The Best Residential Contractors in Sonoma County

Overview

This website has looked at the work of the Bay Area’s top residential architects in California’s Wine Country, most prestigious residential architects, and best interior designers. To make the beautiful designs by these architects a reality, it requires skilled and dedicated general contractors. Throughout Sonoma, there are stunning homes, whether on a hilltop in Healdsburg, the edge of a vineyard in Sonoma, or on a sprawling ranch in Sebastopol. The builders behind these high-end residences are masters at working with varied materials, overcoming challenging worksites, and implementing difficult and innovative designs. And with a climate ideal for indoor/outdoor living, these companies know how to blur the line between the home’s interior and the nature surrounding it.

Top Architects

10
Kirby Construction Company

Architects:
York Saccomanno

Awards:
AIA Redwood Empire People’s Choice Award

Address:
3262 Airway Drive, Suite B, Santa Rosa, CA 95403

About Kirby Construction Company

Kirby Construction Company of Santa Rosa has been building high-quality homes throughout California’s wine country and Marin since 2003. The highly respected firm, which also works on commercial projects, has earned a reputation for their safety, quality, and high-value work. The award-winning company has established relationships with the area’s architects, engineers, building officials, and subcontractors. The company has earned multiple Gold Medals from Northbay Biz’s “Best” reader’s polls. Their work has been recognized with numerous publications and awards, including an AIA Redwood Empire People’s Choice Award. Kirby Construction was founded in 2003 by York, who has over 30 years of experience in various areas of construction, from carpentry, job supervision, and project management to operating a growing construction company. He has gained hands-on building experience on everything from biomedical labs, clean rooms, ground up commercial buildings, tenant improvement, and facility upgrades, to historical restorations, municipal projects, wineries, and custom homes. These unique experiences help him successfully manage all levels of projects.

Featured Projects

Kirby Construction extensively renovated a unique Sonoma County estate. The homeowners invited the company to remodel the entire interior of a guest house and bath, the main home’s master bedroom, media room, and 2 additional bedrooms. This project also included the replacement of the majority of the gorgeous home’s windows and doors and a massive outdoor wooden deck. Kirby Construction worked closely with the owners, landscape contractor, and architects to complete this project efficiently and exactly as envisioned. And in Kenwood, the company was trusted to renovate a contemporary and eclectic architecturally designed home and guest house originally designed in the 1990s by a renowned architectural firm in the East Bay. Once work began on this project, the construction company revealed that the structure was largely damaged by dry rot and possibly termites. Their scope of work expanded to exposing the building down to its framing and replacing what was compromised. The building now has new standing seam metal siding on three sides and redwood siding on the fourth. All the framing and sheathing were treated to avoid any future issues. And in the Stags’ Leap region of Napa Valley, the company built a new private residence with a farmhouse aesthetic and 4,300 square feet of living space. They incorporated various reclaimed wood products such as beams, interior doors, fireplace mantel, and furniture pieces. Kirby Construction Company’s team demolished an existing home on this site to make room for this dream home with an expansive pool.

9
Landmark Builders

Architects:
Jaimie R. Stewart

Address:
42 Digital Drive, Suite 11, Novato CA 94949

About Landmark Builders

Landmark Builders have been a trusted general contracting company for high-end projects since 1985. The company is known for excellent craftsmanship, expert project management, and unparalleled customer service. Landmark is a firmly established and highly reputable company that has worked on some of the most beautiful residential properties in Napa and Sonoma. The multi-faceted construction company has experience and a close understanding of all types of construction, both renovations and new, on residential homes and office buildings, as well as restaurants, nightclubs, and light industrial work. Serving Marin, San Francisco, Napa, and Sonoma, Landmark Builders are proud members of Build it Green, the Marin Builders Association, and NARI. Landmark Builders construction project valuations are generally in the $250,000 – $5,000,000 range. The company is run by President and General Building Contractor Jaimie R. Stewart, a third-generation San Franciscan who has worked locally in the construction industry since 1976.

Featured Projects

Landmark Builders worked with renowned architect Mark English on a large family compound on a hillside side in Healdsburg, offering commanding views of Russian River. Created to allow an extended family to comfortably gather, the property features a mix of private and public areas. The modern courtyard home faces a guest house and an infinity edge pool. Landmark Builders built three different master suites into this country getaway home. They integrated natural and renewable cooling features, including overhangs specifically sized for solar control, a PV system, and high-efficiency systems including solar shades. A dropped soffit ceiling in the main living area allows for strategic venting and acts to draw trapped heated air out from behind the shade. Landmark Builders also built a gorgeous home with a standout, sophisticated kitchen that was featured in Dream Kitchens and Beautiful Homes magazines. The construction company integrated high-end technology and sleek appliances into the kitchen, contrasting the cool metals with warm wood tones and spicy orange tiles. Other elements delicately built into the room include etched glass insets within cherry cabinetry, an elevated glass bar top supported by steel rods, and a woven veneer to the island with a chocolate marble counter.

8
Upcscale Construction

Architects:
Danny Bernardini

Address:
2151 Union Street, Suite #1, San Francisco, CA 941232151 Union Street, Suite #1, San Francisco, CA 94123

About Upcscale Construction

Upscale has grown into a standout Bay Area construction firm since its founding. The company has built solid working relationships with many of San Francisco’s top professionals, including architect Stanley Saitowitz, William Duff Architects, designer Kendall Wilkinson, and Stephen Sutro Architects. The company’s work has caught the attention of numerous industry publications, such as California Home + Design and LUXE Interiors + Design. Upscale Construction works on both traditional and contemporary residential projects with the goal of delivering high standards at competitive pricing. Founder and Principal Danny Bernardini has worked in construction for nearly 30 years. Today, he is joined at Upscale Construction by Principals and Co-Owners Tony Kelly and Brad Hayes. The company has a close-knit work culture informed by the diverse backgrounds of their skilled craftsmen. They excel at a wide variety of projects, from modern residences to historic renovations.

Featured Projects

On West Dry Creek Road in Healdsburg, Upscale Construction built a new contemporary passive home. Working with architect Stephen Sutro and designer Claudia Juestel, the home is beautifully sited and anchored on two levels into a vineyard ridge. This gorgeous property has many special sustainable features built in, including photovoltaic solar panels on the main roof, engineered wood products for the framing, and reclaimed lumber siding on the exterior elevations. Throughout the interior of the home are stained concrete floors over radiant heating and the living room has a board formed fireplace element. Concrete planter beds function as both structural elements and a soft transition from an expansive pool terrace to the vineyard. And the main roof trellis combines with a site trellis, providing considerable indoor/outdoor entertainment area. This home was featured by LUXE.

7
Fairweather & Associates

Architects:
Simon Fairweather

Address:
140 Todd Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95407

About Fairweather & Associates

Fairweather & Associates has enhanced the built environment of Sonoma County with gorgeous homes since 1989. Their homes are modern, innovative, and rooted in locality. The company is passionate about creating thoughtfully designed homes that are appropriate to the rich landscape of wine country. They have worked with many prominent area design firms, including Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, Guy Stiles Architect, Keith Anding Architect, and David Baker + Partners. Run by President Simon Fairweather, the company’s core business is designing and building new, modern, green homes. Fairweather & Associates typically manages projects from an initial consultation, prior to design, thru completion of construction. Fairweather believes that excellent design is the foundation of a successful project and is involved as early as possible in the design process. For greater control over the quality of their work, they also operate a 12,000 square foot shop to prefabricate building components, millwork, and cabinets. Fairweather does not subcontract framing or finish carpentry work because it would lessen their ability to consistently deliver the quality of work for which they have become known. Dedicated to sustainable homes, Fairweather is committed to the use of reclaimed materials throughout their projects.

Featured Projects

Fairweather & Associates worked with top San Francisco practice Leddy Maytum Stacy Architect on ‘McDonnel’ – a gorgeous sustainable home in Sebastopol. The home features an abundance of smart design choices and siting to reduce energy consumption and environmental impact. The entire property is organized as a series of stepped levels using architectural concrete retaining walls. Living areas of the modest, loft-style home are enclosed by a ribbon of full height, high-performance windows. A central stair wraps around a freestanding fireplace and extends two-stories at the rear of the home. The back of the house opens onto a private back patio through two levels of floor-to-ceiling windows. This home earned a Merit Award from the Redwood Empire chapter of the AIA. And at 12550 Henno Road in Glen Allen, the construction company built a unique contemporary estate that includes a 2,000 square foot main house, 400 square foot guest cottage, and a separate multi-use studio/office. This home is now for sale for $4.75 million. Fairweather & Associates worked closely with architect Keith Anding to create this home in total harmony with its surroundings and highlight beautiful views of mountains and vineyards. The estate uses Corten Steel Siding, reclaimed redwood, neutral colored stucco, and generous expanses of glass. And in Calistoga, Fairweather & Associates recently finished a home remodel designed by the prestigious firm Bohlin Cywinski Jackson. Named ‘Poggi’, this home gave a Tuscan-style retreat a modern makeover. This home carefully mixed wood, stone, and lighting for a warm and clean environment and opened up interior spaces.

6
Nordby Construction Company

Architects:
David Schroeder

Address:
1229 N. Dutton Avenue, Suite C, Santa Rosa, CA 95401

About Nordby Construction Company

Nordby Construction Company has been a leader in construction in Northern California since 1978. Through their Signature Homes division, the construction company builds first-class homes ranging from sleek and modern to traditional. Nordby Signature Homes blend an intimate personalized approach with proven work practices founded by three generations of dedicated builders. The company has worked with many notable architects and a discerning clientele. Professional collaborations include with Taylor Lombardo Architects, JMA Architects, and Strauss Architects. Nordby Construction Company’s Signature Homes division was created in 1996 to provide more specialized service offerings for residential clients. Today, Nordby Signature Homes is a full-service contracting team focused on custom residential and estate building. The construction company takes a collaborative approach to each project to achieve thoroughly cohesive results. Norby Signature Home’s president David Schroeder oversees residential construction company-wide. He has over 20 years of experience as a builder and joined the Norby team in 2000. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Construction Management and Engineering with undergraduate studies in architecture from Arizona State University.

Featured Projects

Nordby Construction collaborated with Taylor Lombardo Architects on a classic contemporary Mediterranean residence in Sonoma. This 6,000 square foot home integrates fine finishes and demonstrates the company’s excellent craftsmanship and attention to detail. The home is flooded with natural light, enhanced by high ceilings. The main living areas flow onto extensive, covered outdoor living space through a large wall of pocket glass doors. And the company built a ranch style estate with Chuck Peterson Architects in Healdsburg. With a 4,300 square foot main house, 1,340 square foot book out and 2,380 square foot barn, this property showcases Nordby’s expansive capabilities and craftsmanship. The main home features a fine blending of materials, including extensive stonework, use of wood, and steel siding, as well as large walls of glass. The estate’s rustic pool house has an exterior of wood siding, rusted metal roofing, and stone columns. Its living room has sliding french doors that open up the entire room to the pool, a wet bar, dressing room and bath. The lower floor is an open music room with access to the rear vineyards. And a two-story multi-functional barn was also designed for use as a future winery. It includes a temperature controlled barrel room, upper storage loft, and office. The exterior has a galvanized roof, painted wood siding, and a sandblasted concrete wainscoting for durability.

5
Paul White Construction, Inc.

Architects:
Paul White

Address:
3721 Santa Rosa Ave., Suite B2, Santa Rosa, California 95407

About Paul White Construction, Inc.

Paul White Construction Inc. (PWC), is a full-service general contractor, custom home builder, and Star metal building supplier/installer based in Santa Rosa. This top-tier construction company serves the Sonoma and Napa and also works in other San Francisco and North Bay areas. The company has worked with top architecture studios, including Mark English, House + House, and Dowling Studios. Their work has been featured in California Home + Design, Metropolitan Home magazine, Fine Homebuilding’s annual issue on houses, and San Francisco magazine, among others. Paul White Construction was founded in 1986 and remains committed to a tradition of excellence in custom home building and commercial construction. With over 20 years of experience in all manners of building types, their broad base of expertise has equipped them to handle even the most challenging of projects. They work closely with a team of building experts and professionals which include architects, designers, engineers, subcontractors, consultants, and suppliers. Founder Paul White is a Certified Green Building Professional practicing in many aspects of the green building industry and has completed green rated projects -including a custom home that achieved platinum status. The construction company is associated with Build it Green and Star Buildings.

Featured Projects

Paul White Construction built a Glen Ellen home designed by House + House Architects. Named ‘Dos Iguanas’’, this 3,200 square foot home is spread over its gently sloping site like a pile of building blocks. The home is built to open up to and embrace its site with terraces and courtyards on every side. The exterior of the home is covered in red and ochre stucco. The main living areas and master suite open onto stone terraces that flow into gardens and a lower pool terrace. The project includes the use of recycled wood flooring and the walls are sculpted into niches, seats, and ledges. And in Healdsburg, the company recently completed a collaboration with Dowling Studios on a 4,000 square foot custom home with a detached guesthouse/garage, pool, recreational barn, and tennis court. Set on top of a grassy knoll, this property demanded expert building techniques to accommodate its steeply graded site. The home captures expansive Dry Creek Valley and vineyards views from a large, partially covered patio. Sustainable properties are built in throughout the home to maximize energy efficiency. Paul White Construction also extensively remodeled and expanded a charming, but small Healdsburg cottage. Working again with Dowling Studios, this existing home lacked the necessary space for its owners and did not take advantage of its location. Paul White Construction expanded the living room, removed a second-story loft to allow for a double height space throughout the home’s main living and dining areas, and added a window wall that frames views of the courtyard and creates a stronger connection to the outdoors. A 1,500 square foot addition accommodates a new entry and ground level master suite, as well as a pool room and additional guest room below.

4
Carreiro Builders Inc.

Architects:
Tom Carreiro, Steve Carreiro

Address:
2989 Wiljan Court, Suite A, Santa Rosa, CA 94507

About Carreiro Builders Inc.

Carreiro Builders creates homes throughout California’s wine country with superior craftsmanship and integrity, making them one of the North Bay’s preferred general contractors for over 30 years. Run by CEO and Principal Tom Carreiro and General Manager and Principal Steve Carreiro, Carreiro Builders has worked on a wide range of residential projects in Napa and Sonoma. They have built strong relationships with area professionals, working repeatedly with trusted local professionals, such as Jim McCalligan Architects. Carreiro Builders works on a range of residential projects, from minor remodels, large additions, and entirely customized new homes. The company has built long-time relationships with reliable subcontractors to deliver exceptional results they can be proud of. They emphasize good communication, careful attention to detail, and quality personalized service. Their proactive approach to each project is key to creating a hassle-free experience for their clients. Carreiro Builders ‘build with a conscience.’ They believe that “going green” in building means using common sense and practicing good stewardship towards the earth and its limited resources. They use sustainable materials, constructed in a way that will last a long time – saving resources for future use.

Featured Projects

Carreiro Builders worked with Jim McCalligan Architects on an ultra-contemporary home on Mark West Springs Road in Santa Rosa. This project feels more like a resort than a typical home. The two main sections – the living area and bedrooms – are separated by a beautiful lap pool and patio area, connected by a covered breezeway. Inside, the home is built with high ceilings, large picture windows, stained concrete floors with radiant heating, and carefully integrated stainless steel accents. Special features include concrete countertops with built-in basins, wall-mounted faucets, and beautiful custom cabinets. And with Dean Design Group, the construction company built an expansive farm-style estate. The expansive, Sebastopol home spans three living quarters. The main house has four bedrooms, a separate one-bedroom guesthouse is set a bit away for privacy, and a separate, two-bedroom, two-bathroom mother-in-law unit offers extra space for guests. The main home was built for open living and group gathering, with the family room opening up to a large outdoor patio. Out the south door, Carreiro Builders created a radiant heated veranda with a garage to one side and bocce ball court to the other. When one enters the main home through the front entrance, they come upon a beautiful, quarter round sweeping staircase. Off the second-floor master suite is an amazing veranda overlooking the pool and distance vineyards.

3
Jungsten Construction

Architects:
Jeff Jungsten

Awards:
Merit Award for Remodeling from Custom Home, 2014 IIDA-NC Live Honor

Address:
495 Miller Avenue, Mill Valley, CA 94941

About Jungsten Construction

Jungsten Construction builds innovative, sustainable, and high-quality structures throughout Northern California. They have earned an Honor Award from the International Interior Design Association and a Merit Award for Remodeling from Custom Home, and been featured in California Homes, Better Homes & Gardens, Coastal Living, Marin Magazine, San Francisco Chronicle, Marin Home Magazine, Custom Home Magazine, Interiors magazine, and Remodeling Magazine, among others. Jungsten Construction works with top design professionals, including those at the award-winning Feldman Architecture, zumaooh, and Los Angeles-based Nicholas Budd Architects. Jungsten Construction was founded in 1987 by Jeff Jungsten, based on the principles of integrity, professionalism, and teamwork. The company emphasizes using diverse and expert teams to execute each project. They deliver unmatched quality and value to their clients by using a progressive approach and sustainable techniques. Jeff Jungsten remains a first point of contact for clients and oversees all aspects of his company’s business. Jungsten has over 25 years of construction experience. He is an Advanced Certified Green Building Professional and leads CJC’s extensive sustainability efforts.

Featured Projects

Jungsten Construction worked with the prestigious Jonathan Feldman on a gorgeous home atop a hill overlooking the village of Healdsburg. This wine country home is built with ample social space for entertaining while integrating the privacy of a rural retreat. The estate is comprised of two perpendicular bars – the taller section runs along the ridge of the hill and holds the home’s great room. The building is transformed into an outdoor pavilion with four oversized glass panels that open dramatically on each side. The flush concrete floors extend seamlessly to a poolside patio to one side and a firepit to the other. The home’s second wing extends towards the north and flows from more public space to increasingly private areas. Jungsten also constructed a guesthouse down the hill for their clients. And for a busy New York couple, the construction company built a quiet retreat in Healdsburg with architect Nicholas Budd. The stone-walled house was built discretely among old oak trees and sited to capture sweeping views of Sonoma Valley’s vineyards and spectacular hills. The home’s spaces flow freely into each other and to the outside without interruption. Jungsten Construction also built a modern rural retreat in Santa Rosa with zumaooh. Envisioned as a space where the owners and their children could gather and enjoy quintessential Sonoma living, the home is built in such a way as to encourage a strong connection with the landscape. The project involved a house and pool house with great rooms. The home’s living space creates a seamless transition to the outdoors through the extensive use of windows. This home was the winner of the 2014 IIDA-NC Live Honor Award.

2
Jim Murphy & Associates

Architects:
Jim Murphy

Awards:
2011 Custom Builder of the Year, 2017’s BEST Project in Northern California

Address:
464 Kenwood Ct, Ste. B Santa Rosa, CA 95407

About Jim Murphy & Associates

Jim Murphy & Associates provides exceptional home construction, remodeling, commercial construction, and pre-construction services to Sonoma and Napa Counties. The work of Jim Murphy & Associates has been recognized with numerous awards, including the 2017’s BEST Project in Northern California and Hawaii in the Office/Retail/Mixed Use category from Engineering News Record, being named one of the best contractors by NorthBay biz Magazine’s readings in a poll, and being named 2011 Custom Builder of the Year by Custom Home. The company and their projects have also caught the attention of many publications. And the company works with the best architects in the area, including numerous collaborations with Backen Gillam Kroeger Architects. In 1968, Murphy began what is now Jim Murphy & Associates. Today, Jim Murphy & Associates includes over 40 men and women, all of whom share in his commitment to delivering the highest quality work. The company brings over 30 years of varied building experience to creating structures of diverse designs and unique features. Their strong view of stewardship guides all aspects of their work. Jim Murphy & Associates places an emphasis on careful project planning and the selection of materials. Their goal of creating sound, functional structures in comfortable environments leads to a close collaboration amongst the entire project team, including designers, architects, and, most importantly, the client. Murphy himself has been in construction most of his adult life, having worked as a carpenter, foreman, superintendent, subcontractor, and general contractor since 1987.

Featured Projects

Jim Murphy & Associates collaborated with the renowned Backen Gillam Kroeger Architects on a contemporary farmhouse-style home in West Sonoma with vineyard views. The home is built to be open and inviting. The exterior features whitewashed cedar siding and a standing seam metal roof. Inside, the home has reclaimed white oak floor and four fireplaces. The home connects to the outside, with a pool, bbq, and fireplace, through oversized ‘Lift-N-Slide’ doors And with Turnbull Griffin Haesloop Architects, Jim Murphy & Associates created a modern minimalist home in Glen Ellen, which was recognized with a Merit Award from the AIA East Bay. This project began with the extensive demolition of existing structures, carefully removing all materials for recycling and re-use. The new structure features horizontal tongue-and-groove cedar siding, large expanses of glazing, and 1,500 square feet of living roof. The home integrates green technology, such as photovoltaic panels for a net-zero goal. The property provides its owners with 3,700 square feet of living space, composed of the main house, a private guest house, and garage. A lap pool with a dive rock completed the company’s work on this project. The construction company also built a contemporary hillside home, designed for and by renowned San Francisco Bay Area architect Darryl Roberson, FAIA, of Studios Architecture. This amazing home has an exterior veneer featuring Rheinzink zinc tile siding. Stone harvested from the building site was incorporated into the home and used in landscape retaining walls. The home features a careful combination of stucco and large storefront windows and doors that connect the indoors with the out. Later, Jim Murphy & Associates built a guesthouse and observatory on the site for Roberson and his wife. Best described as a jewel box, this secondary structure with a steel framework, slate floors, glass block and concrete countertops contrasts with warm maple cabinets, ceilings, and doors.

1
Cello & Maudru Construction

Architects:
Kris Cello, Bill Maudru

Awards:
2003 AIA Excellence in Design Award, 2005 Custom Home of the Year

Address:
2505 Oak St, Napa, CA 94559

About Cello & Maudru Construction

Cello & Maudru Construction is one of the most prestigious and well-known construction companies in California’s wine region. They are equally adept at building challenging, sleek, contemporary homes as they are building award-winning wineries. Cello & Maudru Construction has worked with many prestigious design professionals, including Walker Warner Architects, Signum Architecture, Aidlin Darling Design, and Tucker & Marks Design. “We bring the unusually beautiful to life with flawless precision. Whether your vision calls for the latest technology or ancient stone, classical details or spare modernism, we’ll find the most efficient way to make it perfect.” – Cello & Maudru Construction This top-tier company began when founders Kris Cello and Bill Maudru teamed up to renovate Napa’s Hess Collection Winery in 1987. Today, the construction firm has seven partners who work together to build high-end structures throughout Northern California. In addition to their residential work, they also build commercial projects, including wineries. Their team includes carpenters, metalworkers, and cabinet-makers. Working with visionary architects and inspired owners, the company creates handcraft beautiful places that protect and uplift their environment. They are experts in using unusual materials and employing the latest sustainable building techniques.

Featured Projects

Cello & Maudru Construction and Aidlin Darling Design worked together on a stunning Sonoma home. The construction company’s most scrupulous detailing was necessary to master the rigorous geometry designed into the home. Reflecting pools seem to meet under the dining room and the cantilevered roof seems to float in space. The company even carefully installed a freestanding sink carved from a single block of stone. Their techniques were tested by the installation of geothermal heating and cooling and floors of reclaimed Javanese teak. Materials used throughout this home include English oak, mahogany, and cedar metal washed in acid to expose its grain. The home’s exterior is fitted with seismic anchors in its tightly jointed veneer. This 18,000 square foot home exhibits Cello & Maudru Construction’s fine attention to detail and ability to execute even the most difficult building demands. And, also with Aidlin Darling Design in Sonoma, the company built a guest house and barn with artfully striated rammed-earth walls and contemporary accents. The structure’s minimalist styling is exaggerated by its expertly mitered oak cabinets, six-foot steel door pulls, and flush trim. This unusual residence was recognized as the 2005 Custom Home of the Year by Custom Home magazine and earned a 2003 AIA Excellence in Design Award. Cello & Maudru Construction collaborated with Forrest Architects and designers Tucker and Marks on an inviting villa. Close work with the entire team, including the owners, was necessary to accomplish this project on an ambitious schedule. The company expertly integrated a mix of opulent materials, including precast concrete, specially cut French limestone, Rojo Alicante marble, and antique cedar ceilings. They installed high-end technology that emphasized the home’s beauty and enhances function. The 15,900 square foot home perfectly mixes classical European elegance with a modern California sensibility.

Best Residential Contractors in San Francisco

Overview

Throughout this website, we have explored the work of the Bay Area’s most prestigious residential architects and best interior designers. But behind every successful, world-class structure these architects design – are the builders that make it a reality. These builders have the knowledge, skills, and local networks to meticulously turn architectural drawings into physical buildings. Their superior craftsmanship, attention to detail, and mastery of the newest building technology, including green building techniques, have helped them rise to the top of their fields. Whether they are undertaking a small-scale kitchen remodel, a whole house renovation or a new construction project, the ten general contractors on this list are the best residential builders in the Bay Area today.
About our methodology – We analyzed customer reviews, government building permit data, and the work history of hundreds of residential general contractors and home builders in San Francisco. We also considered what architects the company works with and any awards and recognition their work has received. We didn’t rely solely on one or two metrics to determine which builder was superior to another. For example, if one builder had a lot of positive customer reviews, but lacked a solid work history and permit data, then the reviews had less weight. We looked at all of these factors to determine what residential builders belonged at the top of the list.

Top Architects

15
Stroub Construction

Architects:
Steve Stroub

Address:
300 Main St., Sausalito, CA

Contact:
(415) 331-0621 |
s.stroub@stroubconstruction.com

About Stroub Construction

Stroub Construction has built custom homes and handled large-scale residential remodels since 1983. Their work has earned them recognition from Qualified Remodeler Magazine and Professional Builder Magazine. The construction company’s work has been featured in over 30 local and national publications, including Architectural Digest, Custom Home, and Sunset. Stroub Construction has been named by Custom Builder Magazine as one of their ‘Builders of the Month’.

Sausalito-based Stroub Construction is run by president Steve Stroub. Stroub began his company with his brother Robert, and one other partner. The company primarily focuses on new construction and remodels of residential properties in San Francisco and southern Marin County. They have earned a solid reputation for their outstanding workmanship and fair pricing.

Featured Projects

Stroub Construction conducted major remodeling on the stately abode at 3524 Jackson Street in Presidio Heights. Just prior to their work, this property was sold for $12.475 million, having been one of the most expensive listings in the city at the time. The company was trusted to remodel this 5,520 square-foot home to the highest standards, with fine detailing. This project included relocating the solarium and skylights, renovating the entire kitchen and three and a half bathrooms. Stroub Construction’s work on the newly purchased home is estimated to have increased the property’s value by more than $5 million.

And the company completely renovated a historic modern home in San Francisco. Originally designed by Frank Lloyd Wright associate Aaron Greene, this home was in need of some updating and restoration. Work on this historic property demanded the highest level of detail and fine craftsmanship throughout. Custom touches included flamed Burlington slate floors, dyed beech paneling and cherry cabinets.

14
Plath & Company

Architects:
Steve Plath

Address:
1575 Francisco Blvd East, San Rafael, CA 94901

Contact:
(415) 460-1575 |
info@plathco.com

About Plath & Company

For over 40 years, Plath & Company has built and renovated fine homes and historic structures of uncompromising quality and enduring value. The company has worked with many of the Bay Area’s premier architects, including Andrew Skurman, Sutro Architects, and Gast Architects. The company has been trusted to lead preservation work on a number of San Francisco landmarks and most recognizable historic buildings, earning four awards from the California Preservation Foundation.

Steve Plath, Founding Partner and President Emeritus, founded Plath & Company 40 years ago and continues to be involved in the company’s projects. The company excels in particular on historic renovations and remodels. They have completed over 200 historical residential renovations. Plath & Company is proud to be a LEED Platinum Builder. They have earned a reputation for straightforward teamwork, transparent business practices, and proactive problem-solving.

Featured Projects

Plath & Company renovated and restored San Francisco’s Bourn Mansion, one of the most recognizable residences in San Francisco. Having suffered from 40 years of neglect, Plath & Company restored the home to its original splendor, while seismically upgrading the structure and modernizing the plumbing, electrical, and heating systems. The team painstakingly dismantled, repaired, and reinstalled the home’s original woodwork and plaster. And stained glass windows, decorative wall coverings, painted ceilings, and the home’s unique Bruce Porter mural were all carefully restored or recreated.

In one of many collaborations with Sutro Architects, Plath & Company thoroughly updated a mid-Century Pacific Heights home built in 1969. When Plath & Company arrived on the job, the home still had its original kitchen and baths. In addition to giving the property a much needed modern renovation, all the home’s plumbing, heating, and electrical systems were brought up to code. And the structure was reinforced seismically and its original garage widened by digging into the property’s hillside. Plath & Company also built in a 3-paneled window in the master bedroom, giving panoramic views across San Francisco Bay.

And with Andrew Skurman, the company remodeled a Presidio Heights home from top to bottom. This vintage, 1920’s corner residence was an impressive and grand structure but was in need of some serious care and upgrades. Substantial updates were carried out, including foundation upgrades, and new kitchen and bathrooms. Significantly, an extraordinary rooftop deck was installed, with access by way of a new staircase covered by a retractable skylight. The rooftop deck features a built-in kitchen and outstanding views.

13
Upscale Construction

Architects:
Tony Kelly
Brad Hayes

Address:
2151 Union Street, Suite #1, San Francisco, CA 94123

Contact:
(415) 563-7550 |
info@upscaleconstruction.com

About Upscale Construction

Upscale has grown into a standout Bay Area construction firm since its founding. The company has built solid working relationships with many of San Francisco’s top professionals, including architect Stanley Saitowitz, William Duff Architects, designer Kendall Wilkinson, and Stephen Sutro Architects. The company’s work has caught the attention of numerous industry publications, including California Home + Design and Luxe Interiors + Design.

Upscale Construction works on both traditional and contemporary residential projects with the goal of delivering high standards at competitive pricing. Founder and Principal Danny Bernardini has worked in construction for nearly 30 years. Today, he is joined at Upscale Construction by with Principals and Co-Owners Tony Kelly and Brad Hayes. The company has a close-knit work culture informed by the diverse backgrounds of their skilled craftsmen. They excel at a wide variety of projects, from modern residences to historic renovations.

Featured Projects

Upscale Construction worked with William Duff Architects and the top interior designer Kendall Wilkinson to remodel a 1920’s Pacific Heights home to delicately mix traditional and contemporary elements. In the remodeled home, the first-floor living room, dining room, and kitchen all revolved around a contemporary, 2-sided blackened steel fireplace. Other elements include a contemporary wood staircase with ornamental glass railings, reclaimed wood walls, veneer plaster treatments, and traditional plank floors. They also built a wall of wine storage and modern wet-bar in the ground floor family room, which also has timeworn brick walls, new concrete and steel, glass rails and a dramatic wood ceiling with sophisticated perimeter trough lighting. Upscale Construction’s work highlights impressive views of the Golden Gate Bridge and Palace of Fine Arts and blurs the line between indoor and outdoor living, including with paved decks framed by glass rails.

The company also worked with renowned architect Stanley Saitowitz to remodel a 1920s Pacific Heights home. To create a unique, contemporary/traditional space, they expertly mixed together a variety of materials, including reclaimed wood walls, exposed brick, a blackened-steel fireplace, and glass stair railings. The kitchen of this historic home was fully remodeled with dark wood cabinetry, white marble countertops, and a backlit backsplash. Other rooms in the house that required work by the company also included a gym, sauna, and movie screening room.

12
Saturn Construction

Architects:
Dave Tricamo

Address:
1555 Yosemite Unit 16, San Francisco, CA 94124

Contact:
(415) 822-8333 | dtricamo@saturnconstruction.com

About Saturn Construction

Saturn Construction is a full-service general contracting company that works on some of the best residential spaces in the Bay Area. The company has partnered with many of San Francisco’s most successful design firms, including Nick Noyes Architecture, Boor Bridges, Orlando-Diaz Ascuy Design Associates, ChrDUAER Architects, and Todd David Architecture. Their work has caught the eye of several design publications, including Dwell, Interiors, and California Home + Design.

Owned by Dave Tricamo, Saturn Construction works directly with clients from pre-construction to post-construction maintenance on residential remodels and new construction. In addition to their high-end residential projects, Saturn Construction also completes commercial projects throughout the city.

Featured Projects

Saturn Construction worked with Surface Design Inc. to renovate a three-story Victorian-era building into a modern home, bringing harmony to the living space for a family of four. The scope of this project included carving out two bedrooms for the children, renovating the outdated kitchen into a functional, high-end space, remodeling a powder room, and adding Venetian plaster accent walls and painting throughout. The company also waterproofed the home and renovated an amazing third-story roof deck. The team also installed an extensive wall unit built with FSC certified plywood and eco-friendly resin panels, lending a modern and playful feeling to the home, while also serving as to separate the home office and children’s play space.

And for the owners of a four-story Pacific Heights home, Saturn Construction worked with Orlando-Diaz Ascuy Design Associates to build add character and warmth to their home. The company replaced old carpeting with wenge flooring and resurfaced all of the existing hardwood throughout the home. Custom lighting was installed, including a recessed color-changing fixture above a living room alcove, new paint and fabric walls were put up, and stonework was refinished. The end result is a contemporary space with a blend of textures mixed together with the finest craftsmanship.

Saturn Construction also worked with top area firm Boor Bridges Architecture to add living space off the back of a 1890’s home. This job required great technical skill. The construction company carved into the hillside and created a heated patio for entertaining and an outdoor shower and bathtub. They also cut skylights into the roof and added a new kitchen and bathroom.

11
Drömhus General Contracting

Architects:
John Conomos

Address:
1164 Fulton St., San Francisco, CA 94117

Contact:
(415) 353-0770 |
info@dromhusinc.com

About Drömhus General Contracting

Even with its comparatively short amount of time in the business, Drömhus General Contracting has worked with some of the area’s top professionals, including Jensen Architects, John Maniscalco Architecture, Sutro Architects, Ian Birchall and Associates, and Jay Jeffers Design. Their work has earned awards from AIA San Francisco, and been featured in Architectural Record, the San Francisco Chronicle, Cottages and Gardens, Wallpaper Magazine, and SF Gate.

The company’s name, Drömhus, is Swedish for “dream home” and represents the type of project the construction firm has become known for executing. Their homes are beautifully crafted and unique to each client. The company is known for its holistic approach to collaborating with designers, making the construction process seamless and true to architectural plans and vision. Their staff of about 30 diverse individuals comes from a mixed background of art, design, real estate, and architecture, allowing them to enhance the outcome of each home.

Featured Projects

DrömHus General Contractors worked with John Maniscalco Architecture to renovate and expand a mid-century modern Presidio Heights dwelling. With 4,300 square feet, 2 floors, and an expansive roof deck with sweeping views of The Golden Gate Bridge and Presidio Park, DrömHus General Contractors saw endless possibilities for architectural collaboration. Inside, the home features wide-open, column-free spaces, which required surgical insertion of new steel structural members. The company also built in a new basement, which required complicated excavation, shoring, and a new shotcrete foundation. They also procured and managed the installation of custom engineered, European old-growth oak flooring and the cantilevered, wood-clad steel stair. DrömHus General Contractors considers this one of our most imaginative of marquee projects.

And the construction firm worked with Jensen Architects to completely renovate a Victorian mansion built in 1889 overlooking Alamo Square Park. The 16-room home was outfitted with luxury finishes, including floor-to-ceiling windows, a statement central staircase, and a gorgeous roof deck with an outdoor kitchen. The kitchen mixes contemporary and traditional finishes and has an eat-in breakfast area. In the master suite, DrömHus General Contractors created an upscale, spa-like bathroom and large walk-in closet. The finished home was featured in Cottages & Gardens, Wallpaper Magazine, and SF Gate.

10
Nova Designs + Builds

Architects:
John Schraeder

Address:
297 C Kansas Street, San Francisco, CA 94103

Contact:
(415) 626-8868 |
info@novadesignsbuilds.com

About Nova Designs + Builds

Nova Designs + Builds has worked on over 1,000 projects in San Francisco, ranging from remodels to custom home builds. The company’s work has been featured on SFGate.com, TheBasisPoint.com, and in Elle Decor. Earlier this year, we named Nova Designs + Builds as one of the best design/build firms in San Francisco.

John Schraeder founded Nova Designs + Builds, a full-service design and construction company in 1990, after gaining extensive practical experience working on conservation and renovation projects in New York City. The San Jose native and Principal Contractor was joined in Nova by Belgium architect Fabien Lannoye in 1999.

Schrader has always worked in the creative fields. After studying music composition and classical studies at West Valley College and San Jose State University, he pursued a career as a composer, professional musician and art-oriented entrepreneur. His unique experiences are reflected in his ability to manipulate the visual and built environment with light, color, and spatial planning.

Featured Projects

Nova Designs + Builds has received significant praise for their renovation of a 4,600 square-foot townhouse from 1938 in Pacific Heights. Their work returned this duplex to a single-family residence and took advantage of direct views to Alcatraz Island and the Golden Gate Bridge. The home features spacious, open living and a studio apartment/in-law suite.

The company also created a beautiful indoor/outdoor home at 2 Everson Street. Their design and careful craftsmanship of this family-home takes full advantage of its surroundings. The main living area is situated on the top floor and features reclaimed hardwood flooring, a free-standing fireplace, and a wall of picture windows. Nova built the top floor to cantilever above an exterior covered living room, with its own fireplace, outdoor kitchen, and stone grotto.

Nova Design + Builds also redesigned and carried out the renovations on what is (currently) the most expensive home for sale in the city – a $22 million four-story Pacific Heights home at 2476 Broadway.

9
Mueller Nicholls Builders

Architects:
Steve Nicholls
Rich Robb

Address:
2400 Union Street, Oakland, CA 94607

Contact:
(510) 444-5000 |
info@mnbuild.com

About Mueller Nicholls Builders

Established in 1981, Oakland-based Mueller Nicholls Builders is a leader in both the cabinet and construction industries. The company works with some of the Bay Area’s top architects, including Butler Armsden, Ana Williamson Architect, OXB Studio Architects, and Studio Urbis. MN Builders’ work has been featured in California Home + Design, Better Homes and Gardens, and Luxe Interiors + Designs.

The company was founded by Founder and CEO Steve Nicholls; Rich Robb is the General Manager of MN Construction. MN Builders specializes in mid-size to large, high-end partial and comprehensive remodels throughout the Bay Area. In its 35 years in business, the construction company has built relationships with the area’s best architects, designers, and subcontractors – connections they now use to deliver high-quality work at fair prices to their clients. They are known for their ability to help clients through all planning stages, including helping them assemble a top-rate team if necessary.

Featured Projects

Partnering with Butler Armsden Architects, MN Builders renovated a traditional Pacific Heights home into a functional and open space. When MN Builders started this project, the stately home was cluttered and had small, cut-off rooms surrounding an undersized and outdated kitchen. Their work involved the installation of steel moment frames and I-beams to replace the lower floor’s maze of rooms – resulting in an open concept kitchen and living area. Renovated access to the outdoors extended the livable space of this home, allowing its owners to easily transition to its newly renovated backyard.

And MN Builders also renovated a generously-sized apartment into a modern, high-end home with architects from Studio Urbis. The outdated flat was completely reworked to have an open and contemporary interior. MN Builders carefully installed elegant and deceptively simple details and finishes – metal, wood, concrete, plaster, and color throughout the new family space.

They also breathed new life into an outdated, bayside family-home in Marin County, working closely with OXB Architects. The home was transformed into a comfortable, contemporary space by opening up the kitchen and living room and providing better access to the outdoors. With the installation of window walls that completely fold out of the way, the family was given a fuller sense and direct sight lines to the water right outside their home. And in a nod to more traditional finishes, limestone tiles were be installed on vertical surfaces around the fireplace. MN Builders also modernized the entry and adjoining mudroom/bathroom with clean and simple details, as well as the front of the house facing onto the street.

8
Ethan Allen Construction

Architects:
Ethan Allen

Address:
PO Box 65, Canyon, CA 94516

Contact:
(925) 376-1800 |
info@ethanallenconstruction.com

About Ethan Allen Construction

Ethan Allen Construction builds standout homes across the Bay Area. The company has worked with many renowned Bay Area architects, including John Malick & Associates, John Maniscalco Architecture, and Faulkner Architects. The company’s work has drawn the attention of AIA SF, California Home + Design, Dwell, Modern Luxury Interiors: California, and Mountain Living, among others.

The team at Ethan Allen Construction specializes in new custom home construction and remodels, both in dense urban areas and as vacation retreats in the woods.Founder Ethan Allen began his career as a Bay Area residential carpenter, taking the traditional approach of working one’s way through every facet of the building process. He brings over 25 years of experience building the highest quality homes, luxury cabins, and remodels to Ethan Allen Construction. Although the company has grown considerably since it was founded, Allen is dedicated to client satisfaction and still manages each job and has a presence on each job in order to deliver excellent results. Each project team is selected to ensure that client concerns, architectural vision, craftsmanship, and budget remain the focus.

Featured Projects

Ethan Allen Construction has worked with elite area firm John Maniscalco Architecture on numerous projects. One such project is the award-winning “Butterfly House” on Russian HIll. This project reimagined a four-story mid-century home for a young couple, turning it into a modern, indoor/outdoor masterpiece. The team’s work took advantage of the panoramic views the property offers by adding a glass-floor roof deck, wrap-around terraces, and outdoor access on every floor with floor-to-ceiling sliding glass pocket doors. They also reversed the typical home layout and reorganized the common, living spaces to the top level of the home. The open-plan interior construction has crisp, clean lines and includes a mix of douglas fir and soft gray concrete flooring. Other elements of this project include an underground wine cellar, multi-point doors converted to electric strike to allow for keyless entry and exit, a ceiling drop down television, and recessed electric blinds on all windows.

And in Piedmont, Ethan Allen Construction teamed up with architects John Malick and Associates to remodel a two-story family home. Done in the French Provincial style, this project involved an overhaul of the outdated kitchen and joined together the family room, pantry, and downstairs wine cellar. The country style kitchen is graced with arches and inviting color. This is enhanced by the pantry’s oval design with an elliptical dome ceiling. An elegant spiral staircase was created for access to the home’s wine cellar.

7
Kevin Webb Construction

Architects:
Kevin Webb

Awards:
AIA Design Award

Address:
3298 Pierce Street, San Francisco, CA 94123

Contact:
(415) 474-9905 |
kevin@webbsf.com

About Kevin Webb Construction

Kevin Webb Construction is a high-end contracting and general construction firm in San Francisco with over 30 years of experience ranging from renovations of historical residences to the construction of multi-unit buildings. The team is behind some award-winning work, including the conversion of a historic property into an AIA winning residence. Webb Construction works repeatedly with highly regarded architects and developers, such as BAR Architects, Charlie Barnett Associates, and Ogrydziak / Prillinger.

All of Kevin Webb Construction projects demonstrate attention to detail and exceptional craftsmanship. The talented professionals who comprise Webb Construction orchestrate and implement all phases of construction efficiently and with great care.

Founder Kevin Webb has 38 years of construction experience. He began as a carpenter in the early 1980’s working on large projects downtown. This experience led him to general contracting with a specialization in carefully crafted and well designed residential projects. His resume includes meticulous projects in sometimes challenging settings: from historical preservation projects in the Presidio to a custom residence for the largest landlord in San Francisco, to several multi-unit condominium projects in Pacific Heights and Russian Hill, (with record-setting sales prices). All of his projects are rooted in attention to every detail and a respect for the legacy of their settings.
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Featured Projects

Kevin Webb Construction has teamed up with leading architects Ogrydziak/Prillinger on a number of residential projects throughout the Bay Area. One of their latest projects, 1945 Hyde received an AIA Design Award. Named “The Garage on Hyde”, this building offered excellent bones in a desirable residential area, with dramatic volumes. One of the city’s most exciting recent residential remodels, this project preserving the historic features of the building’s industrial past such as window design, street-level openings, and materiality, while inserting distinct, but quiet, new spatial blocks and finishes.

And the company collaborated with B.A.R. Architects on a 4,000 square foot home At the top of Edgehill Way in San Francisco. This home was built out as a contemporary homage to the Arts and Crafts aesthetic. Kevin Webb COnstruction’s exceptional carpentry skills are on display in their work on this project, particularly evident in the rustic sophistication of its interior and exterior spaces. Unique to this design is the use of vertical grain Hemlock, cladding the vast expanse of interior walls, ceiling, and exposed complex trusses.

The company also worked with Ogrydzkiak / Prillinger Architects and visual artist James Turrell on a cylindrical ‘skyspace home’ situated on a hilltop site at a vineyard in Sonoma. They carefully incorporated an existing water tower into the new home.

6
GGD, Inc.

Architects:
Glenn Goodman

Address:
475 Gate 5 Road Suite 200, Sausalito, CA 94965

Contact:
(415) 339-1488 |
mail@ggd-inc.com

About GGD, Inc.

GGD, Inc. creates unique custom homes throughout the Bay Area. The company’s work has been featured in Architectural Digest, Luxe Interiors & Designs, Gentry Home, San Francisco Magazine, and on WSJ.com. The company has built strong relationships with key tradesmen and design professionals, leading to their repeat collaborations with top area architects, including Butler Armsden and Suzanne Tucker of Tucker & Marks Inc.

GGD, Inc. Founder and President Glenn Goodman has over 42 years of experience in construction management and contracting. He takes an active role in every company project, overseeing each project’s advance construction requirements and monitoring the day-to-day construction. GGD, Inc. is committed to reducing the ecological impact of their build. To that end, they are active supporters of Save The Bay and Build It Green initiatives.

Before forming his own company in 2008, Goodman spent nine years as a project manager with the acclaimed Van Acker Construction, included at the top of this list. Throughout his career, he has served as CEO for a San Francisco engineering services and construction management firm, as well as Operations Manager and Vice President for four other construction management firms. While he was CEO of Geo Resource Consultants, the firm was awarded a 1997 Small Contractor of the Year Award from the U.S. Air Force and General Services Accounting Agency.

Featured Projects

GGD, Inc. has collaborated with the prestigious architects at Butler Armsden for numerous Bay Area projects. Together, they renovated a 1906 single-family hilltop home in Buena Vista Park, opening the home up to the far-reaching views of the outdoors. They also worked together on a top-to-bottom remodel of a house at 2841 Divisadero Street, changing the outdated space into an open, contemporary home. Work involved a complete reconfiguration the main-floor living area and kitchen and the addition of an office and a terrace deck. In the master bedroom, the team added a rolling skyline and en-suite bathroom that featured intricate glass tile work.

GGD, Inc. also rejuvenated and refinished a 1939 William Wurster designed home with gardens designed by Tommy Church. The work on this historic property was done in true to period materials and finishes with modern details. Details included interior veneer plaster throughout and pre-finished, German made, European Oak floors. The project scale also involved an expanded basement Den, Laundry and Wine Room. Each bedroom was given a full bath with traditional Tadelakt plaster walls and a fully remodeled guest suite was finished above the garage.

5
Peter Downey Construction

Architects:
Peter Downey

Awards:
Julia Morgan Award,
Residential Institute of Classical Architecture & Art Honorable Mention for Interior Design & Decoration

Address:
1224 Carleton St, Berkeley, CA 94702

Contact:
(510) 848-1699 |
info@peterdowneyconstruction.com

About Peter Downey Construction

Founded in 1979, Peter Downey Construction specializes in premium residential building, including new construction and remodels. The company works with accomplished architecture firms, including BAR Architects, Richard Beard, and Butler Armsden. Their work has earned several prestigious awards, including a Julia Morgan Award and an award from Residential Institute of Classical Architecture & Art.

Peter Downey Construction works across the Bay Area. Their work can be found in San Francisco’s most exclusive neighborhoods, as well as Marin, Piedmont, Berkeley, Montclair, Orinda, and the Oakland Hills. PDC has 35 years of experience revitalizing and updating historic homes, including Victorian, Craftsman, and Modern-era buildings. They maintain a network of artisans and skilled mechanics who can be relied upon to provide specialized skills of any kind to any degree necessary.

Featured Projects

Peter Downey Construction and BAR Architects renovated a landmark 1924 Pacific Heights Home. The historic G. Albert Lansburgh designed and built home was updated into a clean and contemporary residence that provided the perfect background to the owner’s extensive collection of modern art. This was achieved by making the interior composed of large, open, and naturally lit spaces, with a floorplan that provided considerably wall space to hang art. The home has a number of amenities and special features: a double-height entryway with a skylight, cantilevered stone staircase with a hammered bronze railing, wood burning fireplace, wine cellar, home office, sauna, gym, and a game room with a wet bar. Exterior modifications include all new windows, new stucco and paint, the addition of a 2-story bay window and cantilevered balconies on the north side. The finished home was recognized with a Julia Morgan Award, Honorable Mention for Interior Design & Decoration from the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art.

And working in close collaboration with Thayer Hopkins Architects, Peter Downey Construction remodeled a historic mansion in Presidio Heights. Located at 1 Maple Street, this 1928 mansion necessitated updates for modern amenities, while at the same time the owners wished to preserve its historic character. The construction company brought the home to a full historic articulation and detail befitting the original high English architecture. 21st-century amenities and fine finishes were included throughout the interior, such as Jerusalem gold limestone, scagliola marble, and classic, English plaster. The floorplan of the main living level was completely reconfigured to open the space up for formal entertaining and more open living. And in keeping with the original street facade, the rear elevation was redesigned amid new formal gardens.

4
Design Line Construction

Architects:
Andrew McHale

Awards:
Builder Merit Awards,
Remodeling Grand Award

Address:
60 Dorman Avenue San Francisco, CA 94124

Contact:
(415) 647-1373 |
info@designlinebuilds.com

About Design Line Construction

Design Line Construction is a preeminent builder known for beautifully crafted and forward-thinking homes. Their work earned them a number of awards, including Builder’s Choice & Custom Home Merit Awards, Custom Home of the Year at the Builder’s Choice Custom Home Design Awards, and the 2015 Remodeling Grand Award in Whole-house Remodeling. A recent home of theirs also received an AIA California Merit Award. The company works with some of the best professionals in the city, including Feldman Architecture, Sutro Architects, Jay Jeffers, and John Maniscalco Architecture.

Design Line Construction was founded in 1998 by Andrew McHale. Since then, the company has established a reputation as an efficient, progressive, and transparent general contractor. Design Line Construction embraces technological advancements that benefit their work and that encourage accountability. Their work can be seen around the San Francisco Bay Area, North Bay, Wine Country, and Peninsula.

McHale began his career in England, where he completed a City and Gilded Apprenticeship followed by accreditations in construction, drafting, and engineering. He then relocated to New York, working in the field on high-end residences in Manhattan, Westchester County, and Connecticut.

Featured Projects

In Cole Valley, Design Line Construction worked with John Maniscalco Architecture on a total remodel of a 1946 four-story hillside home. The nearly 6,000 square foot home was stripped down to the studs and the basement and garage were completely excavated. All floors within the home are linked by an elevator and gorgeous wood-and-bronze cantilevered staircases. An acclimated walnut wine cellar and billiards room were added on the entertainment level and the upstairs floors were outfitted with high-end finishes. White oak floors, custom cabinets, Italian stone slab walls, and heath tile fill the main living areas, while a glass and steel catwalk links the two of the upstairs bedrooms, overlooking the dining room, which has two-story vaulted ceilings. Walls of glass doors fold away to open the main floor to the Zen garden, which features an outdoor fireplace, grill and seating areas, and stone walls with built-in climbing holds.

And their work on an unconventional 4,500 square foot modern home, done in collaboration with Feldman Architecture, was recognized with the Grand Prize at the 2015 Remodeling Design Awards, earned a Merit Award from Builder & Custom Home, and was featured in AIA SF Home Tours. To turn this formerly traditional townhouse into a playful modern family-home, the team opened up the home and added eclectic finishes and details. The main floor has a great room with combined dining, living, and kitchen spaces, including a two-story tall kitchen. The great room flows effortlessly onto an outdoor deck and large backyard, opened up by a wall of folding glass doors. A metal-screened stair leads from the street level to a catwalk that surrounds an atrium. The catwalk leads to private bedrooms and another stair that runs diagonally across the atrium, leading to a floating office and roof deck.

3
Ryan Associates

Architects:
Eric Friedman
Mark Thomas

Address:
333 12th Street, San Francisco, CA 94103

Contact:
(415) 861-3085 |
info@ryanassociates.com

About Ryan Associates

For over 30 years, Ryan Associates has built extraordinary homes in the Bay Area. They have built solid relationships with some of the best design professionals in the area, leading to many projects with top practices, including Aidlin Darling Design, Walker Warner Architects, Zack de Vito Architecture, BAR Architects, Andrew Skurman, Sutro Architects, and Geddes Ulinskas Architects. Their work has been featured in Architectural Digest, Dwell, Modern Luxury Interiors, and California Home + Design, among those.

Founded in 1979, the company has built a reputation for delivering expert craftsmanship in traditional and contemporary residential projects. The employee-owned company, founded by Paul Ryan and Jim Friedman, loves solving the challenges of building complex projects, drawing on proven experience, technical and managerial expertise, and commitment to innovation. In addition to their residential projects, Ryan Associates builds commercial and hospitality structures.

Featured Projects

Ryan Associates collaborated with Walker Warner Architects to renovate a 1951 William Wurster residence in Pacific Heights. Work on this home carefully preserved the mid-century modern aesthetic and historic integrity, while updating interior spaces for modern, 21st-century living. The builders also installed building systems for energy-efficiency and sustainability. A completely reconfigured floor plan and the addition of windows around a courtyard serve to enhance the indoor/outdoor connection – a staple of Wurster’s designs. Ryan Associates seamlessly integrated many iconic Wurster building materials into the home’s renovation, including horizontal siding and paneling, wood windows and doors, a neutral color palette, and refined detailing.

In collaboration with the renowned Aidlin Darling Design firm, Ryan Associates completed a Mill Valley ‘Courtyard Residence.’ Work on this new residential project involved the construction of a series of interconnected pavilions enclosing a garden. In addition to integrating high-end materials and finishes, Ryan Associates incorporated fuel cell and solar panel technologies, passive cooling, greywater reclamation, and extensive use of reclaimed finish materials.

And the construction company teamed up with Zack de Vito Architecture to renovate a high-rise city apartment. Completed for a couple with grown children, the work on this urban retreat is sophisticated and demanded a high level of detail and precision. Main rooms were moved to the perimeter of the space to accentuate the phenomenal city views and capture natural light. An “inner cube” was placed at the center of the apartment, anchoring the space with services and an entertaining kitchen. Ryan Associates also built in areas of poche that act as containers for hidden storage and delineate transitions of space.

2
Forde Mazzola Assoc. Inc

Architects:
Charles Mazzola
David Forde

Address:
665 3rd St Suite 430 San Francisco, CA

Contact:
(415) 522-5930 |
charles@fmabuilders.com

About Forde Mazzola Assoc. Inc

Forde Mazzola Associates Inc. is a general contractor with over 25 years of experience in high-end residential building in San Francisco and the Bay Area. The company excels with a range of aesthetics and styles, evidenced by their work repeat work with high-profile San Francisco architects and firms, such as Andrew Skurman and Butler Armsden. Forde Mazzola projects have drawn attention from SF Luxe, Home World Design, and Architectural Digest, among other industry publications.

Forde Mazzola Assoc. Inc was founded by Charles Mazzola and David Forde. Since then, they have completed over 150 residential construction projects. The pair is committed to excellence and delivering the highest level of service to their clients. They are known for high-end remodels of condominium units and single-family homes. In addition to their work on individual residential projects, Forde Massola Assoc. Inc also conducts renovation work on large apartment buildings and hotels.

Featured Projects

Forde Mazzola conducted work on a full-floor high-end apartment at 2000 Washington No. 4, which is currently offered for sale at $7.5 million. The construction company collaborated with the city’s most recognized professionals such as architect Andrew Skurman and Suzanne Tucker of Tucker & Marks. The finished result of this completely remodeled 1922 apartment was featured in Architectural Digest, California Homes, Robb Report, and other publications. The apartment reflects an old European ambiance with modern amenities, seamlessly weaved together through luxurious details and the finest craftsmanship.

Working again with top-area architect Andrew Skurman, Forde Mazzola remodeled a Beaux Arts condominium in Nob Hill. The historic home still contained an abundance of original 1914 architectural features. Forde Mazzola’s work painstakingly preserved and restored these historical details, while simultaneously upgrading the home. Details include the installation of reclaimed oak, inlaid marble flooring, a gold-foiled ceiling, and lacquered walls.

And the construction company remodeled a kitchen for a San Francisco couple to be open and airy. Designed for a beach-style aesthetic, work on this u-shaped kitchen included adding white shaker cabinets and a subway tile backsplash and all new stainless steel appliances. Work on this project also involved the creation of a large, walk-in pantry. Materials on this job include ceramic tile flooring and a live-edge wood bar top, giving warmth to the open kitchen. For a personal touch, Forde Massola sourced the wood for the bar from the client’s backyard.

1
Van Acker Construction Associates

Architects:
Gary Van Acker

Awards:
American Architecture Award

Address:
1060 Redwood Hwy Frontage Rd., Mill Valley, CA 94941

Contact:
(415) 383-5589 |
info@vanacker.com

About Van Acker Construction Associates

Van Acker Construction Associates delivers the highest level of general contracting and construction management services to their clientele. The company frequently collaborates with visionary, engineers, designers, and architects, including the renowned Olle Lundberg and Walker Warner Architects, to build phenomenal homes. Their work has been featured in many industry publications, including Luxe Interiors + Design and has won several prestigious awards.

Van Acker Construction Associates, founded in 1987, represents the intersection of design development and execution. Led by President Gary Van Acker, the team successfully takes on ambitious and complex projects. Acker has brought together a diverse team of highly skilled individuals to form his construction company. This unique collection of workers strives to maintain the traditions and standards of craftsmanship Van Acker has become recognized for as a leader, while integrating progressive building concepts, technologies, and tools. The company is known for its flexible process and ability to work on residential projects of any range and scale.

Featured Projects

Van Acker teamed up with Walker Warner Architects to build a modern family compound perched on an idyllic hilltop site. Named the Foothills Modern, this residence is composed of four structures—the main house, guest house, pool house, and caretaker’s residence. Each building is weaved together into a cohesive plan through striking horizontal lines, flat roofs, and bold overhanging eaves. Van Acker built wide-open interior spaces with floor-to-ceiling glass and steel-mullioned windows.

And the company completed the ambitious and challenging complete renovation of a historic Telegraph Hill home, as designed by Architect Olle Lundberg. Originally built in 1936 on a cliff’s edge, work on this home exhibits Van Acker’s extreme attention to detail and technical abilities. Van Acker Construction oversaw excavation of the basement and re-anchored the home into the cliffside. The builder’s dropped the home six feet, allowing for the creation of a functional basement and extension of the main floor. A stunning, four-story glass-walled staircase allows natural light to permeate the home; its floating treads and an adjacent lightwall make the stairs appear to float in space. The renovation was featured in the Luxe Interiors + Design and earned several awards, including Remodeling Design Awards and an ASLA-NCC Honor Award.

The Best Architects in Oakland

Overview

Oakland, the largest city in the East Bay, is increasingly becoming a popular destination and larger player in the region. As the city across the Bay from San Francisco has experienced a period of steady population growth for the past decade and an influx of economic activity, its built environment has begun to adapt and change as well. Whether it is new high-end single-family homes in Berkeley Hills, an eco-friendly house in Piedmont, or one of the 20 new towers coming to Oakland – the East Bay is attracting some of the region’s best architects and design firms to help shape these new buildings and developments.Oakland is proud of its working-class history and many locals are committed to preserving the structures and character that are there. So in addition to designing new buildings, these architects creatively and carefully restore and repurpose the city’s historic buildings, giving them new life. And as the most ethnically diverse major city in the country, Oakland’s history and culture show through its buildings, unique streets, and diverse neighborhoods – and many of the architects on this list show respect for this in their designs, infusing the city’s heart and personality into their buildings, whether is a new restaurant or low-income housing project.

The 11 architecture firms included on this list represent the best of design in Oakland. Most of these firms are located in the East Bay or are changing the built environment in a significant enough way as to be included. They are split into three categories based on their primary focus – residential, small commercial properties, such as retail, office, and restaurant design, and large commercial projects, including major multi-family developments and high-rises.

Top Architects

Custom Home and Residential Architects

Just as Oakland is experiencing a rise in population and economic activity, so too is the city witnessing increased residential development. As more people are drawn to the vibrant city, and neighboring Berkeley, Piedmont, and Emeryville, top architects are designing stunning new homes and massive renovations for existing ones. While some of the Best Residential Architects in San Francisco may design the occasional home across the Bay, these four architectural practices have a more specific focus on residential projects in the East Bay.

Included on this list are the architects who designed former Oakland mayor and current California governor Jerry Brown’s hilltop home, those with work featured in national publications, and practices with countless prestigious awards to their names. These are the four best residential architecture and design firms working in Oakland.

4
House + House Architects

Architects:
Steven House
Cathi House

Awards:
Best of the Bay Best Architecture Firm 1st Place Award, Custom Home Design Award

Address:
1499 Washington Street, San Francisco, CA 94109

Contact:
(415) 474-2112 |
info@houseandhouse.com

About House + House Architects

House + House is an award-winning practice that specializes in the design of creative, modern, and sustainable homes throughout the Bay Area and in Mexico. In 1989 they were named by Architecture Magazine as an emerging talent to keep an eye out for – and since then, their clever and practical homes have helped them rise to the top of the city’s architectural scene. In 2010, they won the 1st Place Award for Best Architecture Firm from Best of the Baylist. They have won over 50 awards and their work has been featured in national and international publications.

The principals and founders, Steven and Cathi House, cite their vast travel experiences as inspiration for their work, having traveled and worked in Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America. As a result, they have a keen ability to incorporate traditional elements into nuanced, contemporary designs. They are also known for designing homes with a strong connection to nature and the outdoors. Both principals are committed to sustainability and incorporate green design elements throughout each home and landscape.

Outside of their practice, Cathi and Steven House are dedicated to educating and contributing to the development of architectural theory and practice. They have lectured across the United States and Mexico and both served on the Dean’s Advisory Board and the Advisory Council for the School of Architecture + Design at Virginia Tech. Additionally, they established The Center for Architecture, Sustainability + Art (CASA), a study abroad program in the UNESCO World Heritage Site San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.

Featured Projects

House + House Architects designed the Langmaid Residence in Oakland, which earned an ASID Design Excellence, AIA East Bay Award, and a Builder’s Choice Design Award. This stunning single-family home creatively incorporates natural wood, copper, and concrete to create a contemporary design that still respects the history and traditional style of the neighborhood.

And they designed the Grandview home in Oakland which excellently combines curving walls, deep-set windows, rich colors, and carefully proportioned spaces. For the client, they incorporated ideas of feng shui and geomancy within solar alignments, energy flows, and spiritually powerful zones. The home has a rich play of colors and tones, giving it a liveliness and comfortability. Every material and color was selected to celebrate the artisan and the user. This project was recognized with a Custom Home Design Award.

House + House Architects also designed a large family home on a steep hill in Oakland. Hammonds Residence was designed to interact with the surrounding nature and features many generous outdoor living spaces. A steel entry canopy leads to the multi-layered stairway linking three intersecting volumes. A large curving deck links the spread out rooms together, and large walls of windows invite a stronger connection to the outdoors. The master suite opens onto a lush garden and soaring balcony and each guestroom have their own private deck. Cedar siding and stucco in soft tones compliment the California landscape, a home in harmony with its surroundings.

3
building Lab

Architects:
Stephen Shoup

Awards:
REMMIES Grand Prize,
Remodeling Magazine Grand Award, NARI Awards,
Remodeling Magazine Grand Awards

Address:
999 43rd St, Oakland, CA 94608

Contact:
(510) 420-1133 |
info@buildinglab.com

About building Lab

The Oakland-based design/build firm building lab specializes in modern residential remodels throughout the Bay Area. building Lab has earned many awards for their design and construction, including from Remodeling Magazine and National Association of the Remodeling Industry.

building Lab was founded in 2001 by Stephen Shoup. The design-build practice specializes in residential projects with thoughtful and highly refined modern designs. They are known for incorporating a family’s needs into the function of their home designs and are committed to using the newest and best green building practices. The practice is composed of talented designers, project managers, and architects and has experience in new construction, whole-house remodels, additions, kitchens and bath remodels, master planning, landscape design, custom cabinetry and furniture.

The firm has been recognized with numerous awards, including the 2016 REMMIES Grand Prize, the 2015 Remodeling Magazine Grand Award, and multiple NARI awards and Remodeling Magazine Grand Awards. A skilled carpenter from a young age, Shoup takes a holistic approach to design and building. Shoup received his Masters of Architecture from the University of California, Berkeley, and also received training at The Architectural Association in London.

Featured Projects

building Lab undertook a whole house remodel on Burdeck Drive in the Oakland Hills. This major reconstruction of a badly deteriorated mid-century house turned the family home into a beautiful, safe, and functional home. The house was stripped down to its foundation and upgraded seismically. The building Lab’s design reconfigured the floor plan with a new kitchen and baths. A spacious great room with rebuilt floor-to-ceiling windows frame a panoramic view. And the design offers easy access to a large outdoor entertainment deck from the new kitchen.

In the center of Piedmont, the firm undertook a whole house remodel on Sharon Avenue for a young family. The heart of this home is the kitchen and building Lab designed the home to emphasize this and give the space proper flow. The original design was compartmentalized, inhibiting interaction and closing space off to light. building Lab removed walls and created an open kitchen and living space. The effort was amply rewarded in the continuity and dynamism of the resulting area. A large island centerpiece serves as the transition between the intimate, 8-foot high kitchen ceiling and the airy, vaulted family room. Supporting these spaces are generous storage, a light-drenched eating nook, and a discrete computer workstation. The sleek home is filled with upscale finishes and is full of light.

2
Bliss Design Build

Architects:
Sallie Lang
Amy Harwin

Address:
4132 Shafter Ave, Oakland, California 94609-2620

Contact:
(510) 759-1323 | n/a

About Bliss Design Build

Bliss Design Build, founded by Sallie Lang, is a design and construction company that creates creative and joyful homes throughout the East Bay. Their work has the highest level of craftsmanship and displays a keen sense for integrating client’s needs and context specific design solutions. Sallie Lang has worked on many high-profile homes, including Jerry Brown’s Oakland Hills home and Larry Ellison’s Japanese style Woodside estate.

Sallie Lang launched Bliss Design Build in 1993 as Bliss Construction. Shortly after, Lang had the opportunity to work for Paul Discoe, the founder of Joinery Structures. In that capacity, she spent 7 years as the project manager building Larry Ellison’s storied Japanese style estate in Woodside from the ground up. She then reformed Bliss Construction as Bliss Design Build. She is now the construction arm of the firm, using her extensive experience in the complex design and building process, including sourcing rare materials, developing new technologies, and finding skilled artisans to work at a high-level. Lang is an expert at coordinating many different layers of the construction process including managing people and materials.

Sallie Land was joined in Bliss Design Build by Designer and Partner Amy Harwin in 2008. She has significant experience working on high-end restaurants, multi-use buildings, and schools. She also committed to gaining experience using alternative, green technology and worked for Toby Long Designs/CleverHomes. She then worked for Michelle Kaufmann Designs who was a leader in pre-fab architecture. Her pre-fab work helps hone her design skills for creative solutions in tight spaces and her varied experience in different typologies helps her think outside the box to find the right design solutions. Harwin earned her Master’s in Architecture at ASU.

Featured Projects

Bliss Design Build custom built a Japanese-inspired Oakland Hills home for former Oakland mayor and current California governor Jerry Brown. The property offers sweeping views of the San Francisco Bay and was designed to capture these incredible sights from as many rooms as possible. The 5-level zen-inspired home includes tons of special features, including a sauna, wine cellar, glass roll-up doors in the family room, a custom staircase, bamboo floors, and an extensive use of white pine. The luxury home is light and airy.

Bliss Design Build also conducted an extensive addition and remodel of a mid-century modern Oakland Hills home. The result is a family home with a large open kitchen, dining room, and family area. The master bedroom, playroom, guest suite, and master bedroom were also re-designed. The overall project emphasized an indoor/outdoor relationship, inviting in natural light and opening up the home to fantastic views. Natural materials and textures were used to create a warm, natural environment.

And the firm undertook a complete gut renovation and addition on a beautiful 1.1-acre lot on Skyway Lan in Oakland. This Asian inspired home showcases the firm’s ability to design high-end homes with the latest environmentally sound technologies. Special features of the home include a stained concrete floor, the use of SIP panels, metal standing seam roof, solar hot water system, pebbletech pool, sauna, and guest house.

1
Baran Studio Architecture

Architects:
Matt Baran

Awards:
AIA East Bay Design Awards,
Malcolm Reynolds Prize,
AIA San Francisco Design Award

Address:
5621 Lowell Street Studio F, Oakland, California, 94608

Contact:
(510) 595-6744 |
hello@baranstudio.com

About Baran Studio Architecture

With offices in Oakland and Los Angeles, Baran Studio Architecture develops adaptive architectural solutions that bridge all aspects of a design problem. They have designed award-winning single and multifamily housing and commercial projects. Their work has been widely featured in print, including in the San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, SF Business Times, Oakland Magazine, Sunset, Interiors and Sources Magazine, and numerous books. They have also been featured online in Architectural Record, SF Gate, California Home and Design, Curbed, and others. They have numerous industry awards, including from the AIA, and have been invited to several prestigious exhibitions.

Baran Studio Architecture was founded in 2010 by Matt Baran. The practice combines varied disciplines that include architecture, interiors, landscape, and construction as part of a comprehensive methodology. Their designs respond to their environments in a wide-ranging, innovative and often unexpected manner. The finished spaces are incredibly fresh and creative, while also being distinctly useable for their specific clients. This process engenders an architecture that is of its time and simultaneously, timeless. In addition to their single-family homes, the practice has designed many notable multi-family projects in the area. They are currently working on 2 of the 25 most expensive commercial projects in Oakland.

Baran is known for fostering a collaborative studio environment and working to further explore the architecture that is closely adapted to its context. His design process includes extensive analysis and research into deeper contexts that include the physical and psychological environment, history, culture, socialized beliefs, collective mindsets and notions of beauty, systems of erasure, and material qualities in addition to architectural typology.

Prior to founding his own studio, Baran spent 15 years working for various architecture firms, including KMD and the Jerde Partnership. His interest in and work on concepts for architectural robots that shifted their form and location to adapt to various context won him an AIA award in 2006 and a full scholarship to UC Berkeley to complete a master’s thesis on adaptable robotic architecture. After graduation, he taught UC Berkeley and the Academy of Art.

Featured Projects

Baran Studio’s work on the ‘M House’ created a new single-family home in North Oakland that carefully integrates into a more formally and stylistically traditional neighborhood, while contemporary design elements and materials kept it modern. A pitched roof and large windows give a nod towards traditional design, modernized by abstract elements such as the curled shape of the roof skin. Exterior colors and materials had an industrial aesthetic, linking it to the nearby industrial areas, whereas the refined use of wood gives the home a warm, residential feel.

And the studio designed Boardertown, an Oakland home that creatively responds to its environment. Set on a lot adjacent to several warehouses, a freeway, and an unsanctioned skate park that was created by locals, this home was inspired by the setting, and the materiality is an architectural response to the emerging DIY scene in Oakland. A corrugated metal rain screen wraps the project as camouflage and protection and a redwood screen suggests at the residence inside. Inside, the interior is cut by a diagonal line that allows the yard to become a part of the interior when considered as a square. This home won an AIA East Bay Design Award.

And on an unusually large lot on 62nd Street, Baran Studio Architecture took advantage of its space by spreading out and integrating the home into the surroundings. Indoor and outdoor areas flow into one another creating a singular and continuous space. The home makes extensive use of warm wood to link the areas together, from the fence to the exterior siding, interior walls, and again into the back garden. Sustainable qualities are integrated into infrastructure and materiality.

Baran Studio Architecture also won an AIA East Bay Merit Award for their work on 16th and Willow, designing two single-family homes on a unique lot.

Smaller Commercial Architects

As Oakland increasingly becomes a popular destination and experiences economic growth, small commercial development is essential. Of course, some of the practices featured in our San Francisco lists – including the Best Commercial Architects, Best Restaurant Architects, and Best Office Architects – complete the occasional retail, restaurant, or office project here- such as STUDIOS Architecture designing the Pandora offices in Oakland. But their bodies of work are much more varied throughout San Francisco or elsewhere in the country or even the world.

By contrast, the two design practices highlighted below are based locally and dedicate most of their portfolios to work within their city of Oakland or neighboring Berkeley and Emeryville. These two up-and-coming practices have designed a range of local commercial projects, from hit new restaurants and retail shops for local legends to office space for established firms and popular hotels in the area.

2
Medium Plenty

Architects:
Ian Read

Address:
1729 Telegraph, 3rd Floor, Oakland, CA 94612

Contact:
(415) 658-5249 |
info@mediumplenty.com

About Medium Plenty

This up and coming design practice has proved their worth in a range of projects throughout the Bay Area – from a photography studio on a houseboat to a popular wine shop and tasting bar in downtown Oakland, and an elegantly remodeled historic building for a successful branding studio. The young practice is composed of architects and interior designers who come from some of the best Bay Area practices. Medium Plenty’s work has been featured in California Home + Design, Dwell, San Francisco Magazine, Remodelista, Design Milk, San Francisco Cottages & Gardens, and more.

Medium Plenty was founded by Ian Read in Oakland. The full-service architecture and interior design practice focuses on producing thoughtful work. Their projects span many categories including architecture, interiors, environments, furniture, and typically a combination of several. Read founded Medium Plenty after spending years bridging the worlds of design and construction. After his academic studies, he worked mainly in the construction trades gaining hands-on knowledge of the building process. This experience instilled a practical knowledge not only in understanding the methods of construction but also of the language of building. He translates this understanding to carefully designing buildings that respond to their site, purpose, and climate.

“We see each project as an opportunity to create something unique that evolves from discoveries made through an insightful and collaborative design process.” – Medium Plenty

Read’s work at Medium Plenty is complemented by that of Gretchen Krebs, who has an established background in both architecture and interior design. Prior to joining Medium Plenty, she worked for the award-winning San Francisco firm Jensen Architects. Other team members include Patrick Ojeda, who previously worked at the award-winning firm Studio O+A designing some of the tech industry’s most innovative workspaces, Sky Lanigan, who worked with the award-winning Seattle firm Olson Kundig Architects on residential, mixed-use and institutional projects, and Joseph Foronda.

Featured Projects

And in a 1920s brick building off Jack London Square, Medium Plenty designed Oakland Crush, a wine shop and tasting bar that focuses on smaller winemakers. The space is light and airy, inviting customers to browse and relax. It recedes as a sumptuous but subdued background for the jewel-like rows of wine. Bottles are set off against cubic forms of oiled Ash and Medium Plenty’s own hand-blown glass lighting.

They also recently completed Little Giant Ice Cream, a 2,840 square foot Ice Cream Shop and Production Facility. Located a block from the historic Fox Theater in Oakland’s Uptown District, Little Giant is popular for their delicious ice cream in a rotating array of flavors. Medium Plenty worked closely with owners Kevin Best (B Restaurant, Boxed Foods Co.) and Neil Rideout (Cigar Bar & Grill) to design a space that reflected the company’s ethos. The design was fun by not cliche, minimal but not stark, and emphasized the ‘process of making’. The design firm centralized the production area, allowing the shop’s many customers to glimpse into the complex process of ice cream making. Colorful accents, simple materials, and robots galore finish out the space.

For Piedmont Avenue style mavens Karen Anderson and Dana Olson, Medium Plenty designed retail space for their new joint venture – Neighborhood. The design brilliantly highlights the ragged exposed materials of the 1920s storefront, the perfect approach for a “contemporary bohemian take on the general store, both a well-curated housewares shop and an inviting community gathering space.” They took cues from existing raw geometries, textures, and colors of the space and translated them into shelving, lighting, and finishes. The practice also designed and built large custom chandeliers – intertwined branches of off-the-shelf raw brass parts and hand-blown glass – to anchor the front double-height space. Recycled Heath kiln shelves wrap the sales counter and play off the scraped concrete walls.

1
Arcsine

Architects:
Daniel Scovill

Address:
414 Thirteenth Street, Suite 350, Oakland, CA 94612

Contact:
(510) 444-2410 |
design@arcsine.com

About Arcsine

Founded by Daniel Scovill in 2003, Arcsine is an architecture and interior design firm who create innovative and dynamic spaces within the hospitality, restaurant and workplace environment. The practice has designed some of the most compelling new restaurants in Oakland and the East Bay. Their work has been recognized with industry awards and attracted wide publication.

In addition to their wonderful work on restaurants, the practice also completes other large hospitality projects, residential, and retail projects. The comprehensive architecture and interior design firm places a strong emphasis on method, aesthetic and client care. They are known for fostering a collaborative creative environment and surpassing client’s visions and expectations. Adam Winig has been a partner since 2006 and has been lead architect on large hospitality projects.

“We believe that good design brings people together, fosters relationships and inspires creativity through the enhancement of our surroundings.” – Arcsine

Daniel Scovill founded Arcsine with a vision to develop a studio environment based on collaborative design innovation and allow himself to be fully immersed within a design concept. He previously worked at top area offices including Gensler and Axis Architecture + Design. Working on large commercial projects in a multi-disciplinary team setting with strong emphasis in branding and hospitality gave him a breadth of experience that he applies to his own practice. He pursues a hands-on approach to projects, curating vibrant teams of creative professionals to deliver unique projects. He holds a Bachelor of Architecture degree from California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo. He is a licensed architect in the states of California, Nevada and Washington D.C.

Featured Projects

Arcsine designed the new Calavera in Uptown Oakland, a collaboration with restaurateur Chris Pastena and Michael Iglesias and Jessica Sackler. The 3,500 square foot space in the Hive on Broadway, a restored Julia Morgan building with existing brick walls and concrete floors, recognizes the client’s belief that art and design are foundational to an inventive food and beverage program. Oaxacan culture inspired the use of authentic materials and a vibrant art program within their design. The result is refined but unpretentious and features regional materials and unexpected geometric forms that take a contemporary stance on old world style. Central to the design was the integration of Oaxacan art, such as a suspended cloud of hand-carved hummingbirds and a suspended wood structure of multiple display boxes housing alebrijes, brightly colored folk art sculptures of fantastical creatures. Arcsine paid attention to even the smallest of details, from vibrant handmade tiles by Omar Hernandez and a weathered wood bar to agave-inked table tops and hand-crafted light fixtures. This project was featured in Bizjournal.com.

And their design for Agave Uptown cultivates the marriage of cultures through design and won the 2017 Best Restaurant Design from CA Home + Design. A home for authentic Oaxacan cuisine, the restaurant is housed on the ground floor of the Kapor Center for Social Impact. The 4,000 square foot space is filled with thoughtful design references that bring the history and diverse energy of Oaxaca, Mexico to Oakland. The space features a bar with a faceted display of folded steel planes woven and welded into a dazzling centerpiece, intricate custom metalwork, and a glass wall with a delicate copper mesh veil that separates the private dining room from the lively restaurant. And the practice used their network of local Oakland artists for artwork and décor for the restaurant.

Arcsine also designed the progressive Duende Restaurant & Bodega based on inspiration from Spanish folklore. Their richly artistic design captures the essence of “El Duende,” a spirit concerned with the balance of light and dark. And they designed the popular cafe Modern Coffee II. In addition to these eateries, other commercial projects by the practice include Four Points by Sheraton SF Bay Bridge in Emeryville, Blum, Gibbs & Davies Law Office in Oakland, and the Oakland Convention Center.

Large Project Architects in Oakland

Oakland is increasingly becoming a bigger player and more important in the Bay Area. With San Francisco just across the Bay becoming increasingly crowded, more and more families, individuals, and businesses are looking to Oakland to live and expand their operations. Indeed, a number of well-established, significant San Francisco based companies have opened office spaces in Oakland in recent years, including the Blue Shield of California and Gensler, the largest architecture firm in the US, who comes in at number 1 on this list.

This increase in economic activity and residents has spurred significant development in Oakland and the surrounding areas of Berkeley and Emeryville. A number of new high-rise residential towers are in the pipeline or under construction. And the firms on this list are designing the tallest and largest, poised to change the Oakland skyline. Indeed, of the 25 largest current construction projects in Oakland right now, the majority are mixed-use, multi-family developments. Additionally, large new office complexes are being planned, including in renovated historic buildings. And the presence of the University of California, Berkeley next door also contributes to the demand for high-end, large commercial design expertise.

The 5 firms included below have worked on many of the aforementioned projects and more.

5
ELS Architecture and Urban Design

Architects:
Clarence D. Mamuyac, Jr.
Kurt Schindler

Awards:
AIACC Merit Award for Architecture,
National Trust for Historic Preservation Honor Award,
California Preservation Foundation President’s Award

Address:
2040 Addison Street, Berkeley, CA 94704

Contact:
(510) 549-2929 | info@elsarch.com

About ELS Architecture and Urban Design

ELS Architecture and Urban Design has designed extraordinary buildings and spaces for over 50 years. The Berkeley-based practice works extensively on large-scale projects throughout the United States and even abroad. They have been recognized as an AD Top 300 Firm and were recently included in the 2016 Architect 50, ARCHITECT magazine’s Top 50 firms in the nation. The practice has won many awards for their designs and their work has been featured countless times in notable publications.

ELS Architecture and Urban Design is an award-winning, Berkeley-based full-service architecture and urban design studio. They specialize in public states and work on a range of projects including large retail buildings, educational projects, shopping and mixed-use streets, historic renovations and adaptive reuse, theatres, community and civic centers, sports and recreational facilities, open spaces, and plazas. The practice is run by 8 Principals, 4 of whom have been honored as Fellows of the American Institute of Architects. They work on projects throughout the East Bay, San Francisco, throughout the West Coast, and elsewhere in the United States, including Texas, Arizona, Florida, and Hawaii. ELS has even been hired for major projects as far as Singapore and Spain.

“All of our projects, from downtown to exurbia, are about bringing people together. We often find a forgotten space or area and turn it into the place people remember—the public realm. … As architects and urban designers we translate the joy of human connection into a place that lives.” – ELS Architecture and Urban Design

President and CEO Clarence D. Mamuyac, Jr. has been with ELS since 1983. He has been recognized as a Fellow of the AIA. He earned his Bachelor of Arts with majors in architecture and landscape architecture, and his Master of Architecture, with Distinction from the University of California, Berkeley.

Kurt Schindler, who acts as project manager for many of the Oakland based projects highlighted below, has been with ELS since 1981. He too has been recognized as an AIA Fellow. Schindler earned his A.B in Environmental Design and his Masters in Architecture from the University of California, Berkeley.

Featured Projects

ELS’s won on the LEED Silver certified East Oakland Sports Center has been recognized with considerable praise. A collaboration with the City of Oakland to revitalize the Brookfield neighborhood, the new 50,000 square foot complex houses community meeting spaces, a learning/ media center, dance and aerobics studio, double gymnasium with a suspended running track, recreation spaces, aquatics center, and an adjacent sports park with soccer and baseball fields. The building is designed as a composition of glass and metal clad forms, providing visual interest, capturing natural light and controlling solar gain. The transparent walls create a greater connection to the surrounding community, inviting them in. It was awarded an AIA East Bay Merit award, an AIA San Francisco Citation Award for Architecture, and was an Athletic Business Facility of Merit Winner. The project was featured in Architectural Record, San Francisco Chronicle, and Interiors, among other publications.

ELS also designed renovations for the National Landmark 1928 Fox Theater in Oakland. Their work restored and re-cast the historic theater as a popular live music venue and a centerpiece of Oakland’s revived Uptown Arts and Entertainment District. ELS’s clever design can accommodate a flexible capacity from 1,500 to 2,800 seats and allows room for an open dance floor, standing room, or cabaret-style seating in front of the stage. This project earned an AIACC Merit Award for Architecture, National Trust for Historic Preservation, Honor Award, and the California Preservation Foundation, President’s Award.

4
PYATOK Architects

Architects:
Michael Pyatok

Awards:
Marvin Design Hall of Fame,
AIA Thomas Jefferson Award,
Residential Architect Architect-of-the-Year

Address:
1611 Telegraph Avenue, Suite 200, Oakland, CA 94612

Contact:
(510) 465-7010 | office@pyatok.com

About PYATOK Architects

For over 33 years, the award-winning PYATOK Architects have created award-winning spaces designed to bring people and communities together. Founded by Michael Pyatok, FAIA, the practice has designed over 35,000 units of affordable housing in the US and abroad and has been celebrated for their development of participatory design methods to facilitate community involvement throughout the design process. The practice and founder have received numerous awards and prestigious recognition in honor of their designs, approach, and commitment.

PYATOK was founded with the initial goal to help lower-income communities determine their own sustainable housing solutions unique to their cultural and social origins. Their commitment now also extends to people who have the financial ability to comfortably obtain their own housing on the open market, and to students in higher education who need decent and affordable housing. PYATOK works to foster the development of vibrant, sustainable, inclusive communities through sensitive architecture and urban design, education, service, and technical innovation. PYOTAK Architects place a large emphasis on working directly with communities to plan and develop new housing, neighborhood plans, and community facilities. They also engage in extensive research on the communities and sites that their projects will serve.

Pyatok himself has been featured in Professional Builder Magazine as one of twelve “Thought Leaders” of the development industry and in 2007 he was named by Builder Magazine and the NAHB as one of the 50 most influential people in the US housing industry. He is an AIA Fellow, has been inducted into the Marvin Design Hall of Fame and in 2013, the AIA awarded him its Thomas Jefferson Award for Public Architecture in recognition of the design quality he has brought to affordable housing. He has also been featured on the cover of Residential Architect as the “Architect-of-the-Year.” He has taught housing design as a visiting professor at MIT, Harvard, UC Berkeley, Washington University, and Penn State. After teaching 22 years at the University of Washington, he is now Professor Emeritus there but continues to teach as a visiting professor at the University of Oregon. Previously, Harvard appointed him its Buchsbaum Visiting Professor of Affordable Housing.

Featured Projects

PYATOK Architects designed the award-winning Fox Courts Affordable Housing project. This project won a Gold Nugget Merit Award for Green Sustainable Communities, was a Reader’s Choice Finalist in Affordable Housing Finance Magazine, and was recognized by Acterra for Sustainable Built Environment. In collaboration with Resources for Community Development, this project was the winning design in a competition sponsored by Oakland’s Redevelopment Agency. With 80 family units, the overall project is designed to bring together families, single adults, supportive services, and on-site childcare at the heart of the Uptown development. The building is organized around two intimate scaled courtyards lined with open walkways serving two-story stacked townhomes. The cultural diversity of the Fox Court households is captured in the terra cotta tiles and wall murals created by local artists.

And PYATOK Architects designed Alta Waverly, which is currently the 7th most expensive commercial project under construction in Oakland. This major project at 23rd and Valdez in downtown Oakland will be a premier market rate mixed-use development. It will offer 96 market-rate apartments and up to 31,500 square feet of retail. The building’s design creates three distinctly different street frontages And set where the Oakland city grid meets the hills, the building is designed to create a unique interface and transition between larger downtown structures and smaller-sale neighborhood homes.

Other notable Oakland projects include 901 Jefferson Workforce Housing, the first bold contemporary building built in the historic Old Oakland Neighborhood, Special Needs Housing at 1701 MLK, the Lion Creek Master Plan, which replaced an isolated community of public housing with a new mixed-income transit-oriented neighborhood, Harrison Street Senior Housing in downtown, and 14th and Alice, a 7-story mixed-use project. PYATOK Architects is also assisting East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation (EBALDC) to develop a Master Plan for the redevelopment and addition of affordable housing for three separate parcels on West Grand and Brush Street in West Oakland.

3
David Baker Architects

Architects:
David Baker
Amanda Loper
Daniel Simons

Awards:
Gold Nugget Award of Merit,
AIA National Honor Award,
AIA San Francisco Merit Award,
ASLA Honor Award,
ULI Global Award for Excellence

Address:
2040 Castro Street, Oakland, CA 94612

Contact:
(510) 590-9195 |
info@dbarchitect.com

About David Baker Architects

David Baker Architects has been working across the Bay Area for more than 35 years. Throughout their history, David Baker Architects has designed and built more than 10,000 dwelling units, including more than 6,000 affordable units throughout the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond. They have been recognized with more than 300 architectural design awards and honors, including six national AIA awards. DBA’s practice also includes interior architecture, hospitality design, urban design, and a fabrication workshop. The firm recently was with The Curry Stone Design Prize, acknowledging the 100 most influential socially engaged global design practices making a difference.

David Baker Architects (DBA), with offices in San Francisco, Oakland, and Birmingham, Alabama, was founded by David Baker in 1982. He is joined at the firm by two other principals: Amanda Loper and Daniel Simons. DBA is known throughout the Bay Area for their exceptional commercial projects. They specialize in affordable housing, green building, and transit-oriented development. The practice is committed to improving neighborhoods and quality of life through their designs.

Founder David Baker was recognized as a Fellow of the AIA in 1996. In 2014 he was named the Non-Profit Housing Association’s Visionary and Innovative Leader in Design and in 2009 received the Hearthstone Builders Humanitarian Award, naming him as one of the 30 most influential people in the housing industry over the past 30 years. He earned his Bachelor of Philosophy at Thomas Jefferson College and a Master in Architecture at the University of California, Berkeley.

Amanda Loper holds degrees in architecture and interior architecture from Auburn University.

Daniel Simons has more than 15 years of experience in design and construction administration and holds a Masters in Architecture from the University of Washington, Seattle.

Featured Projects

DBA designed Tassafaronga Village, a neighborhood on seven-and-a-half acres in the southern end of Oakland. The development offers a range of affordable housing, including townhouses and apartment buildings, green pathways, pocket parks, and open spaces and has achieved one of the first LEED ND Certified Gold Plans. All buildings are certified LEED for Homes Platinum. This project won an AIA Housing Award, an AIA COTE Top 10 Award, The Nathaniel A. Owings Award Entry of Note from the California Architectural Foundation, a Builder’s Choice Grand Award for Best Green/Sustainable Community from Builder Magazine, and was an Urban Land Institute Awards for Excellence Finalist, among many other recognitions.

They also recently designed Lakeside Senior Apartment, a block from Oakland’s renovated Lake Merritt waterfronts. This project won the prestigious AIA/HUD Secretary’s Design Award in 2016 and the Gold Nugget Honor Award for Best Affordable Senior Community in 2017.

And DBA designed 34th and San Pablo Affordable Family Housing, a mixed-use, affordable development that will contribute to the revitalization of the San Pablo Avenue corridor with 60 healthy family homes and 2,500 square feet of ground floor commercial space. DBA also designed Blue Star Corner in Emeryville, which won an AIA East Bay Regional Design Merit Award and AIA San Francisco Citation Award. It was the first multi-family attached housing development in California to be certified by the U.S. Green Building Council’s pilot LEED for Homes program.

Other local DBA projects include Pacific Cannery Lofts in West Oakland, with won a National Honor Award for Residential Design from the AIA, The Union, a community-focused mixed-use building in West Oakland BART district, Linden Court in West Oakland, Magnolia Row in West Oakland, a hybrid of an urban loft and a residential townhouse that won an AIA San Francisco Merit Award and Builder’s Magazine Builder’s Choice Grand Award.

2
Gensler

Architects:
Art Gensler

Awards:
AIA Architecture Firm Award,
Design Futures Council Lifetime Achievement Award

Address:
2101 Webster Street, Suite 2000, Oakland, CA 94612

Contact:
(510) 625-7400 |
info@gensler.com

About Gensler

The world’s largest architecture and design firm – Gensler – was founded right here in San Francisco. In 2015, they opened up their first offices in Oakland as well. In addition to designing some of the world’s tallest buildings, Gensler has been hired by some of the most influential and successful companies to create their office space. The award-winning design practice has made its mark on the changing Oakland built environment and their work has been recognized with wide publication.

Gensler was founded in 1965 near San Francisco’s Jackson Square by Art Gensler, Drue Gensler, and their associate, James Follett. It now has 46 offices in 16 countries and employs more than 4,000 employees in 27 practice areas. In addition to designing commercial projects in Oakland, the Gensler Oakland office has also taken commissions for projects both north of the Bay and in the Peninsula, in Oregon, and elsewhere.

Although Art Gensler stepped down as chairman in 2010, his fingerprints and dedication to high-quality service and design are all over the practice. The firm’s expertise includes corporate offices, retail centers, airports, civic and educational buildings, urban design, entertainment complexes and even product design. In 2000, Gensler was recognized with the AIA Architecture Firm Award, the highest award bestowed on an architecture firm by the AIA.

Art Gensler got his start in the field working for Wurster Bernardi & Emmons after earning his Architecture Degree from Cornell. His boss, famed San Francisco architect William Wurster, is the one who convinced him to begin his own firm. Art Gensler was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Design Futures Council in 2016.

Featured Projects

One of Gensler’s first major Bay Area projects was 1111 Broadway in Oakland, a major City Center office tower built in 1990. More recently, Gensler has designed space for a number of small startups in Oakland and Berkeley in addition to large companies like AT&T, Workday, and Ellie Mae in the outer East Bay. The firm is increasing designing for companies that are moving to Oakland also, such as the cosmetics firm e.l.f.

Today, Gensler is transforming a 1929 Beaux Arts-style building into Uptown Station – a new major office and retail complex. Formerly Capwell’s flagship department store, the 330,000 square foot building has sat vacant since the departure of Sears in 2014. Gensler’s plans promise to make this historic structure into a signature office building in Oakland, contribute to the area’s growth, and attract significant tech businesses and pedestrian traffic. The thorough renovation will retain much of the building’s historic character while injecting a fresh energy consistent with the neighborhood’s revitalization. A new shopping arcade, or “paseo,” with a diverse retail mix traverses the entire block, activating the street level and engaging the community. Inside, Uptown Station will also include a creative workspace, atrium, and a rooftop deck with stunning views to San Francisco, the Golden Gate Bridge, Mount Tamalpais and the Berkeley Hills.

Other East Bay projects by Gensler include a new ‘creative factory’ for Pixar in Emeryville, a redesign of Claremont Club & Spa, a Berkeley landmark, the Blum Center for Developing Economies at the University of California, Berkeley, and of course, Gensler designed their own 23,500 square foot offices in Oakland in 2101 Webster St., the office tower that houses Pandora.

1
Solomon Cordwell Buenz Architecture

Architects:
Chris Pemberton

Awards:
National Home Builder’s Association Best in American Living Platinum Award,
ENR Best of the Best

Address:
255 California Street, 3rd Floor, San Francisco, CA 94111

Contact:
(415) 216-2450 |
hello@scb.com

About Solomon Cordwell Buenz Architecture

Solomon Cordwell Buenz Architecture is an internationally renowned architecture, interior design, and planning firm that creates forward-thinking design solutions that make a lasting impact on skylines, campuses, communities, and neighborhoods. The architecture firm, which has offices in San Francisco and Chicago, has designed some of the tallest and most recognizable buildings under construction or finished in a number of US cities and abroad. They are now poised to change the Oakland skyline as well. The award-winning practice has become Oakland’s most active designer of towers and uses innovative techniques for its highrises.

BC was founded in 1931, and since that time has embraced a future-oriented design ethos that places inventiveness and innovation at the firm’s core. Their diverse portfolio includes multi-family residential, urban planning, commercial, hospitality, retail, corporate office, higher educations, laboratory, and transportation projects. The practice is known for the ability to create structures that are responsible, responsive, distinctive, and – a quality that makes them particularly stand out amongst firms of their size and stature – financially feasible and effective.

Chris Pemberton, AIA, managed and directs SCB’s San Francisco office. The principal takes an active role in conceptual design, early planning, and project strategy and chairs the firm’s Design Research and Development Committee. His experience includes national and international projects ranging from high-rise residential, mixed-use, and office to exhibition and institutional projects. Since joining SCB from SOM in 2004, he has led many groundbreaking projects in San Francisco, including 100 Van Ness, which won ENR’s Best of the Best 2015 across the U.S. in the Residential/Hospitality category, AVA 55 Ninth Street, which was awarded a 2014 National Home Builder’s Association Best in American Living Platinum Award, and One Rincon Hill, which changed San Francisco’s skyline. Pemberton is a graduate of Carleton University and is a member of the AIA, Urban Land Institute, San Francisco Bay Area Planning and Urban Research Association (SPUR), and San Francisco Housing Action Coalition. He is also on the editorial advisory board for Building Design + Construction.

Featured Projects

SBC’s project at 1640 Broadway in Oakland will be, for a short time, the city’s tallest new residential building and its third-tallest building overall at 380 feet and 33 stories. One of the city’s first new high rises in a decade, this project broke ground earlier this year downtown. In addition to 254 residential units, the landscape of 1640 Broadway will provide a multitude of amenities designed to enhance social interaction, activity, and community. Multiple roof decks at different heights offer amenities including multiple fire pits, outdoor kitchens, bars, and custom trellises to create a sense of privacy. The mixed-use structure is also designed to reduce demand on water and energy, in line with SBC’s sustainable commitments.

SBS’s design for a new condo development at 1314 Franklin Street, in the heart of downtown Oakland, was approved earlier this year by the Oakland’s Planning Commission. At 400 feet tall and with 634 apartments, this will be the city’s largest residential building ever once built.

And the firm designed 532 39th St, a new development that will be 260 feet in height and offer 402 rental units and up to 13,000 square feet of community-serving retail. The overall structure is varied in height, with its tallest point topped by a 4,500 square foot landscaped terrace that will offer sweeping views of downtown San Francisco and Berkeley Hills. The structure then has a 14-story step down on its southern end that will feature an 11,000 square foot roof deck, and another 11-story drop on the western side that again has a terrace, this one with 8,500 square feet. The design of the tower has a two-toned silver textured concrete interspersed with wall-sized glass windows.

SBC also designed a new 24-story, 250-unit apartment development by Holland Partner Group that is currently in preconstruction at 1721 Webster Street.

The Best Residential Architects in the Peninsula (Bay Area)

Overview

Just south of San Francisco, the Peninsula offers peaceful natural settings, gorgeous views, exclusive suburban living, and is home to some of the world’s top companies. And the quiet towns that make up this area hold some of the most intriguing and beautiful homes in the Bay Area. From Palo Alto to the outrageously expensive Atherton and Woodside, exclusive Menlo Parks, Hillsborough, Burlingame, and throughout the many other quiet towns neighborhoods where Silicon Valley’s visionaries live — the architects on this list have designed some of the area’s best homes.In an area traditionally filled with Craftsman, Spanish, and Tudor style homes, the architects on this list are masters at integrating new, challenging building forms without compromising neighborhood aesthetics. They are among the few architects adding modern and contemporary homes to these areas and are pushing local architectural ideas forward.

The efforts in this region by these architects have been rewarded with countless industry awards and wide publication. Indeed, among the architects on this list are those lucky few who have been picked from the bunch to design for Facebook Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Oracle CEO David Elliston, among many other high profile area residents. Below is a list of the ten best residential architects in the Peninsula.

Top Architects

10
John Lum Architecture

Architects:
John Lum

Awards:
AIA San Mateo County Award

Address:
3246 Seventeenth Street, San Francisco, CA 94110

Contact:
(415) 558-9550 |
info@johnlumarchitecture.com

About John Lum Architecture

Founded in 1994, John Lum Architecture has evolved into a diverse practice that has shown particular expertise in new home design and single-family home remodels. They are known for their striking design, innovative use of materials, and green technologies. Their gorgeous homes are incredible livable and have been recognized with numerous accolades.

John Lum Architecture, based in San Francisco, is a premier design studio run by John Lum. The practice creates custom spaces that are both functional and long-lasting. They have a diverse portfolio of new and renovated single-family homes, multi-family and mixed-use buildings, and commercial interiors. Lum emphasizes livability and vitality within his residential designs. His homes have a reputation for being full of natural light, highly functional, and comfortable and inviting. And almost all of Lum’s residential work incorporates green features. Although most of his work is contemporary in nature, Lum is an advocate of appropriate historic preservation, and many of his projects are in neighborhoods sensitive to those issues.

Prior to founding his own firm in 1994, Lum was an Associate Architect with Reid and Tarics Associates. He is an active board member of the San Francisco Museum and Historical Society, chairing the building committee for the transformation of the Old Mint into the new San Francisco Museum. He also has been a Commissioner of the Golden Gate Concourse Authority since 2001. He earned his Bachelor of Architecture and Bachelor of Science in Architectural Engineering from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.

Featured Projects

John Lum’s radical transformation of an Eichler-era Townhouse in Menlo Park has received significant praise, including an AIA San Mateo County award. Dubbed ‘ ‘Mid-Century Reimagined,’ this renovation consisted of completely reworking a confusing floorplan into an open-concept design. He added a new, sky-lit steel staircase that connects all three levels, becoming at once a striking visual element and drenching the formerly dark interior in natural light. The home’s first floor has direct sight lines from the entrance to double-height glass windows and doors on the back, which opens onto an oak-studded backyard. An expanded kitchen and dining room are located half a story up and overlook the modern living room. On the third floor, the staircase connects the new master bedroom suite and two front bedrooms via a dramatic aluminum-grated landing/bridge. The home abounds with interesting geometric shapes and patterns and uses a neutral color palette to emphasize its refined, contemporary architecture.

The firm also designed the ultimate, 21st-century ‘bungalow’ in Hillsborough for a family of five. Set on a 2-acre hillside lot with 180-degree views of the Bay, the 6,000 square foot home’s design was Japanese-inspired and heavily timbered. It was directly influenced by the client’s love of nature and utilizes natural materials that clearly express the structure, while still creating a comfortable and intimate environment. Lum arranged the main rooms along the edge of the slope to capitalize on the views, sunlight, and breeze. A generous front porch creates a welcoming feeling and leads into a double-height great room that serves as the heart and active space of the home. Lum even added a 2,000 square foot partial basement, a once uncommon feature for homes in this area, which contains a media room, wine cellar, gym, and man cave.

And in Millbrae, the firm designed a beautiful home for a young couple on a very modest budget. This project transformed a 1950’s rancher into a modern residence that is dramatic but appropriately scaled for its neighborhood.

9
Joseph Bellomo Architects

Architects:
Joseph Bellomo Architects

Awards:
AIA Merit Award, AIA Santa Clara Valley Design Awards, Santa Clara Valley 2014 Birge Clark Award, NSAPACA Distinguished Leadership Award

Address:
102 University Ave, Palo Alto, CA 94301

Contact:
(650) 326-0374 |
contact@bellomoarchitects.com

About Joseph Bellomo Architects

Joseph Bellomo Architects has been providing high-end architecture and design services throughout the Peninsula since 1986. Run by Peninsula-native Joseph Bellomo, the firm has earned a reputation for their modern designs and for pushing the boundaries on contemporary and green design in the area. The Palo Alto firm has won numerous industry awards, including from the AIA.

Bellomo Architects has offices in Palo Alto, California, and Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. In addition to their award-winning homes, contemporary architecture and interior design practice has built an impressive portfolio of mixed-use developments, transit projects, commercial buildings, urban planning, and institutional projects. The firm has also taken an innovative approach to modular housing. Joseph Bellomo Architects are experts in innovative and sustainable architecture that “heats itself, cools itself, powers itself, expresses itself, and protects itself.” Bellomo’s modernist designs are inspired by nature and landscaping is integral to each project’s design.

Bellomo Architects was recognized with the AIA Santa Clara Valley 2014 Birge Clark Award. This award recognizes outstanding achievement in architectural design as expressed in a body of work produced by an individual architect over a period of at least 10 years. The firm also received a 2008 NSAPACA Distinguished Leadership Award.

Bellomo is a Peninsula native who is familiar with the design trends of the area. He started as a carpenter before studying with both expert builders and architects in Europe and the United States.

Featured Projects

Bellomo cleverly updated and added onto a Palo Alto home with a historically protected street-front. The goal of the house was to maximize available natural light and to create a sense of seamlessness between indoors and outdoors. His design created a contemporary home – named the Seneca House – with a courtyard that was used to merge the old and new sections of the home nearly seamlessly. The old pavilion holds a library and artists’ studio. Throughout the design, there is a blending of traditional and modern methodologies. Its street front was restored and the roof was restructured to include a rooftop garden. The home’s material palette – wood, various types of glass, and concrete – appear different during the day depending on the light. This home was recognized with an AIA Design Award.

And the firm acted as owner, architect, and builder for the modernist Kipling House, which won an AIA Commendation Award. For his home, Bellomo created a concrete structure with a small footprint and, importantly, a design that would preserve a huge oak on the site. Landscaped courtyards form a set piece of open and structured space around the house. The two-story home has an open floor plan. Floor to ceiling windows create the feeling of living amongst the oak’s large canopy.

And Bellomo Architects designed an award-winning remodel and addition to a 1960’s Eichler home in Palo Alto. Influenced by the complementary relationship between interior and exterior often seen in Japanese garden design, the remodeled home introduces a new architectural language to the district. The result won an AIA Santa Clara Valley Merit Award. Bellomo gave the home an entirely new material palette of redwood, aluminum panels, steel, polycarbonate, and high-performance glass and cohesive color palette. This helped the home to engage with its surroundings and created a sustainable and inventive design vernacular.

8
Fergus Garber Young Architects

Architects:
Catharine Fergus Garber
Daniel Garber

Address:
81 Encina Avenue, Palo Alto, CA 94301

Contact:
(650) 473-0400 |
office@fgy-arch.com

About Fergus Garber Young Architects

Fergus Garber Young Architects (FGY Architects) of Palo Alto focused on high-end residential design. Although they have demonstrated the ability to excel at a range of architectural styles, a common characteristic of all of their homes is their beautiful architecture, sustainable design, and high level of functionality. They are leaders in green design, with two of their recent homes achieving LEED Platinum certification.

FGY Architects was founded by Catharine Fergus Garber in Chicago in 1987 and relocated to Palo Alto in 1997. She was joined in the practice by her husband Daniel Garber, FAIA, in 2002 and the firm changed to its current name in 2011 with the addition of partner Heather Young, who heads up FGY’s commercial projects. They excel in many architectural styles, reflective of their goal to embrace individual clients’ interests and goals. FGY Architects are also leaders in green design. They designed one of Northern California’s first LEED Platinum homes based in 2011 and will be among the first in the nation to have performed an embodied energy analysis of a portfolio of their single-family houses to establish targeted embodied energy thresholds for their design practice.

Founding partner Catharine Fergus Garber has extensive experience designing new primary and vacation homes nationwide. She is a member of the AIA and National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB). She earned a degree is in Art History from Middlebury College and her Masters in Architecture from the University of Illinois, Chicago.

Prior to joining FGY Architects, Daniel Garber was a Partner at Relign Consulting and vice president at Jones Lang LaSalle. Garber is a NCARB member and was recognized as an AIA Fellow in 2014. He received his Bachelor of Architecture degree from Carnegie Mellon University. Previously, he served as Chair and Commissioner of the Palo Alto Planning and Transportation Commission. He is a member of the SF Museum of Modern Art’s Architecture + Design Accessions Committee and serves as Co-Chair of the City of Palo Alto Citizens Advisory Committee on the Comprehensive Plan Update.

Featured Projects

FGY Architects designed a stunning new Farmhouse in Atherton. The project consisted of designing a new 5,000+ square foot residence and a separate pool house. This modern farmhouse has a modern facade with classic features. Its vertical white siding contrasts perfectly the many, large black framed windows, and visitors are greeted to the home via a large covered front porch. The home was designed to be opened to light and incorporate indoor/outdoor living. Large glass doors from the kitchen slide open to reveal a massive covered back patio that extends to a serene pool and private pool house.

And in Woodside, the firm designed a new custom home to match the clients’ differing tastes: he wanted contemporary, she wanted a rustic French farmhouse. The result is a stone and stucco estate with a Mediterranean feel and contemporary detailing and programming. This 7,200 square foot estate consists of a main house, pool house, art studio, and detached garage. It abounds with rustic detailing throughout, including with large interior stone walls and exposed wood beams, a generously sized central courtyard, and arched doorways. A light and natural color and material palette is complemented by the abundance of natural light that flood in the home’s oversized windows. And modern technology is expertly hidden amongst the historic detailing.

7
William Duff Architects

Architects:
William S. Duff Jr.

Address:
1531 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94103

Contact:
(415) 371-0900 |
wdarch@wdarch.com

About William Duff Architects

William Duff Architects (WDA) is a San Francisco-based design studio that has developed an impressive portfolio of work spanning from the wine country in the north, across the city, and down throughout the many towns of the Peninsula. Founded in 1998 by William S. Duff, Jr. the innovative practice has a diverse set of clients and commissions and is nationally recognized for creating responsible, sustainable architecture. Their residential work, in particular, demonstrates the ability to design simple and elegant spaces with a sophisticated use of materials, light, and warmth – resulting innovative modern spaces.

The firm works on a wide range of projects spanning from residential to commercial, and from new builds to extensive renovations. They have designed flagship stores, retail concept designs, cafes, wineries, art galleries, and multi-family housing. The practice is committed to sustainability and are experts at incorporating green technology and building techniques into their designs. Underlying Duff’s strategic vision for WDA is the belief that architecture can shape environments and improve communities.

Before founding WDA, Duff was an Associate at Kanner Architects in Los Angeles, where he managed the firm’s retail practice. His experience extends to mixed-use, commercial, academic and laboratory buildings, urban master planning, and health-care design. Duff received his Bachelor of Architecture from Cornell University and his Master in Construction Management from Colorado State University. He has NCARB and LEED certifications and holds architecture licenses in five states (CA, CO, AZ, OR, WI). Duff is a member of the American Institute of Architects, the U.S. Green Building Council, and has served on the Marina Del Rey Design Control Board. He is the past President of the Board of Directors of Young Audiences of Northern California and the current President of the Board of Directors of Napa’s diRosa Center for Contemporary Art.

Featured Projects

In Menlo Park, WDA designed a modern home that combines high-end design and green building techniques. The luxurious residence demonstrates the firm’s and client’s shared commitment to sustainability. The new structure made use of an existing foundation. The material palette includes COR-TEN steel, stained concrete mixed with fly-ash, and Fin-Ply panels. Energy use is reduced through passive ventilation, radiant floors, solar hot water, and photovoltaic power. The home’s layout creates varied, dynamic living spaces that flow outside into the landscape. Collapsible doors in the open living room and kitchen open on two walls, around a corner, to open the home’s main living space directly onto a large patio and sheltered backyard.

Also in Menlo Park, the firm’s ‘Wheeler Residence’ expertly integrates high-end, modern design with a commitment to sustainability and green practices. Duff’s design made use of an existing foundation upon which to build a new structure. The home offers dramatic living spaces that flow seamlessly into the landscape. The material palette includes COR-TEN steel, stained concrete mixed with fly-ash, and Fin-Ply panels. Green elements of the home include passive ventilation, radiant floors, solar hot water, and photovoltaic power. The Wheeler Residence was featured in INHABIT.

And WDA designed an extensive renovation and addition to a prominent Atherton residence. Their design seamlessly incorporated a large, 2-story addition and basement to the home that met the client’s aspirations for doubling the size of the original home. Their design also modernized the home’s interior and improved its functionality. WDA’s design took aesthetic cues from the existing home and cleanly blends the old and new to create a harmonious environment.

6
House + House Architects

Architects:
Steve House
Cathi House

Awards:
Best of the Bay Best Architecture Firm 1st Place Award,
Custom Home Design Award, Golden Nugget Grand Award,
AIA Housing Award,
Diffa Design Achievement Award

Address:
1499 Washington Street, San Francisco, CA

Contact:
(415) 474-2112 |
info@houseandhouse.com

About House + House Architects

In 1989, House + House was named by Architecture Magazine as an emerging talent to keep an eye out for – and it seems that they were spot on. Run by Steven and Cathi House, the firm is focused on designing creative, sustainable and modern homes. The duo has risen to the top of the area’s architectural scene, designing homes across the city and Peninsula. They have won over 50 awards and their work has been featured in national and international publications.

The principals and founders, Steven and Cathi House, cite their vast travel experiences as inspiration for their work, having traveled and worked in Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America. As a result, they have a keen ability to incorporate traditional elements into nuanced, contemporary designs. They are also known for designing homes with a strong connection to nature and the outdoors. Both principals are committed to sustainability and incorporate green design elements throughout each home and landscape.

Outside of their practice, Cathi and Steven House are dedicated to educating and contributing to the development of architectural theory and practice. They have lectured across the United States and Mexico and both served on the Dean’s Advisory Board and the Advisory Council for the School of Architecture + Design at Virginia Tech. Additionally, they established The Center for Architecture, Sustainability + Art (CASA), a study abroad program in the UNESCO World Heritage Site San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.

Featured Projects

House + House Architects designed an award-winning Hillsborough home that focuses on indoor-outdoor living. Taking elements of a classic modern villa which draws its proportions and stylistic references from northern Italy, the home’s design is all about symmetry, axiality, and progression. Rooms spill out onto sun-drenched terraces, a gorgeous pool and spa, and gardens enclosed by stands of mature trees. The firm’s design plays on light and shadow, giving the home a sculptural quality, which is enhanced by varying ceiling heights, limestone details, and hand rubbed plaster. This home won a Golden Nugget Grand Award, AIA Housing Award, and the Diffa Design Achievement Award.

And the firm designed a 5,400 square foot renovation which transformed a 50-year-old Tudor house in Hillsborough into a bold, contemporary home. This project, named ‘Shamash,’ is unique in form and constructed with archetypal building forms: “cylinder, cube, wedge and cone and new walls formed along abstract lines—swinging arcs and piercing planes—sculpt volume into meaningful space and form.” The light-filled home is designed around a sunny interior courtyard. Shamash won an American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) Grand Award, a Renaissance Design Award, a Diffa Design Achievement Award, and a Remodeling Design Award.

And they designed ‘Poon’ – a Hillsborough home that won a Remodeling Design Award, Builder’s Choice Design Award, Renaissance Design Award, and an ASID Design Excellence Award. Their portfolio also includes the Drucker-Brownstein Residence in Santa Rosa, which won a Bay Area Computer Graphics Award.

5
Arcanum Architecture

Architects:
Timothy C. Chappelle
Anthony Fish
Kurt Simrock

Awards:
AIA San Mateo County Award

Address:
501 Third Street, Suite 200, San Francisco, CA 94107

Contact:
(415) 357-4400 | n/a

About Arcanum Architecture

Arcanum Architecture is known among clients as “the best-kept secret in the Bay Area design world.” The San Francisco-based design firm has earned a reputation for their high-quality residential designs, stemming from the tremendous talent, skill and experience their staff bring to the table. Their home designs demonstrate a truly creative combination of the personalities of their clients and the uniqueness of the community where it is located. The firm has been recognized with numerous awards for their stunning residential designs.

Arcanum Architecture was founded in 1996 and quickly gained a strong following and client base. The firm is run by three principals: Timothy C. Chappelle, Anthony Fish, and Kurt Simrock. In addition to their residential designs, Arcanum Architecture also specializes in commercial projects and their portfolio ranges a large spectrum of project size, scale, and type. But regardless of the specific nature of a project, the firm believes that each project should complement and contribute to the neighborhood or region. They invest time to thoroughly research each building site and community to discover its unique qualities and characteristics. They combine this knowledge with the use of natural materials and unique colors to produce a highly desirable space.

Featured Projects

Arcanum Architecture designed a magnificent new 19,751 square foot home in Atherton. Named Tuscaloosa, this expansive, long home is located on the corner of a broad avenue and a side street. This unique and large parcel allowed Arcanum Architecture to shift the traditional positioning of the home, providing enhanced privacy. The home consists of four volumes staggered along the centerline. The separate spaces are connected by a passageway, that begins in the atrium and extends northward to accommodate a pair of bedrooms and bathrooms. A private lounge and two additional bedrooms are positioned up a staircase. The second volume extends to the south and holds an entertainment space. The hallway ends in the third section, with a light-filled kitchen and living room. Off a hidden door is a 2-level private work area. The use of material and layout creates a fluid transition between the indoor and outdoor spaces. The same stucco used on the external facade can be found on internal surfaces, and the mid-toned woods used outside line the interior ceilings and floors. Concrete elements can be found both inside and out. And large, pocket glass doors in the living room disappear to open the space up entirely to a large covered patio.

Arcanum Architecture also created a stunning, modern Woodside residence. This modern home was designed in perfect harmony with nature, with its clever integration of outdoor living and entertaining space and its extensive glazing and disappearing glass walls. The design emphasizes natural light and visual symmetry and seeks to engage the home directly with the landscape. The home features an open floor plan, clean lines, and a distinctly modern design.

And in Menlo Park, the firm designed ‘Allied Arts’ residence, a new 3,000 square foot home that was recognized with an AIA San Mateo County award.

4
Aidlin Darling Design

Architects:
Joshua Aidlin and David Darling

Awards:
James Beard Award,
Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum National Design Award,
Chicago Athenaeum American Architecture Awards

Address:
500 Third Street, Suite 410, San Francisco, CA 94107

Contact:
(707) 539-4228 |
info@aidlindarlingdesign.com

About Aidlin Darling Design

San Francisco-based Aidlin Darling Design has over 200 regional, national, and international awards, including a James Beard. Their portfolio includes everything from custom homes, to the area’s best restaurants, and large public and commercial projects. Their residential designs, in particular, stand out and have received significant recognition. Their designs are as artistic as they are practical, and also have a heavy dose of sustainability.

Principals Joshua Aidlin and David Darling founded Aidlin Darling Design in 1998. The firm designs a wide range of buildings, including institutional, academic, commercial and residential. They also produce furniture, design landscapes, and do interior design work. The firm offers a collaborative and unconventional design approach and creates truly unique spaces. The firm’s philosophy is to “bridge the demands of artistic endeavor, environmental responsibility, functional pragmatics, and financial considerations.” Their approach has turned their studio into a sort of creative hub for their large network of designers, engineers, builders, artists, and chefs.

The firm has won more than 100 regional, national, and international awards, including the 2013 National Design Award from the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum for their body of work, 2 AIA COTE Top Ten Awards for sustainable design, and 4 American Architecture Awards from the Chicago Athenaeum.

Before founding his own firm, David Darling was the Vice President at BraytonHughes Design Studios and a project architect at the prestigious Stanley Saitowitz | Natoma Architects. Darling and Aidlin both earned their degrees at the University of Cincinnati.

Featured Projects

Aidlin Darling Design created a sustainable home in Hillsborough that earned LEED-Platinum certification and is designed to be Net Zero Energy. Named the House of Earth and Sky, this home celebrates the intersection of the two. The home’s entrance is set below grade, and as one enters, they ascend vertically through the ground to arrive in a series of glass pavilions, anchored by rammed earth walls and sheltered under kite-like floating roofs. Inside, the home is filled with wood floors, ceilings, and cabinetry, providing a “sensual layer within the rough walls and surrounding gardens.” This project was recognized with an AIA California Merit Award.

And in Palo Alto, they designed a modest, suburban home that offers expansive living spaces that extend into a landscape of monumental coastal live oaks and several majestic redwoods. The existing trees inform a spatial arrangement of framed views, outdoor rooms, and cover for privacy. From the second floor, the home’s residents engage directly with the trees canopies. A concrete plinth, steel and glass armature, and zinc skin respond to the site’s high water table and resonate with its natural splendor.

Aidlin Darling Design also designed a home in Stanford that is situated in a 1960’s suburban neighborhood. The home was designed to respond to the adjacent houses and sloped topography. Its modest design operates as a dynamic middle ground between the immediate domestic landscape and the surrounding Bay Area foothills. It cradles an existing majestic ash tree, creating a protected read garden for private outdoor living. And parallel running walls organize space, bridging the interior space to the exterior and directing one’s vision through the house to the view beyond. The home’s interior design is simple and dominated by straight lines and geometric shapes, with a heavy use of light wood and soft white tones.

3
Feldman Architecture

Architects:
Jonathan Feldman

Awards:
AIA Monterey Bay Design Awards,
Remodeling Magazine Design Awards

Address:
1648-B Pacific Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94109

Contact:
(415) 252-1441 |
info@feldmanarch.com

About Feldman Architecture

Jonathan Feldman is an award-winning architect behind some of the most beautiful and environmentally responsible new residential projects in the Peninsula. Set in San Francisco, Feldman’s projects can be found throughout the Bay Area and beyond. His firm set a new standard for contemporary and sustainable design and he is responsible for at least 7 LEED Platinum buildings. Feldman Architecture has received numerous industry awards for their excellent residential and commercial designs.

Jonathan Feldman founded Feldman Architecture in 2003, which quickly grew to be one of the area’s premier design studios. They are especially known for being leaders in sustainable and energy-efficient homes. Feldman began his architectural career by renovating old Victorians. This work gave him valuable experience in learning how to incorporate contemporary designs alongside traditional Bay Area styles. Feldman is dedicated to sustainable design and is LEED accredited. A member of the American Institute of Architects, Feldman has served on competition juries including the AIA Monterey Bay Design Awards and Remodeling Magazine Design Awards. Feldman’s designs have been recognized with many awards, including Best of the Year by Interior Design, the Citation Award by American Institute of Architects Monterey Bay, and an Honor Award from International Interior Design Association.

Featured Projects

Feldman designed a family home – named the Grange – in Palo Alto that applies contemporary ideals to a traditional aesthetic. The home has a classical layout, giving structure to the distinct spaces. It is organized into two wings with a connecting bar. Informal areas intended for daily use are joined to formal entertaining areas by a central dining room. Expansive glass doors from the dining area lead to a patio nestled between the house’s two wings. The patio is centered on a fire pit, fluidly joining the home’s communal indoor and outdoor spaces. Above, a bridge connects the master suite to the children’s rooms, each with a loft that adds a playful twist to the traditional layout. Throughout the Grange’s interior, Feldman designed ‘pockets of intimacy – a piano alcove in the living room, a sunny breakfast nook, a lofted reading room whose windows peer out over the yard. Wide-plank grey floors and white wood paneling on the home’s interior and exterior create a warm, livable environment for the active family.

And Feldman’s Lantern House in Palo Alto adds a new vision of modern living to the eclectic styles of its surrounding suburban neighbors. An open main level floor plan integrates all public spaces, connected by a floating cedar ceiling that extends into the outdoor space. Feldman’s use of light and geometric shapes is immediately apparent in this home. Once outside, the cedar ceiling has a playful circular opening that offers a view of the sky and casts shifting geometric patterns of light across the property throughout the day. A slender vertical window with a cedar rainscreen runs the height of the front stairwell. During the day, it casts rays of sunlight into the home, and at night, it emits horizontal strips of light from the inside. Feldman’s design also blurs the connection between the inside and out, with large glass doors to the yard, a stair tower that vertically links the orthogonal forms of the house’s façade and interior spaces, and views from each bedroom display the surrounding canopy of gingko trees and green roofs on the living and dining spaces below.

2
Butler Armsden Architects

Architects:
Lewis Butler

Address:
1420 Sutter Street, First Floor, San Francisco, CA 94109

Contact:
(415) 674-5554 |
info@butlerarmsden.com

About Butler Armsden Architects

Butler Armsden Architects is one of the Bay Area’s best design studios. For over 30 years, principal Lewis Butler has lent his diverse talents in home design to properties throughout the city and across the Peninsula. His practice has been trusted to remodel at least one home for Oracle CEO Larry Ellison and to extensively renovated a Mission District home owned by Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg. The practice has been recognized with many industry awards for their work.

The Butler Armsden Studio is a team-based design environment with a staff of 23, comprised of principals, associates and support personnel. The firm specializes in new builds and renovations. Lewis Butler is the president of Butler Armsden, a San Francisco architectural practice he co-founded in 1985 with his wife, Catherine Armsden. He leads each small project team and is known for his intimate involvement of each project the firm handles. He works directly with clients, city officials and, importantly, neighbors of the project to ensure each project’s designs will be approved. Butler is a member of the AIA. He earned his Bachelors of Science in Civil Engineering from Stanford University and a Masters of Architecture at Harvard University.

Featured Projects

In Menlo Park, Butler Armsden designed their second LEED-Platinum home. The house reflects the variety of architectural styles found in the California suburbs. Although it recalls the original Spanish heritage of the region, it also references the mid-century tradition of the Eichler subdivision houses and includes a subtle wink to Frank Lloyd Wright. The house is a composed of a collection of three pavilions situated quite closely to one another. The master bedroom and library pavilion are accessed from a bridge on the second floor, which floats through a two-story space that captures light from the east.

Butler Armsden also created a contemporary courtyard home that captures commanding views of the surrounding hills in Atherton. Located on a gently sloped 1.75-acre lot, the home has the look and feel of a structure that has evolved over time with its pleasantly varied massing and simple wood siding. The natural feel is enhanced by board-formed concrete lower walls and a metal standing seam. And yet the design remains contemporary and fresh. Indoor/outdoor entertaining space is enhanced by 40-foot wide doors that open the spacious living and dining areas into the courtyard.

And in Woodside, the firm collaborated closely with an architect homeowner to renovates a midcentury home rumored to have been designed by Clifford May. Presiding over a horse ranch, the architecture of this home was designed to fit the collections assembled over the years by the owners. The interior spaces were turned to better related to one another and the outdoors. The result is a dressed down style that speaks comfortably to both old and new.

1
Walker Warner Architects

Architects:
Greg Warner and Brooks Walker

Address:
353 Folsom Street, San Francisco, CA 94105

Contact:
(415) 381-8903 |
resources@walkerwarner.com

About Walker Warner Architects

Greg Warner and Brooks Walker operate the award-winning San Francisco architectural practice Walker Warner Architects. For over 30 years, Walker Warner Architects has taken a forward-thinking approach to residential design and has created some of the most stunning homes in the Peninsula. They describe their style as ‘warm modernism’ with a touch of vernacular references. A testament to their excellence, the firm is currently working with Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg on his home in Palo Alto.

Greg Warner and Brooks Walker founded Walker Warner Architects in 1989. The 25-person firm has now completed more than 200 projects in California, Hawaii, and across the Western United States. Walker Warner Architects specializes in custom residential architecture but has also excelled at a range of commercial projects. Each project demonstrates their versatility and ability to adapt to the unique needs of each client and space.

Prior to founding their own practice, Warner worked on commercial and residential projects in the Bay Area with several firms, while Walker gained experience as a sole practitioner, including work in construction, real estate development, and landscape architecture. The influence of Warner’s youth growing up on the Hawaiian Islands is evident in the impact climate and nature have on his designs. He is particularly focused on creating contextually appropriate designs that consider the unique environment of each project. Both Walker and Warner earned their Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Oregon, and are LEED AP certified.

Featured Projects

Walker Warner Architects designed a family home in Atherton for a technology entrepreneur from New England. This residence weaves together east coast sensibility with a west coast experience. It is a traditional cedar-clapboard house, modernized by a charcoal colored standing-seam metal roof and trim. The home’s design takes advantage of its large corner lot by capturing plenty of natural light. It connects the indoors and outdoors with a large porch on the rear facade that opens into the main living areas. Interior siding made of bleached poplar paneling is used on much of the first level, a perfect contrast for the pops of color used by New York interior designer Rebecca Ascher.

And in Woodside, the practice designed The Mountain Wood residence, a composition of separate buildings arranged to create complementary indoor-outdoor spaces accommodating varied living experiences. The buildings are reminiscent of regional agrarian compounds in form and function, defined by their strong asymmetrical lines. A material palette of stone and western red cedar is contrasted by contemporary elements of exposed steel, and large expanses of glass. And a barn frames the stone entry of the residence beyond. Inside, its soft natural material palette creates a sophisticated and refined, yet cozy, environment. The home was recognized with an ASLA Honor Award and was featured in LUXE, the Contemporist Online, and in the book ‘Rural Modern by Russell Abraham.

The Best Residential Architects in Sonoma, Santa Rosa, and Napa

Overview

Northern California’s wine country is notorious for its world-class wineries, top restaurants, and beautiful landscapes. And tucked among these highlights are amazing homes designed by some of the best architects in the country. There is a casual elegance to the homes in this area. Their architecture takes direct cues from the beautiful landscape and relaxed style of living of Napa and Sonoma.

These architects design wine country homes to reflect the expansive views of rolling hills, valleys, and sprawling vineyards. Many have a feeling of a retreat, inviting their owners to slow down and admire the bountiful lands before them. It is not uncommon to see homes made of natural materials, making them look as though they have always belonged there. And these architects are masters at site planning and positioning a home to take advantage of the views.

We looked at hundreds of architects to pick the best residential wine country architects. Some of these firms may be located in San Francisco, Sonoma, Napa, and across the Peninsula — but the exceptional work they do in Napa and Sonoma makes them dream choices for new home designs and the renovation of the area’s historic homes into elevated, 21st-century estates.

Top Architects

10
BAR Architects

Architects:
Jeff Goodwin

Awards:
AIA California Council Firm of the Year Award

Address:
901 Battery Street, Suite 300, San Francisco, CA 94111

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About BAR Architects

The award-winning design firm BAR Architects has a long portfolio of elite homes throughout Northern California. The practice has designed some of the most beautiful homes and wineries throughout Wine Country. With over 40 years of experience contributing to the built environment, the practice has been recognized with over 180 regional, national, and international awards and honors, including the AIA California Council Firm of the Year award in 2000.

BAR Architects was over 40 years ago by Bob Arrigoni, Bruce Ross and Howard Backen. They have since earned a national reputation for excellence in design. They excel at a wide range of projects, from custom homes and multi-family buildings to retail, commercial, academic, and entertainment projects.

BAR Architects is one of a small number of architecture firms certified as a San Francisco Bay Area Green Business. And the firm proudly participates in the Public Architecture 1% pro-bono program, meaning they donate their time to nonprofit organizations. BAR Architects has purposefully staffed their studio with individuals from diverse backgrounds to create an innovative and collaborative environment.

AIA member Jeff Goodwin, who became one of BAR Architects’ Principals in 2007, has over 25 years of experience specializing in the planning and design of custom homes. Goodwin is also an expert at designing wineries in Napa and Sonoma, giving him a deeper understanding of the local aesthetic and unique qualities. Paramount to his design approach is a sensitivity to context. He stresses the integration of spaces, materials, and finishes with the site and landscape elements to form a unified, seamless design statement.

Featured Projects

BAR Architects designed a stunning home high on the side of Soda Canyon. The client’s vision was to construct a home in which it was hard to tell where the house stops and the landscape begins. On one of the last available ridge top sites in Napa Valley, the 13,000 square foot main home offers sweeping views of the Bay and Valley. The site includes a guest house that incorporates the use of wood trellises, stone elements, and colored stucco that reflect the colors of the surrounding hills. A covered loggia connects the main home’s bedroom suites, decks, and a courtyard. Highlights are the rich white Alhambra limestone flooring in the entrance and a dramatic wrap-around stone-paved terrace. A door from the home’s game room opens to a spiral staircase leading down to a stunning wine cave. Made of a series of rooms, the wine cave leads outside through a portal to a landscaped seating area with unparalleled views.

And in Healdsburg, they designed a contemporary custom home on one of 45 exclusive private home lots that are a part of a new five-star luxury resort owned and operated by Montage Resorts. On an oak studded rolling hillside above the Russian River and Alexander Valley, the home is designed to capitalize on views of hills, vineyards, and valleys. This home was inspired by the simple rural barn vernacular of Sonoma County. It is composed of simple abstracted barn shapes positioned to preserve the large oak trees on the site, create spaces for outdoor living, and orient the house’s wings towards specific viewpoints. Large corner openings are carved out to break up the simple masses. Interior spaces flow into the outside with oversized windows and large sliding glass doors that open onto decks. The home’s material palette – grey wood siding, dark window frames, and simple dorms – were selected to minimize the home’s visual impact and help it blend into the surrounding oak woodlands.

9
Aidlin Darling Design

Architects:
Joshua Aidlin and David Darling

Awards:
James Beard Award,
Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum National Design Award,
Chicago Athenaeum American Architecture Awards

Address:
500 Third Street, Suite 410, San Francisco, CA 94107


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About Aidlin Darling Design

San Francisco-based Aidlin Darling Design has over 200 regional, national, and international awards, including a James Beard. Their portfolio includes everything from custom homes, to the area’s best restaurants, and large public and commercial projects. Their residential designs, in particular, stand out and have received significant recognition. Their designs are as artistic as they are practical, and also have a heavy dose of sustainability.

Principals Joshua Aidlin and David Darling founded Aidlin Darling Design in 1998. The firm designs a wide range of buildings, including institutional, academic, commercial and residential. They also produce furniture, design landscapes, and do interior design work. The firm offers a collaborative and unconventional design approach and creates truly unique spaces. The firm’s philosophy is to “bridge the demands of artistic endeavor, environmental responsibility, functional pragmatics, and financial considerations.” Their approach has turned their studio into a sort of creative hub for their large network of designers, engineers, builders, artists, and chefs.

The firm has won more than 100 regional, national, and international awards, including the 2013 National Design Award from the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum for their body of work, 2 AIA COTE Top Ten Awards for sustainable design, and 4 American Architecture Awards from the Chicago Athenaeum.

Before founding his own firm, David Darling was the Vice President at BraytonHughes Design Studios and a project architect at the prestigious Stanley Saitowitz | Natoma Architects. Darling and Aidlin both earned their degrees at the University of Cincinnati.

Featured Projects

Aidlin Darling Design created a sustainable home in Hillsborough that earned LEED-Platinum certification and is designed to be Net Zero Energy. Named the House of Earth and Sky, this home celebrates the intersection of the two. The home’s entrance is set below grade, and as one enters, they ascend vertically through the ground to arrive in a series of glass pavilions, anchored by rammed earth walls and sheltered under kite-like floating roofs. Inside, the home is filled with wood floors, ceilings, and cabinetry, providing a “sensual layer within the rough walls and surrounding gardens.” This project was recognized with an AIA California Merit Award.

And in Palo Alto, they designed a modest, suburban home that offers expansive living spaces that extend into a landscape of monumental coastal live oaks and several majestic redwoods. The existing trees inform a spatial arrangement of framed views, outdoor rooms, and cover for privacy. From the second floor, the home’s residents engage directly with the trees canopies. A concrete plinth, steel and glass armature, and zinc skin respond to the site’s high water table and resonate with its natural splendor.

Aidlin Darling Design also designed a home in Stanford that is situated in a 1960’s suburban neighborhood. The home was designed to respond to the adjacent houses and sloped topography. Its modest design operates as a dynamic middle ground between the immediate domestic landscape and the surrounding Bay Area foothills. It cradles an existing majestic ash tree, creating a protected read garden for private outdoor living. And parallel running walls organize space, bridging the interior space to the exterior and directing one’s vision through the house to the view beyond. The home’s interior design is simple and dominated by straight lines and geometric shapes, with a heavy use of light wood and soft white tones.

8
KUTH | RANIERI Architects

Architects:
Byron Kuth
Elizabeth Ranieri

Awards:
AIA ExRes Awards,
AIA Best of Bay Award

Address:
725 Greenwich Street, Suite 400, San Francisco, CA. 94133

Contact:
(415) 544-9880 |
info@kuthranieri.com

About KUTH | RANIERI Architects

KUTH | RANIERI Architects have earned a national reputation for building innovative homes that integrate contemporary design principals. Based in San Francisco, Kuth Ranieri Architects work throughout the city, Peninsula, and wine country. Founding principals Byron Kuth and Elizabeth Ranieri have both been recognized as Fellows by the American Institute of Architects. They are at the forefront of sustainable practices and green design and have received many awards from the AIA.

Byron Kuth, Managing Principal, and Elizabeth Ranieri, Design Principal, founded KUTH | RANIERI Architects in 1990. They are leaders in the field of green design and sustainable building practices. Both are LEED AP certified and in 2003 launched the Deep Green Design Alliance, a multidisciplinary architecture and urban design think tank focused on sustainable strategies. As a firm, they are committed to research and development on new materials, water conservation and treatment, and ways to handle and adapt to rising sea levels. Kuth received the 2004 AIA ExRes award for a sustainable artists’ retreat and a 2005 AIA Best of Bay award in Urban Design for an environmentally friendly design proposal for Martyrs’ Square in Beirut, Lebanon. His work was also featured in the 2004 AIA traveling exhibit on the future of sustainable architecture.

Kuth and Ranieri have taught at the California College of the Arts, the Harvard Graduate School of Design, and as Friedman Professors for the Masters of Architecture program at the College of Environmental Design at the University of California, Berkeley. Ranieri is currently an Industry Partner for a Masters of Mechanical Engineering Capstone Project at UC Berkeley’s Fung Institute for Engineering Leadership. And she recently served as a Presidential Nominee (2012-2016) on the MIT Corporation Visiting Committee for the Department of Architecture. Kuth and Ranieri earned degrees in Architecture and Fine Arts from the Rhode Island School of Design.

Featured Projects

KUTH | RANIERI Architects re-designed a unique Hillsborough home. Originally designed by Jim Nagle of Nagle Hartray Architects in 1980, the house was conceived in the Chicago modernist tradition. KUTH | RANIERI Architects’ goal was to rescript key tenants of the modernist orthodoxy and introduce elements specific to the setting. Their design brings the outdoor zones into better relation with the home, including with new window and wall systems that blur the indoors with the outdoors.

In Napa Valley, the firm converted an existing stone structure into a private residence and to be used as offices and gallery for LEF Foundation. This project, in collaboration with Jim Jennings Architecture, won an AIA San Francisco Best of the Bay: Honor Award. Originally built in the 1880s, the stone enclosure offered a context that was pure and iconic in its space and monolithic in its construction. The firm maintained its purity and openness and created a series of autonomous systems that float freely, resisting and preserving the perimeter walls. The plan included the addition of a concrete tower at the west corner, that holds a salon and library. The result is a one-of-a-kind, open and airy home.\

And KUTH | RANIERI Architects designed a vacation home for a family of five in Calistoga. Situated in the hills of Napa Valley above the Silverado Trail, the house commands sweeping vistas and was created for an open connection between the interior and landscape with a courtyard scheme. It was designed to preserve energy and respond to Napa’s unique and dramatic change in temperature. The result is a home that creates an environment both contiguous with its landscape and cave-like in its retreat.

7
Field Architecture

Architects:
Stan Field
Jess Field

Awards:
Progressive Architecture Awards

Address:
974 Commercial Street, Suite 104, Palo Alto, CA. 94303

Contact:
(650) 462-9554 |
info@fieldarchitecture.com

About Field Architecture

Founded and led by Stan Field and his son Jess Field, Field Architecture is dedicated to deepening the connection between people and the places they love. Their beautiful homes can be found throughout California’s wine country and as far as Argentina and South Africa. Their work has earned at least 10 awards from the AIA and its chapters, and they are the winner of multiple Progressive Architecture Awards. Stan Field has been recognized with several prestigious honors and his work has been published extensively.

Stan and Jess Field bring a wide range of experiences. Both born in South Africa, they now work together in Palo Alto. They place a heavy emphasis on sustainable design and their buildings respond directly to specific landscapes, working together with the natural climate, topography, flora, and fauna.

Stan Field received his Bachelor of Architecture at the University of Cape Town and his Masters in Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania, where he was taught by Louis Kahn. He has practiced in three countries, including as the Chief Architect to the City of Jerusalem. In 1990, he was appointed as a visiting professor at the University of California at Berkeley and relocated to Palo Alto. His experience includes everything from large-scale planning projects to wineries and religious institutions. He has lectured at many universities and was selected as the 24th Sophia Gray Laureate. He is a member of RIBA, SAIA, and the International Association of AIA.

Jess Field was introduced to architecture at a young age in Johannesburg, South Africa. He later received his Masters of Architecture from the University of California, Berkeley, where he graduated with honors and won the Eisner Prize for the highest creative achievement. Prior to founding Field Architecture, he worked as a project designer in San Diego with Teddy Cruz and later with Tom Wiscombe in Los Angeles and Vienna. He has lectured at Berkeley, University of San Francisco, and the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. He has won numerous Progressive Architecture awards. Jess Field is an AIA member and is LEED AP qualified.

Featured Projects

Field Architecture designed a Yountville residence to accommodate three generations, with an emphasis on coming together over food, wine, and outdoor living. Located amongst continuous vineyards on the broad floodplain of the Napa River, their design celebrates the history of the land and responds to its context as a reimagined agrarian compound. The project was conceived as a family of smaller buildings, the kitchen, dining, and living spaces come together around a shaded patio, pool, and gardens. The structures feature low-sloped gable roofs, reflecting the gentle slope of the nearby foothills. Window walls slide open on either side of the house, drawing the indoors and outdoors together. The home’s design incorporates passive cooling techniques and captures tons of natural light.

And Field Architecture recently finished ‘Sentinel Ridge’ home in Howell Mountain, which has received broad acclaim and was featured in LUXE. Set on a dramatic mountain site high above the Napa Valley on protected land, the father and son pair approached this project in a way that would create a spatial dialogue with the landscape and made the home a vehicle through which the land’s nuance and character could be revealed. Using building modeling, they produced a straight-to-fabrication design, thereby reducing extensive site impact. The understated home is a string of three simple rectangular form, composed of wood, metal, glass, and plaster. It displays contemporary and agrarian aesthetics and blends together the vineyard terrain to one side with the forested land to the other.

The pair has also built homes in San Mateo County – where their Hillside House won an AIA California Council Merit Award, Monterey County, and Santa Clara County.

6
Signum Architecture

Architects:
Jarrod Denton
Juancarlos Fernandez

Awards:
AIA Redwood Empire Design Awards,
AIA East Bay Design Awards

Address:
1050 Adams Street, Ste. D, St Helena, CA 94574

Contact:
(707) 963-8831 |
info@signumarchitecture.com

About Signum Architecture

Signum Architecture, located in the heart of wine country in St. Helena, are staples in the region’s design scene. Run by partners Jarrod Denton and Juancarlos Fernandez, the firm has been hired to design homes across Napa and Sonoma counties in a wide range of styles, showing their expertise to blend their talents to different aesthetic tastes, client needs, and site concerns.

Signum Architecture partners Jarrod Denton and Juancarlos Fernandez met early in their long architectural careers and formed their practice together in 2011 in St. Helena. This full-service firm focuses on winery, residential, and custom commercial projects. Although they work on major projects – the firm remains small and intimate. Their designs feel natural and reflective of the region’s sounds, smells, tastes, and sites. The firm is also deeply dedicated to responsible design, making each project as sustainable as possible given a client’s needs and interests. Specifically, Denton is a pioneering expert in the use of German Passive House technology in the United States.

“Our mission is to engage the power of architecture to stir emotion and invoke reflection while setting the stage for inspired living.” – Signum Architecture

Jarrod Denton, AIA, drives proactive environmental stewardship at Signum. He views architecture in terms of long-term community building, linking his designs to context and culture. His architecture is forward thinking and informed by his joy in travel and appreciation for diversity and commonality in how people and architecture interact across cultural divides.

Juancarlos Fernandez, IAAIA, grew up in Guadalajara and earned his architectural professional degree and licensure in Mexico. Prior to moving to California, he worked and traveled in Japan, New York, and Europe – experiences that greatly influenced his architectural vocabulary.

Featured Projects

In Calistoga, Fernandez designed a contemporary farmhouse for a professional chef and cookbook author. The center of the home revolves around the kitchen, designed specifically for the owner, and is built for everything from professional cooking to entertaining family and friends. The kitchen spills out into an adjacent outdoor kitchen, terrace, and vegetable garden. The home’s interior is clean and simple, giving it a comfortable, fresh, and airy atmosphere. And the same artisanal concrete work that tops the kitchen island, surrounds the fireplace in the living room and forms the walls and walkways that define the exterior landscape. A covered front porch leads to the main entrance, where your eyes are drawn through a wall of windows at the back of the house, looking over a gorgeous water feature towards the perfectly framed Bennett Valley. A separate pool house contains a kitchenette, bed, and bath – a private retreat for guests.

And in Sonoma, Denton, while at Lail Design Group, designed a family home that evokes the indoor/outdoor comfort of Northern Italy with its entry courtyard, arching shapes, stone, and ironwork. And the home’s color palette embodies the rural elegance of the Sonoma setting. With many sheltered areas for year-round outdoor living, the home takes advantage of expansive views of a nature preserve. The home’s material palette was crafted specifically for a natural feel – from its exterior stone vestibule to the reclaimed, hand distressed wooden beams over the main living space, and the kitchen’s beautifully crafted wood and steel chandelier. It has a mix of intimate nooks and grand spaces. The home integrated many energy efficient elements, including passive design.

5
Nick Noyes Architecture

Architects:
Nick Noyes

Awards:
AIA East Bay Award,
Marvin Architects Challenge Best in Show Award,
AIA San Francisco Honor Award

Address:
2325 3rd Street, Suite 341, San Francisco, CA 94107

Contact:
(415) 512-9234 |
nick@nnarchitecture.com

About Nick Noyes Architecture

The impressive residential designs of Nick Noyes Architecture have earned the firm a prominent place in the architectural community of the Bay Region. Their projects have been published nationally and internationally and have earned the firm numerous awards.

Founded in 1992, Nick Noyes Architecture operates out of a converted warehouse in the Dogpatch/Potrero district of San Francisco. They concentrate on new residential construction and residential renovations. Their work is consistently rich in formal clarity and expressive of the material nature of construction. They place a strong emphasis on designs that respond to site and context and include environmentally sensitive and sustainable methods of construction and design.

Nick Noyes’s extensive travel and residence abroad equipped him with the skills to creatively design for a diverse clientele and geographically varied set of commissions. He received a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture from the University of California, Berkeley and a Masters of Architecture from Yale University. A member of the AIA, Noyes is licensed to practice in California and Delaware. Along with his practice, Noyes has also taught architecture at the University of California, Berkeley and most recently as an Adjunct Professor at the California College of the Arts.

Featured Projects

On a 10-acre vineyard and scrub oak site, Nick Noyes Architecture designed the ‘Glen Ellen Residence’ in Sonoma, a single-family home that was recognized with an AIA East Bay Award. Noyes was challenged to creatively integrate the foundations and roof of a small existing home into a new structure. Composed of three iconic metal-roofed gabled wings that are connected by an open, cedar-lined arcade and a steel and cedar trellis – the house and a new pool and landscape design. An outdoor courtyard, with four high canopied trees to provide shade, invites its owners to embrace the gorgeous climate and landscape.

And on Fitch Mountain, the firm designed the Healdsburg Residence with expansive views of the Alexander Valley. This single-family estate is composed of four iconic metal-roofed gabled wings that are connected by an open breezeway and transparent entry and passage zones fabricated from a steel window and door system. To showcase the stunning views offered by the site, the home has a large central courtyard that leads down to a peaceful hillside pool. Composed of a mostly white and natural wood material and color palette, this home feels breezy, intimate, and perfectly suited to its remote location.

Nick Noyes Architecture also undertook a complete renovation/addition to a turn of the century farmhouse in Calistoga. This project involved the complicated job of designing how to keep the existing living level and adding a new first and third floor. The end result features a new wrap-around porch that maintains stylistic references to the original structure but with a new clarity of plan. Noyes integrated an unexpected combination of re-used and new materials, that work together spectacularly to animate the unique property.

4
Butler Armsden Architects

Architects:
Lewis Butler

Awards:
AIA Redwood Empire Award

Address:
1420 Sutter Street, First Floor, San Francisco, CA 94109

Contact:
(415) 674-5554 |
info@butlerarmsden.com

About Butler Armsden Architects

Butler Armsden Architects was founded in 1985 by the firm’s principals, husband and wife team Lewis Butler and Catherine Armsden. The pair’s innovative designs can be seen throughout the Bay Area and into wine country. The firm, which has worked with Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, has a diverse portfolio of award-winning residences.

Butler Armsden specializes in new builds and renovations in the Bay Area. They are well-known within the region’s architecture scene for their commitment to helping client’s through every stage of home design and construction. Lewis Butler is the president of Butler Armsden and is an AIA member. He works directly with clients, city officials and, importantly, neighbors of the project to ensure each project’s designs will be approved. Butler earned his Bachelors of Science in Civil Engineering from Stanford University and a Masters of Architecture at Harvard University.

Featured Projects

Butler designed an AIA award-winning residence in Sonoma’s Valley of the Moon, located between the historic Sonoma Plaza to the southeast and Jack London’s former estate to the west. The home reinterprets the wonderful spaces of the original Spanish haciendas of Mission-Era California using a truly modern vocabulary and adopts the courtyard model that was adopted in the early architecture of the region. The home was designed with the environment in mind – earning LEED Silver designation.

In the heart of Sonoma’s wine country, the firm designed a timeless country house, guest quarters, and barn complex for a couple embarking on a second career as owners of a working vineyard. The complex’s design echoes the aesthetics of the vineyards that surround the home and the area’s working agricultural structures. The 3,500 square foot main residence is made primarily of indigenous wood and stone that give the home a look of natural belonging.

They also did a renovation of a neoclassical home in Atherton and an extensive remodel and re-built of a residence that was originally built in 1930 and had been added to haphazardly over time.

3
Nielsen Schuh Architects

Architects:
Amy Nielsen
Richard Schuh

Awards:
AIA East Bay Exceptional Residential: Bay Area Regional Design Award

Address:
1346 Leggs Ln, Sonoma, California 95476

Contact:
(707) 996-2746

About Nielsen Schuh Architects

Sonoma-based Nielsen Schuh Architects are modern architects that are known for their innovative, site sensitive, sustainable, commercial and residential designs across the San Francisco Bay Area. They are particularly known for creating gorgeous homes in wine country that are uniquely personalized to each client and landscape. The pair has received numerous accolades for their work – including AIA awards – and their projects can be found in several publications, such as in Custom Home Magazine.

Nielsen Schuh Architects is run by founders and principals Amy Nielsen and Richard Schuh. Although they are well known for their residential designs, the firm also excels at winery design in Napa and Sonoma. The pair takes a unique approach to design that compliments each site. They pursue ideas expressive of structure and refined use of materials, with dynamic flowing spaces that become a part of the setting. With a modern sensibility, their work also emphasizes a richness and depth of character and has a timeless quality. When designing any project, their priorities include site sensitivity, meaningful functional relationships, and environmental sustainability.

Featured Projects

Nielsen Schuh Architects designed Split Rock Springs Ranch, extending from the mountain ridge several hundred feet from the ravine floor. This project won a 2016 Exceptional Residential: Bay Area Regional Design Award from the AIA East Bay. The home tucks into the slope of the knoll, offering views across the valley to the coastal range and of the surrounding olive orchards and native oaks, madrones, and firs. It is composed of two offset pavilions – the main house with the master bedroom, and a guest room combined with an outdoor kitchen. The entry to the home leads to the main outdoor space – a pool terrace. The home includes an off-grid solar photovoltaic system, inconspicuously located below the house on the site.

The firm also designed Alexander Valley Ranch – a peaceful estate on largely unobstructed native California terrain. The goal was to create an intimate home that complemented its setting while providing space and privacy for a large, extended family. The result is a series of buildings organized as discrete spaces, linked together by a concrete loggia. The loggia connects the main house, remote bedrooms, and several outdoor terraces. Materials were chosen to complement the land: board-formed concrete portal walls, oxidized steel, and fir planking were left to naturally age. Terrace areas are captured by rubble stone walls. The stonework serves as a transition between built elements and natural setting, linking the building to the curve of the natural contours. This project was the cover story of both San Francisco Chronicle Magazine and Custom Home Magazine. It was a featured project in West Coast Modern and received an AIA East Bay Exceptional Residential: Design Award.

2
Turnbull Griffin Haesloop Architects

Architects:
Mary Griffin
Eric Haesloop
Stefan Hastrup

Awards:
AIA East Bay Exceptional Residential Design Awards,
AIA San Francisco Design Awards,
AIA East Bay Merit Award

Address:
1660 Bush Street, Suite 200, San Francisco CA 94109

Contact:
(415) 441-2300 |
info@tgharchitects.com

About Turnbull Griffin Haesloop Architects

Turnbull Griffin Haesloop is a long-standing San Francisco-based architectural practice that has been widely recognized for their award-winning residential work throughout the Bay Area. They also have extensive experience with wineries, churches, libraries, and independent schools. Run by principals Mary Griffin, FAIA, Eric Haesloop, FAIA, and Stefan Hastrup, AIA, the practice continues to pursue founder William Turnbull’s commitment to producing buildings of enduring architectural value. And Turnbull Griffin Haesloop is renowned for sustainable, site sensitive designs.

Mary Griffin, a native of Atlanta, Georgia, studied at Brown University and earned her Masters of Architecture from MIT, where she studied and worked with Donlyn Lyndon. She worked at Hartman-Cox Architects in DC before moving to San Francisco to marry William Turnbull and join his practice. She continues to pursue Turnbull’s commitment to site sensitive sustainable design. She has served on many juries, including the AIA National Institute Honor Awards for Architecture. Griffin has taught at UC Berkeley and was the Friedman Visiting Professor of Professional Practice in 2008.

Eric Haesloop was raised in Indiana before he graduated from Washington University and received his Masters of Architecture from Yale, where he studied under Charles Moore, James Stirling, and Aldo Rossi. After graduating he worked at the prestigious Cesar Pelli & Associates in New Haven, later joining William Turnbull Associates in 1985. Haesloop has taught architectural design at Yale College, Stanford, and UC Berkeley and was the Friedman Visiting Professor of Professional Practice in 2008.

Stefan Hastrup studied art and architecture at Brown University and at the Institute for Architecture & Urban Studies in New York City. He then earned his Masters of Architecture from the Yale School of Architecture, where he studied under visiting professor William Turnbull. Hastrup joined Beyer Blinder Belle in New York before returning to his native California to work at Robinson Mills + Williams and later Polshek and Partners.

Featured Projects

Turnbull Griffin Haesloop Architects designed a Sonoma Residence which won an AIA East Bay Merit Award. Located in a meadow dotted with magnificent mature oaks, the site slopes gently down to a spring fed pond. To take advantage of this unusually lush landscape, the firm created a home for outdoor/indoor summer living. Its design frames the verdant oak meadow and pond within the larger landscape. A thin floating roof reaches across the primary outdoor living space to frame the entry and create a dramatic threshold from the car court to the pond beyond. The bedrooms, kitchen and support spaces are housed under a living roof that visually links the house to the surrounding landscape. And impressively, this project was designed to be a net-zero home and to remain comfortable without the use of air conditioning.

And they designed a gorgeous home on a vineyard located above Cloverdale. On a steep south slope overlooking the valley, the property included mature oaks and rock outcroppings. The original home was a 1970’s kit log home that had few connections to the landscape and was not positioned for views. The new home’s design reflected the owner’s commitment to sustainable practices. Turnbull Griffin Haesloop Architects utilized all of the existing site improvements and reused the previous structure’s wood for the new, 2,150 square foot home. It opens onto the land and offers expansive views and south facing exposure.

1
Backen Gillam Kroeger

Architects:
Howard Backen

Awards:
Hospitality Design Magazine Best “Green” Design,
AIA/Housing Magazine First Honor Awards,
Presidential Award for Design Excellence

Address:
1421 Main Street St. Helena, California 94574

Contact:
(707) 967-1920 |
info@bgarch.com

About Backen Gillam Kroeger

Considered by many to be the creator of “Napa Valley style,” Howard Backen could be included in nearly any category of best architects for wine region- restaurant design, wineries, residential, or general commercial. His residential projects in California’s wine country have won countless awards. In fact, in a recent list by Architectural Digest highlighting some of the best-designed homes in wine country, four of the 15 homes featured were designed by Backen. Backen has been named to the prestigious AD100 list.

Backen, Gillam & Kroeger focused primarily on residential projects and wineries. The firm is run by James Gillam, Loren Kroeger, and Howard Backen. A signature of Backen’s work is that it fits in easily with the land, both visually and in terms of environmental impact. Trademarks of his work – stone, timber, and concrete – seem to enhance and become one with their surroundings. Rather than focus on one dominant style, the firm’s projects are the result of a careful consideration of site, use, purpose, practicality, and setting.

Prior to founding Backen, Gillam & Kroeger in Napa in 1996, Backen co-founded Backen, Arrigoni & Ross, now the world-class practice BAR Architects. Backen earned his Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Oregon. He moved to San Francisco following graduation and went on to work at the prestigious firm Wurster, Bernardi & Emmons.

Featured Projects

For a couple in St. Helena, Backen helped convert their charming temporary residence, a 1890’s farmhouse, into a modern, site-appropriate home. Backen reworked the home to preserve its original character but make it practical for the family. The rear of the farmhouse was rebuilt in the original footprint to provide volume, air, and light. To add space without changing the farmhouse’s modern scale, Backen added a master suite that connects to the main home at the foyer and is separated by a garden path. Inside the home, hundred-year-old wood from a barn in Eureka was used for the floors and finishes and furnishings are modest and casual. Backen placed an emphasis on bringing natural light into the residence and creating an open environment that provided the couple with plenty of opportunities for outdoor living. The home’s porch features the large pocket doors – one of Backen’s signatures.

Backen also designed a gorgeous retreat environment for Fred and Mary Constant’s residence at their Diamond Mountain Vineyard in Calistoga. He was tasked with the goal of creating a simple structure that took advantage of 360-degree views, but still remained authentic and at peace with the viticultural nature of the land. The home is organized for central living and a greater connection to the outdoors.The main living space is composed of a single pavilion with living, dining and kitchen areas flowing together under one roof. Large glass doors from every room open onto covered porches to enjoy the stunning wine country views.

The Best Winery Architects in Sonoma and Napa Counties

Overview

When most people think of California Wine Country, they understandably think of the delicious wines. But as impressive as the wines of Napa and Sonoma are, the estates on which they are grown, perfected, and enjoyed are equally as worthy of praise. As you travels around windy roads and lush hillsides in Napa and Sonoma, you will find world-class wineries in districts such as Oakville and Rutherford. These celebrated vineyards deserve facilities that showcase the fine quality of their wines, and for this, they turn to the architects on this list – the best nine winery architects in Wine Country.

Not only do these architects design stunning wine tastings rooms and visitor’s centers, but they have to have the technical knowledge and creative design skills to create wine caves, fermentation cellars, and barrel storage. They have the range to design for small, family-run vineyards and large, world-class wineries. Their projects range from modernist structures to rustic barns that blend in with the local aesthetic. But they are all expertly designed and positioned to highlight the gorgeous landscapes Napa and Sonoma offer.

Top Architects

9
MH Architects

Architects:
Matt Hollis

Address:
2325 3rd Street, Suite 426, San Francisco, CA 94107

Contact:
(415) 977-0194 |
info@matthollis.com

About MH Architects

The San Francisco-based MH Architects is a multi-faceted architecture firm that has designed many impressive wineries in Napa. They have completed or have in the works at least 13 wineries. The design practice and their work on wineries have been featured in numerous online industry publications. Their designs reflects the region’s architectural history while integrating new ideas and innovations.

Run by Principal Matt Hollis since 2006, MH Architects is involved in a range of technical areas, including residential, hotel, office, and institutional programs. In addition to projects in Napa and across California, the firm has designed buildings in Japan, China, Costa Rica, and Hawaii. They are known for working closely with their winery clients to develop plans that showcase the vineyard’s unique wines in the optimal buildings.

Hollis is a native San Franciscan and appreciates the legacy of the region’s architectural heritage as a context for the necessary cycles of innovation and change – an attitude reflected in his work. He founded his progressive studio a decade ago to freely explore contemporary architecture and construction and enjoys a hands-on involvement. Hollis earned his Bachelors in Architecture from the University of California, Berkeley, and his Masters of Architecture from Columbia University GSAPP. He is also skilled in traditional Japanese Carpentry, a trade that can be seen in some of his designs.

Featured Projects

Hollis designed the visually striking, new Titus Vineyards WInery in St. Helena. Their design intentionally blurs the distinction between the winery interior and the natural setting. Sliding glass bi-fold doors span the 24-foot-wide opening between the tasting room and a large covered porch overlooking the vineyards. Wood slat ceiling and concrete floor flow continuously from the interior to the exterior. Titus Vineyard Winery’s design incorporates several clever green technologies. And due to its proximity to the Napa River, Hollis had to design for flood risk mitigation.

And MH Architects designed Donum Estate on a 150-acre site in Sonoma’s Carneros wine-growing region. The objective was to create an elegant set of dispersed buildings framing an open-air sculpture garden featuring artists such as Ai Weiwei, Keith Haring, and Fernando Botero. The design of the production and hospitality buildings pay homage to a dairy farm previously on the site, with a pattern of small, white structures with gable roofs. The hospitality building has a gallery-like interior and its great room has vaulted ceilings and floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors that show off the surrounding views. The design frames vignettes and backdrops to world-class art.

Within this region, they also designed the tasting room at Etude Wine, Laird Family Estate, Kenzo Estate White Winery, and Gamble Family Vineyards Winery – all in Napa, and Venge Estate, Joseph Cellars Winery, Lava Vine Winery, and, with architect Karen Jensen, the visitor center of Schramsberg Vineyard – all in Calistoga. Other wineries include Lake County Highway Vineyard, Murrieta’s Well in Livermore, and Bodegas San Rafael Winery – a Mexican winery.

8
Valley Architects

Architects:
Thomas Faherty
William Bylund

Address:
1560 Railroad Avenue, St. Helena, CA 94574

Contact:
(707) 963-1466

About Valley Architects

Valley Architects are one of Napa Valley’s most respected design firms, particularly it comes to wineries. Located in the heart of Napa Valley, the firm reflects what it means to live and work in wine country. Their winery projects are perfectly suited to the wine country landscape and incorporate innovative sustainable design techniques.

Valley Architect’s creative offices are set in the heart of the Napa Valley, in a restored, century-old depot. Founded by partners Thomas Faherty and William Bylund in 1980, the firm has over 25 years of experience in high-end residential, commercial, industrial, and civic projects – and perhaps most notably, wineries. In fact – partners have completed over 35 thirty-five prestigious winery projects. And they excel in a wide range of historic preservation projects, as they are dedicated to sustainable design and historic landmarks. Valley Architects is a Certified Bay Area Green Business and a member of the OpenWine Consortium, a global wine industry association.

“…Valley Architects is a place where creative minds can come together to explore design solutions that make Napa Valley and our world a healthier and more vibrant place.” – Valley Architects

Thomas Faherty is an AIA member and is and is trained in both engineering and architecture. He is known for his practical, hands-on approach to each project and can help clients turn their ideas and needs into a ‘buildable’ solution. His strong background in construction and connections to the local community has resulted in a network of resources that help streamline each project. William Bylund is also an AIA member and is LEED accredited. He is respected for his creative and imaginative solutions and his ability to see the larger picture.

Featured Projects

Valley Architects designed a major renovation for the historic Frank Family Vineyards in Calistoga. The goal was to breath new life into this property, which is a registered national historic landmark, while maintaining its rustic charm and rich heritage. The design is balanced and creates a cohesive, harmonious experience through the repetition of color, finishes, spatial relationships, and architectural details. It references the local architectural vernacular through the use of materials like stone and rustic wood. The iconic red barn seems perfectly in place and recalls the dozens of red barns dotted along the valley. And the tasting room was created from the winery owner’s old residence, a classic craftsman bungalow. The tasting room’s renovations unearthed original character and used rich, warm wood and historic paint colors taken back from the era the home was first constructed.

And the firm designed a new winery and caves for Nicholson Ranch Winery in Sonoma. They worked intimately with the Nicholson Family for this project, located in the Carneros Appellation of the wine country. Materials and finishes were selected for their beauty and longevity in consideration of an expansive and soulful legacy for the next generation of proprietors. They expertly placed the tasting room so that blends with the surrounding landscape and takes advantage of the view to native live oaks and rolling California hillsides.

Valley Architects has also designed projects for Corison Winery, Keever Vineyards, Salvestrin Winery, and WhiteHall Lane WInery. And they designed the luxury mansion at Domaine Carneros and worked in concert with Pritzker Prize winner Herzog & de Meuron Architects of Basel on Dominus Estate. They have at least 3 wineries on the boards – Ceja Winery, Gandona Winery, and Renteria Winery.

7
BCV Architects

Architects:
Hans Baldauf
Chris von Eckartsberg

Awards:
AIA Medal Award

Address:
1527 Stockton Street, 4th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94133

Contact:
(415) 398-6538 |
info@bcvarch.com

About BCV Architects

The award-winning BCV Architects is known throughout the Bay Area for their excellent restaurant designs. But they have also designed projects for some of the most prestigious and oldest wineries in Napa wine country. And key to their process is incorporating sustainability into their designs, which has resulted in some groundbreaking green winery designs.

BCV Architects was founded by Hans Baldauf and Chris von Eckartsberg. The practice designs houses, hospitality, commercial, and community architecture, but has achieved particular success with their wineries. Their approach is to help build and sustain communities and culture, and they consider the ethical, cultural, social, economic and historical implications of their projects. Their aesthetic is simple, elegant, and timeless.

Both principals are committed to environmentally-sound design from top to bottom and are LEED AP accredited. Baldauf is a strong advocate for a broad vision of sustainability. He has taught architecture at Yale University, the University of Illinois at Chicago, and Notre Dame. Baldauf has been recognized as a Fellow by the AIA and earned his Bachelors and Masters in Architecture at Yale University.

von Eckartsberg has a particular passion for projects that celebrate the intersection of food, wine, and sustainable lifestyle designs. He earned his Bachelors in Visual Studies, with an emphasis in Architecture, from Dartmouth College, and a Masters in Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania, where he was also an AIA Medal Award winner.

Featured Projects

For Joseph Phelps Vineyard in St. Helena, BCV Architects designed a unique hospitality experience by re-imagining the original winery building into a variety of tasting room experiences. Their work enhances the connection to the surrounding landscape and captures views of Spring Valley, Napa Valley, and the Mayacamas Mountain. The main building was originally designed in 1973 by architect John Marsh Davis. BCV restored key elements of the original design and preserved space for future expansion by the next generation of the Phelps family.

Cakebread Cellars, one of the oldest family-run wineries in Napa also trusted BCV Architects to handle their 10,000 square foot winery addition. Located in Rutherford, the winery’s addition seamlessly blended with the existing main building with a continuity of natural materials, form, and textures that harmonize with the surrounding landscape. BCV continued the natural modern aesthetic first established by original architect William Turnbull. The project included a main floor with a large barrel storage room, a light-filled state-of-the-art wine lab, and a series of private tasting rooms. A new Wine Club room on the second floor provides dramatic views eastward over the grapes to Howell Mountain.

And the firm designed Franciscan Estate in St. Helena to reflect the winery’s philosophy that the wine tasting experience should be, above all, inviting. The result is a warm, timeless setting that offers layers of wine exploration in a relaxed, welcoming atmosphere. Intimate spaces branch off from the main tasting room. One such room is a wine library, made as a simple, vaulted space evocative of the traditional wine cave.

And a BCV principal was Lead Designer for Viansa Sonoma WInery, a terracotta and tile hilltop winery in the Carneros region of Sonoma, when he was employed at BAR Architects. The winery design embodies the spirit of northern Italy.

6
Taylor Lombardo Architects

Architects:
Tom Taylor
Maurice Lombardo

Address:
7757 Saint Helena Highway, Oakville, California 94562

Contact:
(415) 398-6538 |
info@taylorlombardo.com

About Taylor Lombardo Architects

The award-winning Taylor Lombardo Architects is well-known throughout wine region for their superior designs. They have designed over 30 wineries, including many top ones such as including Silver Oak Cellars, Nickel and Nickel Winery, and Kelly Fleming Wines. California Homes magazine recently said that they “stand at the forefront of the winery architecture industry.”

The firm has offices in San Francisco and Napa Valley. In addition to wineries of all sizes and styles, they specialize in in custom homes and they have extensive experience in hotel, retail, and restaurant design. All of their designs are tailored specifically to the needs of each client. As well as projects throughout California, the firm has completed work throughout the nation and internationally in China.

Run by partners Tom Taylor and Maurice Lombardo, the practice places an emphasis on personalized service to their clients. Taylor and Lombardo remain the primary client contact and take a hands-on approach throughout a job. On all of their winery projects, their goal is to create site sensitive and environmentally responsible structures that are both timeless, innovative, and enduring. They pay careful attention to architectural scale, proportion, detailing, and material selection, and integrate sustainable materials and state-of-the-art technology to meet all of the challenges of today’s green, energy efficient requirements, without compromise to style, comfort, or beauty.

Featured Projects

Taylor Lombardo Architects worked on Nickel & Nickel Winery in Napa Valley. Founded on a former farmstead, the winery has a magnificent collection of classic barns along with the site’s original farmhouse with Queen Anne-style details. The firm’s task was to maintain the integrity and authenticity of the site, while also serving the needs of a cutting-edge, ultra-modern winery. The project included the addition of the Gleason Barn – a restored and reassembled Barn from New Hampshire that dates back to circa 1770. It now holds the winery’s administrative offices. Exposed, preserved timber beams and cabinetry combined with glass, steel, stone, and concrete elements inside the barn reflect the nature of the historic structure, enhanced using modern technology. The mix of old and news carries through to the Fermentation Barn, where modern winery equipment and aluminum catwalks juxtapose an exposed timber frame, exterior board-and-batten siding, stone stem wall, dormers, and sliding wood barn doors.

And they designed the idyllic home for Kelly Fleming Wines in Calistoga. The project consisted of a 6,000 square foot stone structure with barrel storage caves on an 80-acre site, inspired by the architecture of the region of Provençe. The result is elegant and restrained. Nestled in Simmons Canyon, the interior of this gorgeous hilltop stone building boasts high ceilings, open spaces, and is sited for timeless views over the rows and rows of grapevines.

The firm is also designed projects for Cakebread Cellars, Cuvaison Winery, Silver Oaks Cellar, Foley Johnson Winery, Domaine Carneros, and Young Inglewood Vineyards – all in Napa. Winery projects in Sonoma include Peay Vineyards, Freestone Vineyards, and Francis Ford / Coppola Winery. The team has also worked on two winery projects in Michigan and a 40,000 square foot wine center in China.

5
Walker Warner Architects

Architects:
Greg Warner
Brooks Walker

Address:
353 Folsom Street, San Francisco, CA 94105

Contact:
(415) 381-8903

About Walker Warner Architects

Greg Warner and Brooks Walker operate the award-winning San Francisco architectural practice Walker Warner Architects, which designs homes and wineries across California’s wine country For over 30 years, Walker Warner has taken a forward-thinking approach to design and has created some of the most stunning wineries and tasting rooms in Napa and Sonoma.

Greg Warner and Brooks Walker founded Walker Warner Architects in 1989. The 25-person firm has now completed more than 200 projects in California, Hawaii and the Western United States. Walker Warner Architects specializes in custom residential architecture but has also excelled at designing wineries that give their visitors a higher sense of appreciation for the high-end wines and beautiful environment. Each project demonstrates their versatility and ability to adapt to the unique needs of each client and space.

The influence of Warner’s youth growing up on the Hawaiian Islands is evident in the impact climate and nature have on his designs. He is particularly focused on creating contextually appropriate designs that consider the unique environment of each project. This is perfectly suited to wine country, where their projects reflect the beautiful landscapes that surround them and are created to take advantage of the weather and outdoor living.

Prior to founding their own practice, Warner worked on commercial and residential projects in the Bay Area with several firms, while Walker gained experience as a sole practitioner, including work in construction, real estate development, and landscape architecture. Both Walker and Warner earned their Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Oregon, and are LEED AP certified.

Featured Projects

Walker Warner Architects has completed multiple projects for the St. Helena’s Quintessa Winery. The scope of work included the winery, visitor center, and tasting rooms. A simple elegance and sensitivity to the environment pervade each structure, such as in the crescent-shaped winery that is nestled into the natural contours of the hillside. The three stunning tasting rooms are located on a ridgeline within the breathtaking 280-acre estate. These tasting pavilions exemplify the ideal fusion of architecture and nature – immersed in the landscape and surrounded by the vineyard-covered hills. Each of the three pavilions is carefully sited to preserve the surrounding oak trees that naturally shade the area and to be comfortable for year-round use. Built with sustainability in mind, the winery’s design echoed the existing winery in its environmental sensitivity and industrial material palette that weathers elegantly. The tasting pavilions won a 2017 AIA San Francisco Design Award and a California Home + Design Award. It has been featured in many publications, including C, The Luxonomist Online, Dwell Online, and California Home & Design Online.

And Walker Warner Architects designed facilities for Ehlers Estate winery in St. Helena. This project encompassed 6,000 square feet of production and barrel storage facilities that support a historic stone building housing a tasting room and offices. The design of the facilities takes their cue in form and material from the original winery and other classic Napa Valley agricultural buildings. The result is a utilitarian yet striking set of buildings that exist to serve its iconic predecessor.

4
BAR Architects

Architects:
Jeff Goodwin

Awards:
AIA California Council Firm of the Year Award

Address:
901 Battery Street, Suite 300, San Francisco, CA 94111

Contact:
(415) 293-5700 |
info@bararch.com

About BAR Architects

Bar Architects is a premier architecture firm located in San Francisco and working throughout the Bay Area. The practice has designed some of the most beautiful wineries throughout Napa County. With over 40 years of experience contributing to the built environment, the practice has been recognized with over 180 regional, national, and international awards and honors, including the AIA California Council Firm of the Year award in 2000.

BAR Architects, founded by Bob Arrigoni, Bruce Ross and Howard Backen (who is at the top of this list with his current firm), has spent 40 years building a reputation for excellence in design. They excel at a wide range of projects, from custom homes and multi-family buildings to retail, commercial, academic, and entertainment projects. And they have become one of the most trusted architectural firms when it comes to designing stunning, technology-savvy wineries.

BAR Architects is one of a small number of architecture firms certified as a San Francisco Bay Area Green Business. And BAR Architects proudly participates in the Public Architecture 1% pro-bono program, meaning they donate their time to nonprofit organizations. BAR Architects has purposefully staffed their studio with individuals from diverse backgrounds to create an innovative and collaborative environment.

One of BAR Architects’ Principals, AIA member Jeff Goodwin, became a principal in 2007, bringing with him over 25 years of experience specializing in the planning and design of wineries. Paramount to his design approach is a sensitivity to context and creative design solutions – two qualities that have served him well designing for wine country. He stresses the integration of spaces, materials, and finishes with the site and landscape elements to form a unified, seamless design statement.

Featured Projects

BAR Architects was inspired by classic Bay Area architects Bernard Maybeck and Julia Morgan in their design for an extensive expansion and renovation of Silverado Vineyards in Napa County. Their work reflects the architectural heritage of the California Craftsman style, with its low pitched roof, wide eaves, and decorative braces. Details include a welcoming stone terrace entry and vibrant facade, and new spaces include a visitor’s center, spacious wine tasting room, production space for 100,000 cases a year, and barrel storage space.

BAR Architects worked on Mumm Napa, a 70+ acre winery on the scenic Silverado Trail in Rutherford. This 210,000-case capacity sparkling wine facility contains a 9,600 square foot tour and tasting complex, as well as retail facilities and an art gallery. BAR Architects designed the winery buildings to be set into the base of an existing knoll – thereby cleverly taking advantage of the ambient temperature of the earth for natural cooling and insulation. This cleverly reduced the visual impact of the buildings from the Trail. Their wine tasting room was designed to be flooded with light and offer endless picturesque views of the surrounding vineyards.

And the firm is working on a number of projects for Robert Young Estate Winery, nestled against the Mayacama Mountains in Sonoma County on 317 acres. This major project included 3,500 square feet of production, hospitality, and administrative space. Additionally, they excavated the adjacent hillside to make space for barrel-aging. Future work for the winery will include an additional 5,000 square feet of caves – part of which will serve hospitality functions. They also have plans for a 13,500 square foot wine production and hospitality space, and a gorgeous tasting room that will offer sweeping views of Alexander Valley.

3
Lail Design Group

Architects:
Jon Lail

Awards:
California Heritage Council Award

Address:
1127 Pope Street, St. Helena CA 94574

Contact:
(707) 963-1565 |
info@laildesign.com

About Lail Design Group

St. Helena-based Lail Design Group was founded over two years ago by building designer Jon Lail. In that time, they have earned a prominent reputation for their designs, and in particular, for their success designing wineries in wine country. Lail has over 40 years of architectural experience and has been focused specifically on wineries and wine country design since at least 1975. He has worked on some of the most beautiful and ground-breaking wineries in Napa during his long career.

The firm believes that architecture should elevate a building’s setting and enhance the experience of those who spend time among it. They place an emphasis on creating sustainable, simple, and fearlessly imaginative designs that are suited for each individual client and location. In addition to successful winery designs, Lail Design Group has designed residences, commercial and retail properties, and offices across the region.

A Napa Valley resident since the early 1970s, Lail and his wife moved to the area to work on her family’s fourth-generation wine business. As a result, Lail has a unique perspective and understanding of the landscape, local aesthetics, and complications involved in designing a winery. Prior to founding his current firm, Lail ran a one-man studio called Wine Country Architecture in St. Helena from 1975. Lail studied architecture and interior design at the University of Colorado and then gained experience renovating homes in San Francisco.

Featured Projects

Lail Design Group is responsible for the majestic Castello di Amorosa in Calistoga. Built over 15 years, the castle is a nod to 12th/13th century Tuscan castles. It incorporates authentic materials and construction methods of the period. Italian artisans handcrafted all the ironwork and antique tiles and the bricks of the castle’s five turrets come from antique brick formed by the Hapsburg Empire royal brickmaker centuries ago in Austria. The castle’s stone veneers were locally quarried and shaped on site by hand and the castle includes custom oak and Italian chestnut beams. Castello di Amorosa even includes hand-painted frescos and a moat. Overlooking the upper Napa Valley, the design includes a great hall, church, and interior courtyard above three levels of underground cellars that store the wineries select vintages. Castello di Amorosa was recognized with a 2008 California Heritage Council Award.

And the firm designed Hartwell Winery, inspired by the warm simplicity of a Southwest adobe. Located on a Stags Leap hillside, the compact winery was designed to fit into the landscape without disturbing the surrounding vines or native oaks. So Lail Design Group came up with a clever solution. A vertical notch was carved in the mountain, supported by a layer of structural shotcrete applied from the top down. The building was then designed to fit perfectly into the shape of the hill.

Lail Design Group has designed many other gorgeous wineries in the Napa area. Among these is Laird Family Estate, Merryvale Winery, Rudd Winery, Sawyer Winery, Vineyard 29, Elizabeth Spencer, Madrigal Vineyards, and the tasting room at Girard Winery. And for Sawyer Winery, the firm expertly retained the scale and allure of an existing 19th century barn, while integrating new winemaking, hospitality, and office facilities. They also added a new underground barrel chai beneath the barn to hold wine casks. And the groundbreaking, ultra-sustainable CADE estate was designed by Juancarlos Fernandez, now of Signum Architecture, while he was an architect at Lail Design Group.

2
Signum Architecture

Architects:
Jarrod Denton
Juancarlos Fernandez

Awards:
AIA Redwood Empire Design Awards,
AIA East Bay Design Awards

Address:
1050 Adams Street, Ste. D, St Helena, CA 94574

Contact:
(707) 963-8831 |
info@signumarchitecture.com

About Signum Architecture

Signum Architecture is run by renowned local winery architects Jarrod Denton and Juancarlos Fernandez. These long-time wine country architects worked for some of the best wine country and San Francisco architecture firms before joining their talents to focus on designs specific to wine country. These men are responsible for designing the first and second LEED Gold wineries in California – HALL and CADE wineries, respectively.

Signum Architecture partners Jarrod Denton and Juancarlos Fernandez met early in their architectural careers and formed their practice together in 2011 in St. Helena. This full-service firm focuses on winery, residential, and custom commercial projects. Although they work on major projects – the firm remains small and intimate and is known for offering first-rate service to their clients.

Given their focus on wineries, and understanding the importance that architecture plays on a business’s brand, they have invested time in learning ‘the language and mechanics of producing and selling fine wine.‘ As such, their designs effectively showcase the sights, sounds, smells, and functional beauty that are integral to the wine-tasting experience. They are also dedicated to responsible design, making each project as sustainable as possible given a client’s needs and interests.

“Our mission is to engage the power of architecture to stir emotion and invoke reflection while setting the stage for inspired living.” – Signum Architecture

Jarrod Denton, AIA, drives proactive environmental stewardship at Signum. He views architecture in terms of long-term community building, linking his designs to context and culture. His architecture is forward thinking and informed by his joy in travel and appreciation for diversity and commonality in how people and architecture interact across cultural divides.

Juancarlos Fernandez, IAAIA, grew up in Guadalajara and earned his architectural professional degree and licensure in Mexico. Prior to moving to California, he worked and traveled in Japan, New York, and Europe – experienced that greatly influenced his architectural vocabulary. Previously, Fernandez worked for eight years at Lail Design Group, included at #3 on this list.

Featured Projects

For the award-winning Odette Estate winery in Napa, Fernandez was tasked with designing a winery that expressed the owners’ commitment to sustainable wine production. The fresh, modernish result includes a spectacular and unusual circular building with a living roof, 18,000 square feet of caves, and offices created from repurposing shipping containers. The facility was made with 98% renewable steel and earned LEED-Gold certification. The third winery by the PlumpJack Group – a joint venture between San Francisco composer/philanthropist Gordon Getty, Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom, and winery manager John Conover – this sleek winery is a welcome addition to Wine Country. It recently won the award for ‘Winery Efficient Design’ by California Home + Design and was recognized in Gentry Home Design’s Excellence Awards. Aspects of this project also received numerous Citation and People’s Choice awards at the AIA Redwood Empire 2016 Design Awards.

And Denton designed the ultra-sustainable and modern Hall Winery in St. Helena, which earned an AIA East Bay Citation Award. He worked closely with owners Craig and Kathryn Hall to come up with a design that suited the program needs and matched their personal aesthetic, all while remaining suitable for the land and region. The result is an elegant post-modern structure. The recently completed winery was certified LEED Gold for its state-of-the-art green building technology.

The pair also designed Sinegal Estate in St. Helena, which was recognized by California Home + Design and won Commercial/Hospitality Gold in Gentry Home Design’s Excellence Awards in 2016. The firm has at least 4 wineries under construction, including Progeny Winery and Teucer Winery in Napa and Cairdean Winery, and Nine Suns Winery in St. Helena. And on the boards is Vineyard 22 Winery in Angwin, Healdsburg Winery, Soda Canyon Winery in Napa, and another Winery in St. Helena. They are also designing a winery in the south of France. And Fernandez designed CADE Winery when he was with Lail Design Group.

1
Backen Gillam Kroeger

Architects:
Howard Backen

Awards:
Hospitality Design Magazine Best “Green” Design,
AIA/Housing Magazine First Honor Awards,
Presidential Award for Design Excellence

Address:
1421 Main Street St. Helena, California 94574

Contact:
(707) 967-1920 |
info@bgarch.com

About Backen Gillam Kroeger

Considered by many to be the creator of the “Napa Valley style,” Howard Backen could be included in nearly any category of the region’s best architects. But his work on wineries truly stands out. Indeed, he has designed many of California’s most distinctive wineries and his firm’s winery projects are consistently included on lists of the most beautiful and architecturally impressive wineries, not only in the region, but in the world. He is a staple in Sonoma and Napa Counties, with countless awards to his name – including being named as one of the Top 100 architects by Architectural Digest.

St. Helena based, Backen, Gillam & Kroeger focused primarily on residential projects and wineries. The firm is run by James Gillam, Loren Kroeger, and Howard Backen. A signature of Backen’s work is that it fits in easily with the land, both visually and in terms of environmental impact. Trademarks of his work – stone, timber, and concrete – seem to enhance and become one with their surroundings. Rather than focus on one dominant style, the firm’s projects are the result of a careful consideration of site, use, purpose, practicality, and setting.

Prior to founding Backen, Gillam & Kroeger in Napa in 1996, Backen co-founded Backen, Arrigoni & Ross, now the world-class practice BAR Architects. Backen earned his Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Oregon. He moved to San Francisco following graduation and went on to work at the prestigious firm Wurster, Bernardi & Emmons.

Featured Projects

Backen designed the eye-catching Ram’s Gate Winery in Carneros as a modern reinterpretation of the weathered farmsteads of old Carneros. Known for his ability to blend structures into their surroundings, particularly with the integration of farmhouse aesthetics and indoor/outdoor spaces, this project was no exception. The winery is located within a contemporary barn and includes an open-air courtyard, grand tasting pavilion with collapsible walls, a demonstration kitchen, fireside lounge, exclusive tasting suites, an impressive wine library, underground dining alcove, and barrel cellar. The spaces combine old with new through their magnificent and rustic details, including 30-foot ceilings, exposed beams, walls made of reclaimed snow fencing from Wyoming, and recycled French granite paver-stones. Grand floor-to-ceiling glass walls show off views of sweeping vineyards and the bay.

And the practice designed a high-end estate for Lokoya WInery in St. Helena that helps showcase their award-winning wines. The winery is set in the old Yverdon estate on a 77-acre estate high up on Spring Mountain. The firm designed extensive renovations of the 50+ year-old stone building into a modern structure worthy of Lokoya’s wines. The changes capture an abundance of natural light, integrated an outdoor terrace, and includes a long, temperature-controlled glass cabinet that holds Lokoya’s first vintages. The design highlights original details of the European-inspired estate, such as the gothic windows and adds dramatic lighting. The result is a comfortable, but luxury estate.

The firm has designed many other wineries in Napa County. This includes Bond Estate Winery, Harlan Estate Winery, and Futo Estate Winery in Oakville, Cliff Lede Winery in Yountville, Ovid Estate Winery, and Kenzo Estate Winery in Napa, Larkmead Winery in Calistoga, and Edge Hill Winery, Dana Estates Winery, and Marciano Winery in St. Helena. They also design extensively in Sonoma, including Paul Hobbs WInery and MacMurray Ranch.

The Best Office Architects in San Francisco

Overview

San Francisco is home to some of the world’s most recognizable, profitable, and fastest-growing companies. And behind every successful company is a workspace. This is where these architects come in. Included on this list are architects who have built some of the most inspired offices and campuses in the Bay Area. Given the impressive portfolio of companies that call San Francisco home, it is no surprise that some of these offices are almost too amazing to believe. Specifics vary based on the company, but throughout this list you will find spaces with the most modern technology, fantastic hang-out areas, in-house cafes, restaurants, and bars, and some truly creative solutions to encourage collaboration. Read on to learn about the architects who designed campuses for Facebook, Yelp, Linkedin, and Yahoo!, the headquarters of Airbnb, Dropbox, Skype, and Twitter, and offices for Uber, Yelp, Pandora, and Microsoft.

Top Architects

10
Garcia Tamjidi

Architects:
Michael Garcia
Farid Tamjid

Address:
10 Lombardo Street, Suite 150, San Francisco. CA 94111

Contact:
(415) 788-5800

About Garcia Tamjidi

For 20 years, Michael Garcia and Farid Tamjidi have been trusted by some of San Francisco’s top companies to design efficient and innovative offices. Their portfolio includes downtown office space for Kendo and luxury offices for a venture capital firm. Garcia Tamjidi is also featured on our Best Commercial Architects list.

Michael Garcia and Farid Tamjidi founded their architecture firm in 1997. In addition to their work on offices, they also design houses, studios, landscapes, and smaller commercial spaces. They are known for their minimalistic design aesthetic, but are not bound by disciplinary boundaries.

“We see potential in problems, needs, desires. We see ourselves as translators of experiential feeling into solidly built form. Our projects are at once deep and intimate collaborations and expansive and powerful experiments. We thrive on concept, and also on simplicity. We believe that architecture is a dance of decision and opportunity.” – Garcia Tamjidi

Garcia and Tamjidi focus on how to incorporate over 100 years of architectural theory with the newest ideas from the field. The practice uses state of the art technology to create truly innovative designs. Garcia and Tamjidi both studied at the University of California, Berkeley, where they met.


Featured Projects

A significant office project by Garcia Tamjidi is the new downtown office for beauty brand incubator Kendo. Located on a full upper floor of a high-rise building in Downtown San Francisco, Kendo’s new space sports a minimalistic black and white design scheme with glossy surfaces that reflect views of San Francisco’s skyscrapers. There are two distinct areas to the office: long sinuous lines of desking, shelving and storage space, and meeting rooms with large beauty graphics that cover entire walls and brightly colored modern furniture.

The firm completed a major expansion for a venture capital firm’s office that includes a vaulted hallway and focuses on capturing natural light. Other commercial works by Garcia Tamjidi include Mountain View offices for analytics firm Elastic and a temporary office space for the Parker Foundation in Presidio.

9
Boor Bridges Architecture

Architects:
Bonnie Bridges
Seth Boor

Address:
921 Larkin Street, San Francisco, CA 94109

Contact:
(415) 241-7160 |
studio@boorbridges.com

About Boor Bridges Architecture

Boor Bridges Architecture, founded in 2003, has grown to be one of the top architecture and design firms in the Bay Area. The award-winning firm works on a diverse range of projects including restaurants, community spaces, and residences. The firm has particularly excelled in designing high-tech workspaces, making them a perfect fit for the Bay Area. High profile clients include Dropbox, Lumosity, and Thumbtack.

Boor Bridges takes a collaborative approach that involves clients, multi-disciplinary staff, and craftsmen. A hallmark of their projects is seamless indoor-outdoor transitions. Boor Bridges strives to be environmentally intelligent and cognizant. They aim to bring a sustainable perspective and proficiency in energy-efficient building systems to every project.

Bridges has been an adjunct professor at the California College of the Arts, Architecture and at the College of Environmental Design at UC Berkeley. She has sat on the Board of Directors of the AIA California Council and AIA San Francisco. She previously ran Bridges Architecture and worked for award-winning firms in California and Arizona. She earned a Bachelor of Architecture with Honors from the University of Arizona, Master of Architecture with Honors from the University of Texas at Austin, and Doctor of Design in Architectural Theory from Harvard University GSD.

Boor is actively involved with the AIA San Francisco. Prior to founding this firm with Bridges, he worked for a Texas architectural firm on a variety of project types, including hospitality, museum, church, and institutional buildings. He earned his Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Texas at Austin.


Featured Projects

Boor Bridges Architecture designed Lumosity’s headquarters in a Timothy Pflueger building in San Francisco. The historic building has a gorgeous art deco exterior, so the firm specified divided light windows to reference the building’s patterning. They created a strong sense of connection and community across the three floors and creatively provided opportunities for employees to cross-pollinate. Flexibility for future growth was necessary, so Boor Bridges devised a rearrangeable puzzle of open desk spaces. Amenities include a lunchroom, bar, lounge/game room, and library with a secret, rotating bookshelf door.

The practice also collaborated with Geremia Design on Dropbox’s 70,000 square foot China Basin headquarters in 2012. The young company had a projected growth that could more than quadruple staff. Therefore, the workspace was designed to be flexible and introduced innovative approaches to urban workplace density. The simple, but vibrant, design was highly functional and allowed for easy customization. And Boor Bridges created an open and bright environment with a nearly 1,600 foot continuous circulation loop, open workstations, and centralized social spaces.

And Boor Bridges recently designed a 23,000 square foot headquarters for Thumbtack in an old industrial building in SoMa. Boor Bridges was involved in this project early, helping with site evaluation and selection. Rather than create a rigid office environment, they fed off the company’s culture and took a ‘residential-ized’ design approach. The first floor is a large gathering space with a lunchroom, bar, and full commercial kitchen. Each of the office floors above have open space planning, informal meeting rooms with sliding glass doors, small ‘code caves’ for side-by-side work, and ‘living rooms’ with colorful and customized furnishings. And there are numerous snack areas with residential-style kitchens. This project was featured in the May/June 2017 edition of Urban Land Institute Magazine.

8
FENNIE+MEHL Architects

Architects:
Ned Fennie
Doug Mehl

Awards:
IIDA Honor Award,
ENR 2014 Best Project Award,
IIDA Give Award, People’s Choice Award,
IIDA Honor Award,
Build Culture Preservation Award

Address:
300 Brannan Street, Suite 310, San Francisco, CA 94107

Contact:
(415) 278-9596 |
design@fm-arch.com

About FENNIE+MEHL Architects

Founded by Ned Fennie and Doug Mehl, FENNIE+MEHL Architects has spent 20 years in San Francisco specializing in innovative and collaborative workplace environments for today’s revolutionary, tech-based business culture. In the last 15 years, they have successfully delivered more than 10 million square feet of branded space. Their lively and unique offices can be found across the Bay Area for many recognizable companies.

FENNIE+MEHL Architects does not pidgeon-home their designs by focusing on one dominant style, but rather creates spaces that allow a company’s culture to flourish. The firm has assembled a diverse and multi-disciplinary staff with graduates from leading architectural, interior design and engineering schools, and they have 20 patents and LEED certifications among them.

“[W]e experience your company first-hand, immersing ourselves in your values, your systems, your personality, your vision, your work habits, your idiosyncrasies, even your inside jokes. We put on your culture and wear it for a while. And then we bend the space to serve you. That’s how we develop powerful, unique spaces that fit like a custom suit and make those who dwell within deeply satisfied.” FENNIE+MEHL Architects

Founders Doug Mehl and Ned Fennie met at the University of Arizona, where they both earned a Bachelor of Architecture. After working at various other firms and feeling that something was missing in the design process, they decided to start their own firm together to do things differently.


Featured Projects

F+M designed Github’s 55,000 square foot headquarters. Github is known for being wildly quirky and for its rapid growth: it went from employees writing code in dive bars, coffee shops and home offices to being a $900 million company in just six years. F+M translated this unconventional culture into its new building: the space includes two bars, multiple cafes, a library, park, speakeasy, museum, and coder cave. The funky space is covered in natural materials and tones and has a raw and inviting atmosphere. This project was certified LEED Gold, received an IIDA Honor Award, and an ENR 2014 Best Project Award.

And for the global software development company ThoughtWorks, F+M designed an unpretentious and inclusive 11,000 square foot office in San Francisco. A third of the office is reserved for communal gathering space for partnering with and fostering local social justice organizations. And F+M built infrastructure in the public areas to display a rotating collection of local artwork. This project earned two Interior Design Association Awards – the Give Award and People’s Choice Award.

F+M also designed a 10,500 square foot space for Jackson Square Aviation after it was purchased by a Japanese holding company. Their design honored both the Japanese and American business traditions and has subtle tributes to aviation throughout. The transparent and airy space is made with frameless glass walls, doors, and shelving. One conference calls room has a floating ceiling and the largest conference room is shaped like a gull wing. This office won an IIDA Honor Award and a Build Culture Preservation Award.

Lastly, F+M designed both the Los Altos and San Francisco offices for the rapidly growing company Box, maker of cloud-based storage for Fortune 1000 companies. The fun and energetic environment has proven wildly popular and been featured in many publications.

7
Rapt Studio

Architects:
David Galullo

Awards:
IIDA Northern California Best of Show Award, Interior Design Best of Year Award

Address:
111 Maiden Lane 4th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94108

Contact:
(415) 788-4400 |
info@raptstudio.com

About Rapt Studio

Rapt Studios is a global, award-winning design practice based in San Francisco. Their work has been featured in many regional and national publications and they are the recipient of numerous architecture and design awards. The studio has worked with many of the globe’s top brands, including VF Corporation, IBM, Google, Turner Broadcasting, Dropbox, and Fender.

Rapt Studio is based on the belief that great design can transform the way we live and work. In addition to their San Francisco office, they have offices in Los Angeles and New York. The practice specializes in design for both the built environment and the digital world, and they aim to create spaces that solve real business needs. Their multi-disciplinary staff includes interior designers, architects, graphic, user experience/interface and industrial designers.

David Galullo, CEO and Chief Creative Officer, previously spent nearly 12 years as CEO and Design Principal at POLLACK architecture, five years as a Design Principal at Gordon Chong + Partners (now Stantec), and a designer at Brady McHugh Vaitkus. He earned his Bachelor of Architecture at Syracuse University.


Featured Projects

Trulia’s new office space, designed by Rapt Studio, reflects their particular culture. The office for the online real estate platform was built around the concept of a tree to drive the spatial treatments and material transitions throughout the space. Floor to ceiling windows flood the open plan office with natural light and a comfortable environment is made with fixtures and furnishings that recall a living room.

Rapt Studio also designed the San Francisco offices for Ancestry, which earned a Merit Award in the “Work Large” category from the International Interior Design Association of Northern California. Rapt Studio’s design highlights the link between family and global genealogy. The lobby features an eye-catching multi-dimensional graphic installation with different colors to represent different ancestries of various populations and which suggests a shared global heritage. Each floor has break areas, family rooms, and a variety of dens and kitchen tables.

And Rapt designed Dropbox’s award-winning headquarters in 2016. The 300,000 square foot space is based on a city layout. Distinctive neighborhoods for 40-50 people are flanked by portals and meeting rooms and are arranged throughout the headquarters. Each neighborhood invites its employees to create their own company subculture based on their collective personality. Other areas include a library inspired by a fuzzy, 1970s Italian theater and a dark, purposeful ‘Deep Focus room’ flanked by Dr. Strangelove-inspired war rooms for handling crises. There is also a casual Karaoke Bar inspired by Dropbox’s startup days. This project won the top honor from the 2017 International Interior Design Association of Northern California – the Best of Show Award and was named by Inc. as one of the World’s Coolest Offices in 2014.

The firm also revamped Linkedin’s headquarters with a series of installations, and designed the new Google offices in Irvine, a 65,000 square foot office space for Lyft in San Francisco, Google’s San Francisco campus, which won the Interior Design Best of Year Award in the Large Tech Office category, Eventbrite’s new downtown headquarters, and HBO’s Seattle offices.

6
RMW architecture & interiors

Architects:
Glenn Bauer
Russ Nichols

Awards:
Acterra Business Environmental Awards,
AIA Santa Clara Chapter Design Honor Award

Address:
160 Pine Street, 4th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94111

Contact:
(415) 781-9800 |
info@rmw.com

About RMW architecture & interiors

RMW has delivered award-winning workplaces for clients in many fields, including high-tech, science, healthcare, industrial, academic, and civic. They design each project according to the client’s unique culture, workflow, and business objectives. RMW seeks to find solutions that reflect the organization’s image, solves functional challenges, enhance workers’ well-being, and builds community. The firm has been recognized as one of the Top 50 Sustainable Design firms by Architect magazine, one of the Top 100 Sustainable Design firms in the nation by Engineering News-Record, and is the recipient of two Acterra Business Environmental Awards.

RMW was established in San Francisco in 1970 as R&M “to create inspired human environments through the power of responsible design.” It was founded by C. David Robinson, Matthew R. Mills, and David Watson Williams, who met as graduate students at the University of Pennsylvania. They also have offices in San Jose and Sacramento. The 70-person firm is made up of experts in architecture, interior design, programming, and planning. The firm is committed to sustainable design and is a signatory of the Architecture 2030 Challenge and a member of the U.S. Green Building Council.

Glenn Bauer, a Principal at RMW, has been with the firm since 1971, the firm’s second year. He has been recognized as a Fellow by the AIA. Bauer studied at UC Berkeley and Harvard Graduate School of Design. Russ Nichols is a graduate of Washington State University. Nichols joined RMW in 1985 as an interior job captain and is now president of the firm.


Featured Projects

RMW helped LinkedIn consolidate their headquarters by designing buildings 950 and 1000 on their walkable campus for 1,200 employees in Sunnyvale. On the first floor of each light-filled building are common spaces, including a 500-seat cafe with 7 distinct food stations, an auditorium, a 3,000 square foot fitness facility, a juice bar, and a center for meeting and training. RMW’s design was inspired by the campus’s context and location adjacent to Encinal Park and each floor has a signature color and nature-inspired theme.

And RMW is responsible for Yahoo!’s 806,000 square foot Sunnyvale campus and corporate headquarters. The self-contained campus is amenity rich and was ahead of its time. It contains several cafes, a cafeteria, fitness center, game rooms, training rooms, and an outdoor green space with volleyball, bocce ball, and basketball courts. This campus set a benchmark for today’s high-tech campus design trends and was the recipient of an AIA Santa Clara Chapter Design Honor Award.

RMW also designed Jive Software’s Palo Alto offices. As one of Silicon Valley’s fastest-growing companies, Jive Software needed an adaptable and open environment. The resulting 18,500 square foot space with bright brand colors and crisp linear designs creates an energetic and socially transparent environment, which speaks to Jive’s culture of information sharing. Key design elements include an illuminated glass wall covered in notes and doodles and a floor-to-ceiling wall of light. Finally, RMW designed Cisco Systems, Inc.’s Building 11 in San Jose to improve capacity and spatial efficiency.

5
Lundberg Design

Architects:
Ollie Lundberg

Awards:
ASLA NCC Honor Award,
AIA Redwood Empire Design Awards,
Architizer A+ Award,
Chicago Athenaeum Good Design Award

Address:
2620 Third Street, San Francisco, CA 94107

Contact:
(415) 695-0110 |
info@lundbergdesign.com

About Lundberg Design

Lundberg Design has been the chosen architect for some of San Francisco’s most recognizable companies and is responsible for what Business Insider named as one of the coolest office spaces around the world. Lundberg Design has a range of expertise, including residential, wineries, distilleries, commercial properties, apartment buildings, and hotels, and was ranked 6th on our list of the Best Restaurant Architects in San Francisco.

Lundberg Design was founded by Ollie Lundberg and works out of a former 1933 mattress factory in San Francisco’s Dogpatch neighborhood. The large space houses their architectural practice and fabrication shop. They describe their style as “nature-inspired modernism” which is presented in a simple but elegant form. They commonly work with wood, stone, and steel, and are known for their one-of-a-kind handmade pieces from their fabrication studio.

“For us the making of architecture is a collaborative act; between ourselves and especially with our clients – while we aim for poetry we also pride ourselves on making buildings that work very, very well.” – Lundberg Design

Their approach always takes sustainability into consideration. They hope to make a net positive impact on the environment and create buildings that are physically and culturally durable. They employ the latest building practices and technologies and are known for their use of reclaimed materials. Lundberg earned his Bachelor’s in English Literature and Sculpture from Washington and Lee University, and a Masters in Architecture from the University of Virginia.


Featured Projects

Lundberg Design created the Twitter offices in a former wholesale furniture store in the Tenderloin district. Lundberg Design, with Interior Architects, designed a space that reflects Twitter’s creative culture. In line with Lundberg’s signature of taking something old and making it new, this space has two wooden cabins from the 1800’s dismantled and shipped from Montana. The project included an adjoining rooftop garden and social space, a cafeteria in an old auditorium, and custom furniture and fixtures fabricated by Lundberg Design. Appropriately, Business Insider named this project as one of the 17 coolest office spaces around the world.

The firm also worked on Autodesk’s workshop/office space, which was named by Biz Journal as one of the Bay Area’s coolest offices. Autodesk, a world leader in 3D design software, needed a functional and creative space. Their workshop, located on the waterfront on the south side of Pier 9, includes a wood shop, metal shop, and laboratory. Lundberg Design’s signature design elements can be seen throughout – steel, reclaimed wood, plywood, and cement board have an industrial feel, but are updated for a sense of sophistication and modern. A catwalk bridge cuts through the double-height areas so employees can observe other’s work without disruption. Lundberg also designed Autodesk’s applied research lab and their 5,000 square foot robotics lab.

Other significant projects include Virgin America’s modern headquarters in Burlingame, Benchmark Capital’s headquarters on the top two floors of the historic Warfield Building at 6th and Market streets, and the unique and raw headquarters for Agency 125, a young advertising firm.

4
Design Blitz

Architects:
Melissa & Seth Hanley

Awards:
IIDA Honors Award

Address:
435 Jackson Street, San Francisco, CA 94111

Contact:
(415) 525-9179 |
info@designblitzsf.com

About Design Blitz

Design Blitz was founded by Melissa and Seth Hanley and has had the opportunity to work on office space for a wide variety of San Francisco companies, from small up and coming financial companies to larger established tech-companies. They are responsible for what Biz Journal named as one of the Bay Area’s coolest offices. Their work has been featured in many national and international publications.

Blitz is a full-service architecture and interior design firm, specializing in commercial, retail, and hospitality design, urban planning, and furniture services. Each project is informed by location and client needs. Blitz is known for pushing boundaries and trying new approaches in design and architecture. Their innovative designs are meant to be relevant to the future and look beyond their client’s immediate needs.

Melissa Hanley earned her Bachelors in Architecture from the University of California, Berkeley, with a minor in City and Regional Planning. She regularly contributes to technical and lifestyle publications such as Interior Design Magazine, Contract, Vanity Fair, GQ, The Atlantic, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal. Seth Hanley earned his Bachelors in Architecture from Leeds Metropolitan University and his post graduate degrees in Architecture and Urban Design from Oxford Brooks University. His work has been featured in more than 100 publications, including Interior Design Magazine, Vanity Fair, and GQ Japan.


Featured Projects

Blitz is responsible for Zendesk’s headquarters in the city’s Mid-Market neighborhood, which was named by Biz Journal as one of the Bay Area’s coolest offices. The communal office has open face booths and long tables for both independent and collaborative work. The design is airy and uncomplicated, with a “clean, Scandinavian aesthetic.” It incorporates the brand’s iconic green color, including in a living wall made of moss that visually connects the office’s two floors. Grand seated stairs leading from the basement to the rest of the building invite employees to sit, relax, and gather together. Blitz also designed office space for Zendesk in Dublin, London, Madison, and Melbourne.

Design Blitz designed office space for Brick and Mortar Ventures, a young venture capital firm, in SoMA. The design firm turned the 900 square foot space into a seamlessly designed ‘translucent eden’. Given the small space, creativity was vital. Vertical storage was incorporated throughout the offices, and wood plus an abundance of glass was used to visually enlarge the space.

And Blitz designed Skype’s North American Headquarters in Palo Alto. This tenant improvement of 54,000 square feet of existing office space supports 250 employees with high-tech work spaces. Located in a long-vacant building, Blitz stripped away old interior improvements to reveal beautiful structural components and 16-foot tall ceilings. A standout area is the Boardroom – a Pod covered in salvaged oak flavor sticks from wine barrels. The innovative and highly functional design achieved LEED Silver certification.

Other impressive office spaces by Design Blitz include Microsoft’s San Francisco office in the historic Bank of America building, the 30,000 square foot space for Optimizely, which mixes historic architectural features with a modern interior, Zillow, and SoundCloud’s New York offices.

3
Studio O+A

Architects:
Primo Orpilla
Verda Alexander

Address:
452 Tehama St, San Francisco, California

Contact:
(415) 908-1880 |
hello@o-plus-a.com

About Studio O+A

The award-winning Studio O+A earned their reputation through workplace design. They are perhaps best known for designing Facebook’s first headquarters and Microsoft and Yelp’s offices.They have designed many more offices throughout the Bay Area for both well established and upcoming companies and have created some of the most groundbreaking offices for the world’s largest technology companies.

Studio O+A is a design studio based in San Francisco and New York City that focuses on commercial interiors as well as branding and consulting. Founded in 1991 by husband and wife duo Primo Orpilla and Verda Alexander, their work has been noted with setting the agenda and pushing workplace design forward. They got their start in Silicon Valley and their first clients were in the technology field. The firm places an emphasis on “democratic design” and uses the process to translate a client’s individual narrative into design terms.

“Our central idea is that every client has a story and that a work environment is a great vehicle for telling it.” – Studio O+A

Studio O+A received the International Interior Design Association’s 2010 Northern California Honor Award for the Facebook Headquarters in Palo Alto, CA. and Orpilla and Alexander were named Designers of the Year in 2011 by Contract Magazine. Their work has been featured in many national publications, including Interior Design. Prior to founding Studio O+A, Orpilla worked as a senior designer at Design Mark. He earned a BS in Interior Design at San Jose State University. Alexander studied fine art at San Jose State University. She went on to study for a Master’s in landscape architecture, first at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design and then at the University of California, Berkeley.


Featured Projects

Studio O+A was hired by Uber for multiple projects, including a ‘temporary’ office space at 555 Market Street for its rapidly expanding workforce as its new headquarters would be under construction for a couple of years. The 200,000 square foot space uses inexpensive materials in elevated ways and tells the story of the company through furniture and graphics on bare concrete walls and floors. Each floor of the space represents a different city where the firm has a presence.

The firm also designed Yelp’s campus/headquarters in a 26-story high-rise in San Francisco’s Financial District. Studio O+A challenged the tradition of a spread out, horizontally oriented campus by designing 106,000 square feet across multiple floors. They located the reception area, designed to look like an old general store, in the center of their vertical campus, and their cohesive design includes custom spaces, informal working areas, and meeting rooms on each floor. It has a professional-grade coffee bar that feels like your local cafe. The interior spaces are clad in planks of Douglas fir, red oak, and walnut, with a red brick interior and custom light fixtures.

And Studio O+A helped Evernote expand their office from one to two floors. They worked very closely with the company to design on a budget and for their specific needs. To reduce their client’s nervousness about being split between two floors, they created a tiered seating area as opposed to an isolated stairwell. And rather than having a reception area, a barista stand with an artful seating area and wall of succulent plants was created.

Other notable clients include Levi Strauss & Co., Williams-Sonoma, Paypal, and AOL. Studio O+A also received acclaim for their design of Nike’s corporate headquarters in Oregon, the budget office space for the startup Quid, the new headquarters for the online media company Livefyre, the custom office spaces for Giant Pixel, and Lookout.

2
STUDIOS Architecture

Architects:
Thomas Yee

Address:
405 Howard Street, Suite 488, San Francisco, CA 94105

Contact:
(415) 398-7575

About STUDIOS Architecture

STUDIOS is an international design practice founded in San Francisco in 1985 by Darryl Roberson and Erik Sueberkrop, both AIA Fellows. STUDIOS got its start designing ground-breaking office space and campuses for Silicon Valley clients such as Apple, Silicon Graphics, and 3Com. STUDIOS was voted by its peers as one of the 10 best design firms in the U.S. in Contract Magazine and is listed as one of the Top 75 Architecture firms worldwide by World Architecture and the Top 40 Interiors firms in the U.S. by Interior Design magazine.

STUDIOS also has offices in New York, Paris, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, and Mumbai. The San Francisco office works on a variety of project types, including corporate interiors, education and civic projects, and major urban developments. The firm is run by 20 principals with diverse backgrounds and has over 300 staff members across its offices. They pride themselves on their collaborative design approach and strive to stay on top of the latest developments in technical knowledge and expertise.

Thomas Yee joined STUDIOS in its founding year and became Principal in 1989. He now serves as Chairman of the Board. He was Managing Principal of the San Francisco office from 1994 – 2006 and President of the firm from 1999 – 2009. Yee has excelled in revitalizing traditional architectural forms and gains inspiration from alternative shapes and materials, and light and structure. His portfolio includes headquarters and regional offices for leading law firms and he had completed many corporate, civic, and university projects.


Featured Projects

STUDIOS has worked with Linkedin on multiple projects. Previously, they renovated an existing one-story Sunnyvale warehouse into a net-zero, flexible, highly energy efficient workplace. Open working areas and a central park-like community area with skylights, various meeting rooms, and a library/lounge occupy the space. A calm, natural atmosphere was created with large graphics depicting nature scenes and the use of natural materials on walls, ceiling treatments, and desks. And STUDIOS is designing Linkedin’s new campus. Shoreline Commons in Mountain View will have 1.8 million square feet of office, retail, recreation, entertainment, dining, and green open spaces organized around a pedestrian-oriented “living” street.

And STUDIOS worked pro bono for Kiva, a nonprofit that works with microfinance institutions to help alleviate global poverty. The meaningful, functional, and lively workplace was developed using innovative and low-cost design solutions. Racked sliding panels – made from reclaimed wooden doors – allow for varying levels of connection between a welcoming lounge and the open work areas. The office also has phone “booths” for privacy, a kitchen with a grand ‘family’ dining table, a quiet room with oversize hammocks for relaxation, and chalkboard, magnetic, and whiteboard walls that invite employees to interact.

Previously, STUDIOS set a benchmark for corporate campus design with the award-winning North Charleston Campus in Mountain View, known since 2003 as “Googleplex.” It was designed for SGI’s corporate headquarters, as well as for research and development. Facilities include office space, dining facilities, a fitness center, a theater, and a parking structure.

Other significant projects in the Bay Area include the offices of Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe, which were named by Fortune as one of the 18 Coolest Offices of the 100 Best Companies, master planning 200,000 square feet for Intuit and redesigning all of Pandora’s Oakland office. Pandora’s redesigned space was featured in Interior Design, the San Francisco Chronicle, and on sfgate.com. Elsewhere, STUDIOS designed the Time Inc. Headquarters, Sony Corporation’s, Major League Soccer Headquarters in NYC, United Nations Foundation in Washington DC, and Reuters in Paris.

1
Gensler

Architects:
Art Gensler

Awards:
AIA Architecture Firm Award,
Design Futures Council Lifetime Achievement Award

Address:
2101 Webster Street, Suite 2000, Oakland, CA 94612

Contact:
(510) 625-7400 |
info@gensler.com

About Gensler

The world’s largest architecture and design firm – Gensler – was founded right here in San Francisco. In addition to designing some of the world’s tallest buildings, Gensler has been hired by some of the most influential and successful companies to create their office space. In the Bay Area alone, this includes designing Facebook’s Menlo Park campus, creative space for Pixar, and a workspace for WIRED.

Gensler was founded in 1965 near San Francisco’s Jackson Square by Art Gensler, Drue Gensler, and their associate, James Follett. It now has 46 offices in 16 countries and employs more than 4,000 employees in 27 practice areas. And although Art Gensler stepped down as chairman in 2010, his fingerprints and dedication to high-quality service and design are all over the practice. The firm’s expertise includes corporate offices, retail centers, airports, civic and educational buildings, urban design, entertainment complexes and even product design. In 2000, Gensler was recognized with the AIA Architecture Firm Award, the highest award bestowed on an architecture firm by the AIA.

Art Gensler got his start in the field working for Wurster Bernardi & Emmons after earning his Architecture Degree from Cornell. His boss, famed San Francisco architect William Wurster, is the one who convinced him to begin his own firm. Art Gensler was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Design Futures Council in 2016.


Featured Projects

Perhaps Gensler’s largest and most well-known ‘office’ project Is the nearly 1 million square foot Menlo Park Facebook Campus. Their design mirrors the company’s philosophy: open, mobile, socially connected, culturally relevant, and self-sustaining. Facebook’s upstart and creative DNA is reflected in the stylish, retro environment with plywood ceilings, concrete floors, and shop lighting. Many areas invite customization, such as hallways of chalkboard walls and blank canvases. Creating raw, flexible, “Beta spaces” was vital, as Facebook continues to expand and evolve. The nine buildings are connected with wide bridges to encourage interaction and communication between employees. Gensler created an urban environment with a complimentary cafeteria, vending machines with computer gadgets, a break room with vintage arcade games, and coffee shops that encourage employees to mingle. This campus has been featured in countless national and international publications. Gensler previously designed Facebook’s downtown Palo Alto office in 2008.

Gensler designed Airbnb’s 25,000 square foot headquarters in San Francisco. The practice successfully incorporated Airbnb’s history and culture into the design. Each meeting room was modeled after a listing featured on their site. It even incorporates a replica of the original apartment where Airbnb was founded. This unique approach means that the headquarters has design influences from Berlin, Hong Kong, New York City, and Aptos, California. The colorful headquarters also includes a large, stunning atrium.

And Gensler collaborated with Razorfish and BCCI on the relocation of Razorfish’s offices. The office space for this dynamic, online advertising agency was designed to maximize creativity and collaboration and necessitated flexible work spaces with movable projection screens. The design also supported Razorfish’s environmental vision and incorporated reused materials such as framed wood barn doors and reclaimed wine barrels. The outcome is a unique blend of both functionality and unexpected twists.

Additionally, Gensler designed the 19,000 square-foot “creative factory” for Pixar, which was named by Business Insider as one of the 17 coolest office spaces around the world, a new South-of-Market workspace for WIRED magazine featured in Architectural Digest, and Prosper Marketplace, which was named by Biz Journal as one of the Bay Area’s coolest offices.

The Best Residential Interior Designers in San Francisco

Overview

The Bay Area has some of the world’s top residential architectural practices. (If there was any doubt, check out our list of the city’s Top Residential Architects). So it only makes sense then that the region would also be home to top-of-the-line interior designers to make those spaces into the perfect homes. Many of the designers included on this list have worked repeatedly with the top architectural firms. They work in San Francisco’s most fashionable neighborhoods and on magnificent homes set in the stunning landscapes that surround the city. Included are designers who have been invited to some of the country’s most exclusive showcases, two designers on the elite AD100, and multiple designers who have been featured on HGTV. Whether they are designing for clients where money is no matter, creating fun homes for active families, or cleverly making the most of small city apartments on smaller budgets – these ten designers have been picked from hundreds as the best of the best in San Francisco residential interior design.

Top Designers

10
Applegate Tran Interiors

Designers:
Vernon Applegate
Gioi Tran

Awards:
ASID Awards of Distinction and Excellence

Address:
34 Woodward St, San Francisco, CA 94103

Contact:
(415) 487-1241 |
info@applegatetran.com

About Applegate Tran Interiors

The award-winning design studio Applegate Tran Interiors (ATI) has been creating beautiful residential spaces across the Bay Area and as far as New York, Hawaii, Panama City, France, and Vietnam since 1999. Their work has been featured in many prominent society and design publications, including California Homes, Trends Magazine, Gentry Design, The Robb Report, Traditional Home, CA Home + Design, and on HGTV. And they have received Awards of Distinction and Excellence from the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID).

Led by the creative genius duo Vernon Applegate and Gioi Tran, ATI has become renowned across the country for their upscale designs and attention to detail. The pair is known for pushing the conventional boundaries of design and using materials and color in new and innovative ways. Their designs are always distinctively personalized for each client, and they have proven to be proficient at a broad range of aesthetics, from classic to modern and everything in between.

Applegate received his BS in Architectural Studies from The University of Arts, in Philadelphia. One to never stop learning, he also has completed additional coursework through The University of California. Prior to opening ATI, Applegate gained experience at several notable interior design firms in Los Angeles and San Francisco. Gioi Tran, artist and designer, received a B.S. in Interior Design from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. He is known for creating one of a kind paintings for his clients. He also has a line of furniture and is soon to launch a new lighting collection to be featured at Sloan Myasato.


Featured Projects

For a couple downsizing from a large waterfront home in the Marina District to a two-story flat in San Francisco’s Duboce Triangle, Applegate Tran Interiors were trusted to create a high-end, playful, and fearless home. Having worked with these clients previously, Applegate was given a broad freedom to design. He embraced his love of color and experimenting with patterns and texture and, in his own words, took cues from “a sexy nightclub from the 1970s.” This quirky approach paid off in loads of fun details: from the mismatched dining room chairs with glossy white trim and matching purple upholstery, paired with four purple and white abstract paintings done by Tran to the vivid fuchsia, purple, and amber curtains used in the living room.For balance, the practice created a softer, warmer, neutral toned master bedroom. The result was featured in CA Home + Design Magazine.

And on a terribly outdated 1980s modernist Ladera home, the design studio was enlisted for a complete makeover. Their clients, a tech investor and entrepreneur, requested an understated, yet luxurious, oasis with indoor-outdoor living. Applegate and Tran used bold and contrasting texture to the home to bring it back to life and created a sense of Zen with a restrained approach to furnishings. They paid attention to the smallest of details, even ensuring that each piece of living room furniture was at a height of 30 inches or less so as not to disrupt the treetop views. The design studio created custom living room accessories, such as a rug and ottoman, and even an abstract painting, for this home. This modern and airy home was featured in Modern Luxury Interiors California magazine.

9
LOCZIdesign

Designers:
Paige Loczi

Awards:
California Home & Design Room of the Year

Address:
175 De Haro Street San Francisco, CA 94103

Contact:
(415) 431-6367 |
designer@loczidesign.com

About LOCZIdesign

LOCZIdesign is a full-service Bay Area design firm dedicated to making unique spaces. The firm received the reader’s choice award for Room of the Year from California Home & Design and was named by LuxPad as a top 25 designer in California. The firm has worked on an eclectic mix of residences, from re-imaging the classic Victorian, designing a strikingly fun and modern home in SOMA, to creating a one-of-a-kind Bohemian boathouse.

LOCZIdesign is all about designing inspired places that reflect the personalities of their clients. Their technical capabilities, relationship to trusted craftsmen, and creative design expertise combine to create wonderfully unique homes. They are known for taking risks with their designs, which have proven to pay off many times over. The design firm is lead by Founder and Creative Director Paige Loczi. She earned her Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, Berkeley, a Certificate of Sustainability, and attended the Interior Architecture and Design Program at UC Berkeley Extension.


Featured Projects

The firm re-imagined Mid-century modern classics in a new light for an Urban Haight Street Loft. Their design was inspired by their clients’ collection of Eames & Noguchi collectibles. LOCZIdesign remodeled nearly every part of this home, removing walls and reconfiguring the stairs. They also modified the square-footage in the master bathroom, added a custom closet suited to their client’s needs, a gorgeous and clever custom library. They worked with local artisans to create furniture, accents, and accessories of using walnut, ceramic and steel. The sleek, timeless loft is full of rich, luxurious tones.

And on top of a hill in Pacific Heights, LOCZIdesign remodeled a Victorian pied-a-terre into an opulent, re-imagine classic home. Their design showcases the original vaulted-ceilings of the historic home and added grand chandeliers that refract the abundance of light that enters the home and throws it across the walls in dynamic patterns. Of the home, LOCZIdesign says: “Black and white, angled and curved, classical and modern all coexist in this little gem.”

They also created a contemporary home in the Castro District of San Francisco. LOCZIdesign played with textures and patterns throughout the home for a one of a kind result – wood is mixed with steel, lacquer with leather, and wool with hide. The inspiration for this home came from Alexander McQueen, including a cascading stone fireplace wall that was inspired by McQueen’s razor clam dress. And an installation of softly toned wood blocks covers one wall and wraps around the ceiling to define the dining space and serve as a magnificent talking piece. Although the home is refined and upscale, it has a comfortable and relaxing feel.

8
Grant K. Gibson Interior Design Inc.

Designers:
Grant K. Gibson

Address:
3701 Sacramento Street #431, San Francisco CA 94118

Contact:
(415) 939-0243 | http://grantkgibson.com/contact/

About Grant K. Gibson Interior Design Inc.

Grant K. Gibson Interior Design Inc. is known for classic, well-edited residential spaces. They have received significant press, including in Architectural Digest, The New York Times, Elle Decor, House Beautiful, The Wall Street Journal, Traditional Home, Better Homes and Gardens, 7×7, Califor