data collected by follow-up interviews suggested a set of best practices for designing SOA architectures to facilitate the work of the project members.