Classifying the Los Angeles architectural scene into one category is impossible. Famous architects like Frank Lloyd Wright and Frank Gehry have made a mark in the city. Los Angeles’s neighborhoods are a time capsule of the city’s evolving style. From traditional Victorian bungalows to Avant-Garde residences, the rich and famous homeowners of LA are willing to spend millions on the home of their dreams.
A lot of creative residential architects are based in LA because many locals are willing to take creative risks and have to budge to execute these complex designs. Some of the most expensive houses in the country are found in the city. In fact, a Bel-Air mega-mansion is listed at a whopping $250 million.
Narrowing down the best architects in LA will be challenging, especially for a busy homeowner. Luckily, this list has the 15 best architects who have designed some of the best residences in the city. All of the architects who service LA were taken into consideration but these chosen firms were critiqued based on portfolio, awards won, and publications that have featured its works.
This list includes both licensed architects and residential designers who can both design stunning homes but differ in other services offered. Architects are trained in design, engineering, and project management and have passed a licensing exam. Residential designers typically don’t manage projects and plans will need to be approved by a structural engineer. Whether you choose to hire an architect or a residential designer will depend on your project needs and complexity.
2321 Main St Santa Monica, CA 90405
Internationally-renowned Belzberg Architects is known for designing memorably unconventional award-winning projects in North America. Many of these memorable projects are award-winning South California institutions like the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust and The Pavilion at the City of Hope—these two projects are just some which exhibit the firm’s holistic design approach that analyzes how natural elements affect a project. Although the firm’s famous works are a mix of cultural, and commercial projects, the firm has designed homes for some of LA’s big names. Named as an Emerging Talent by the American Institute of Architects (AIA), Founder and current Fellow of the AIA, Hagy Belzberg, said in an interview with Hypebeast that designing homes in LA is exciting because of the locality’s willingness and excitement for bold and experimental architecture for commercial and residential homes. AIA LA recently recognized two residential projects of the firm. Both projects have received an AIA Single-Family Residential citation and Merit Award.
Grammy Award-winner Pharell Williams purchased a Belzberg-designed home for $7 million. The Hollywood Hills West property is a modern concrete-and-glass house perched above the city with breathtaking views of the Laurel Canyon, Downtown LA, and beyond. Belzberg Architects created a facade made of window walls that made the home closer to the outdoors. It also has a stunning guest house with an exterior screen that can also be viewed from the main home’s entertainment area.
2030 Hyperion Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90027
Bestor Architecture specializes in designing one-of-a-kind communities and office spaces. AIA Fellow Barbara Bestor founded the firm in 1995 to design creative residences that promote accessible urbanism. Bestor Architecture is known for pushing the limits of traditional architecture. The firm designs spaces for stylish brands like Beats By Dre, Roxy, Stussy, and Dangerbird Records.
In its 25 years in business, the firm has received several awards including an AIA National Design Award for Interior Architecture, AIA California Council Design Awards, and a Los Angeles Conservancy Awards. Its most recent accolade is being featured in Architectural Digest’s 2020 AD100, a special annual issue that features the best residential design companies in the country.
John Lautner’s Silvertop residence is known as a landmark in the Los Angeles architectural scene. Originally built in 1976, the Silvertop is one of the first residences to have a futuristic look. This home features Lautner’s first attempts at using monolithic concrete as a sculptural and architectural component.
When new homeowners moved into the home in 2014, Bestor Architecture reconstructed the home back to its former glory. The firm did not change much of Silvertop’s original design but it digitized many of its features. Home accessories such as the lighting and heating system were modernized and improved. Most of the firm’s renovations enhanced the original designs of Lautner. As for the exterior, curving walls were added to emphasize the dramatic facade of the home. The firm also built a concrete vault that has a stunning view of the ocean and the mountainside.
24911 Pacific Coast Hwy., Malibu, CA 90265
Douglas W. Burdge founded Burdge Architects in 1987. In the past 30 years, the firm has designed over 300 projects in Southern California. Many of these projects are for celebrities and Fortune 500 executives. With a focus on eco-friendly coastal homes, Burdge Architects has been featured in Architectural Digest, The Wall Street Journal, Veranda, and Traditional Home. Burdge designs have also earned a number of Gold Nugget awards and appeared on luxury real estate national programming.
Domino Magazine featured a Malibu Farmhouse that Burdge Architects designed for Swedish model and chef Helene Henderson. Henderson has lived in her Malibu home for ten years but the California wildfire destroyed a third of the surrounding property. Despite the incident, the architecture remained untouched. Burdge decided to showcase the home’s ocean views by installing floor-to-ceiling windows that faced North.
What Henderson loves about the open floor plan is her new open-concept kitchen. She has a great view while she’s cooking and the natural light makes the home look more spacious. Since the property is near the ocean, a cross-ventilation system was installed so AC and heat were not often used.
Clive Wilkinson Architects
6116 Washington Blvd., Culver City, CA 90232
Architect and Interior Designer Clive Wilkinson is one of the pioneers of urban office design. He is best known for designing Google’s Silicon Valley headquarters because he transformed the corporate office into a trendy free-flowing space. Wilkinson mentioned in an interview with Dezeen that he believes cubicles are “disenfranchising and isolating” which is why he always utilizes an open floor plan. Like his office projects, Clive Wilkinson Architects designs residential projects that maximize space through effective planning and urban interior design. Most of the firm’s designs are office spaces but whenever it designs a residential project these homes always catch the attention of architecture and interior design publications. The founder designed his last residence as a getaway from the busy streets of West Hollywood. Located next to the busy Melrose Avenue, Wilkinson wanted his home’s architecture to blend with the commercial strip and sparse residential area.
The founder designed his last residence as a getaway from the busy streets of West Hollywood. Located next to the busy Melrose Avenue, Wilkinson wanted his home’s architecture to blend with the commercial strip and sparse residential area.
Corsini Stark Architects
3630 Tyburn St., Los Angeles, California 90065
Collaborators since 1997, Rick Corsini and Anthony Stark have been in the architecture industry for more than 20 years. They established Corsini Stark Architects in 1997 to offer a diverse range of services that will showcase both of their expertise. Corsini is an expert in urban design and formerly taught architecture at Cal Poly Pomona, Woodbury University and the University of Southern California. While Stark has years of experience in designing retail and mixed-use projects that are found all over the world. Corsini Stark Architects has designed numerous projects that include amusement parks, creative office spaces, and custom residential projects.
The Callow residence is the firm’s latest award-winning project that received a 2018 Merit Award from AIA LA. This new construction contemporary home definitely stands out in its traditional neighborhood. Nontraditional materials like basalt stone and cumaru wood were used for the unique facade. A walled courtyard will lead guests into the home and inside is a modernist space with high ceilings that gives an illusion of a wider space. The homeowners wanted their new home to be more connected to the outdoors so a south-oriented deck and rear garden serve as focal points and it also brings natural light into the home.
Dan Brunn Architecture
6363 Wilshire Blvd. Ste #503, Los Angeles, CA 90048
Bringing sustainable architecture to Southern California has been the primary goal of Dan Brunn Architecture for the past nine years. Founder Dan Brunn has worked on high profile projects that have garnered much attention within the architectural industry. His first residential project has been published by over 135 design publications and Architectural Digest named him a “Rising Star”. His firm, Dan Brunn Architecture, implements modern architectural principles that create a functional relationship between a project and its environment. Many of the firm’s green designs have won awards from AIA LA, Architizer Magazine, and the American Architecture Award.
A visionary architectural exploration born in the heart of Hancock Park, Bridge House LA has reached completion after 2 years of construction. Designed by Dan Brunn, AIA, Principal of Dan Brunn Architecture, the one-of-a-kind “bridge house” literally bridges 65’ over a natural stream. Staying consistent with Brunn’s “less is more” approach to building, the home occupies 4,500 square feet on a 15,000 square-foot lot. The project’s commitment to sustainable solutions serves as a demonstration of innovative systems and forward-thinking processes. The design exemplifies Brunn’s signature minimalist aesthetic, evident in dynamic spatial choreography of light and volume. “The idea is to do something extraordinary with ordinary means,” says Brunn.
Edward Ogosta Architecture
8800 Venice Blvd. Ste. #312, Los Angeles, CA 90034
Edward Ogosta established his own firm in 2011 after working for more than a decade for many architectural firms in Los Angeles. Edward Ogosta Architecture specializes in designing custom residences and cultural establishments. While maintaining deep ties with the local architecture community, the firm has earned recognition from AIA and Residential Architect Magazine. Whether creating a high-end single-family home or designing for a large-scale institution, the firm keeps an eye on the details of how a space can be more functional for the client. Edward Ogosta Architecture’s intuitive and inventive designs are featured in Dwell, Fast Company, ArchDaily, and Detail.
Alison and Jeff Goad used to live in a cramped bungalow built in the 1950s. Instead of buying another home, her brother Edward offered her a cost-saving design strategy that will increase the value of their family home. The couple hesitated at first because Ogosta’s modern style was different from their traditional taste but his hands-on approach gave them confidence. The result is a contemporary pocket house designed to withstand street noise. It was a very economical renovation because Ogosta only demolished the front of the house and retained the three bedrooms and the garage. Instead, a 1,000 square foot addition was installed in the living area to create large openings between the rooms. AIA LA and Long Beach recognized Edward Ogosta Architecture’s efforts to modernize this home and it has earned a Design Citation and Honor Award from the said organizations.
Ehrlich Yanai Rhee Chaney Architects
10865 Washington Blvd., Culver City, CA 90232
Award-winning firm Ehrlich Yanai Rhee Chaney Architects is an internationally renowned architecture company that promotes multicultural modernism. The firm’s design process has a humanistic approach that considers the correlation between the client and the site. Its designs are determined by the environmental impact and cultural relevance of the project. Founding partner Steve Ehrlich calls himself an “architectural anthropologist” whose design practices are largely inspired by indigenous buildings. Ehrlich encourages his firm to design sustainable plans that can benefit the environment. He has received the prestigious Maybeck Award from AIA California. Alongside Ehrlich are his partners Residential Studio Director Takashi Yanai, AIA Fellow Patricia Rhee, and Principal-in-Charge Matthew Chaney.
Located in Beverly Hills, The Coldwater Canyon home is a gorgeous oasis that is surrounded by trees and secluded from its neighborhood. The homeowners wanted a home that isn’t intimidating but private enough for them to have their own space. The firm designed a home that had a long composition with a sense of graciousness. A guest house that also served as a project studio was found on the north end and a pool courtyard was found in between the property. From the entryway, an entry foyer leads guests to the main home. Once guests take north, the home becomes bigger and it will lead to the open dining and living space that captures the stunning landscape of the hillside.
Griffin Enright Architects
4201 Redwood Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90066
Led by AIA Fellows Margaret Griffin and John Enright, Griffin Enright Architects practices strategic planning for complex design problems. The full-service architectural firm is established by two seasoned principals who have more than 347 years of experience. Griffin is an AIA Fellow who has studied the relationship between urban spaces and architectural design. While Enright is a LEED Accredited Professional and AIA Fellow who specializes in integrating construction information systems and innovative building systems. Together, they have upheld a technically-complex firm that values collaboration and sustainability.
This award-winning Hollywood Hills Residence is a 2,300 square foot house that was created with simple materials. Stone and metals are the most utilized elements in the home. These elements are mostly found in the minimalist front exterior. One of its focal points is a ladder found on the second story that leads to the secret roof garden which has a gorgeous view of Hollywood and the Pacific Ocean. This home has won a Merit Award from the Residential Architect Design Awards, a Special Focus Award from the Builder’s Choice Award, and a Grand Award from the Remodeling Design Awards.
4201 Redwood Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90066
For more than 30 years, KAA Design is known all over Los Angeles for designing homes for celebrities like Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and The Pritzker Family. When founder Grant Kirkpatrick established the firm 31 years ago, it focused on mostly retail and cultural projects. It has made several Hugo Boss Stores and completed projects for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Now, Grant along with KAA Design’s fellow partner, Duan Tran, focuses on residential projects that have garnered the attention of many design publications like Architectural Digest, Luxe Interiors + Design, and Design LA.
One of the firm’s latest celebrity home projects is Maria Sharapova’s private Los Angeles residence. It was important to create a private home that had a relaxing aura for the veteran tennis player. KAA Design calls the home a “balance between architectural sculpture and nurturing cocoon” because it integrates indoor and outdoor spaces together to form a cohesive contemporary home. Sharapova gave Architectural Digest a tour of the home and mentioned that she always wanted a Japanese-inspired home by the beach. When guests enter the home a beautiful courtyard with Japanese pine and a custom fountain welcomes them into a beautiful entryway made entirely of overlooking windows and a double-triple height ceiling. The interiors were made of entirely concrete to showcase Sharapova’s extensive art collection.
Landry Design Group
1818 S. Sepulveda Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90025
A fixture on the Architectural Digest AD100 List for the last 15 years, Landry Design Group has an A-list clientele that includes NHL legend Wayne Gretzky, actor Mark Wahlberg, and boxer Sugar Ray Leonard. Founder Richard Landry has grown the firm from its start in 1987 into the go-to brand name in luxury California homes. California Homes Magazine, Luxury Living, and Variety have covered the firm’s high-end contemporary estates and rural villas. A 74-time Gold Nugget Award winner, Landry Design Group has also earned honors from Pacific Design Center, Business of Luxury Design, and the Robb Report.
One of Landry Design Group’s best project is the Tom Brady and Gisele Bündchen’s Brentwood home. The couple enlisted the help of architect Richard Landry to create a cozy eco-conscious home for their growing family. The family made sure that their sustainable home will have a positive impact on the lot. Asides from using environment-friendly materials, gray-water technology for irrigation was installed and the home is powered by a solar panel energy system. The gothic exterior is a modern interpretation of old-world European architecture and the romantic tone of the home is given a more rustic look with the interiors. Most of the elements in the home are reclaimed or repurposed materials that were supplied by Belgian dealer Koen Van Loo.
2140 Hyperion Ave., Silverlake, LA, CA 90027
Michael B. Lehrer, FAIA, began his career as a sole proprietor in 1985 in Los Feliz. Lehrer Architects has since expanded to a corporation but has stayed true to its LA roots. Besides single- and multi-family residential plans, their portfolio includes commercial and institutional projects, including the first LEED-Platinum museum in the world. The firm has won more than 120 major awards for design and sustainability. Homes by Lehrer Architects have earned recognition from the Los Angeles Business Council and Southern California Development Forum. It has also been featured in Architectural Digest, Dwell, and Interior Design magazine.
The Canyon Residence is one of the firm’s most successful projects that has won an Honor Award from the Southern California Development Forum and a Gold Nugget Grand Award from Pacific Coast Builders. This contemporary project is more than a home because it also has a sculpture studio, workshop, and a vegetable garden. Located a mile away from the beach, the residence was quite challenging due to the natural site constraints. The firm designed the home around its environment. It has two planes made around the home and one of them is supported by a horizontal plinth that holds the garden patio leading to a private garden. The other plane is a vertical datum spine that connects the various parts of the home.
Michael Maltzan Architecture
2801 Hyperion Ave. Studio #107, Los Angeles, CA 90027
In 1995, Founder and Principal Michael Maltzan, FAIA, established his eponymous firm to create designs that set progressive trends for urbanism. The architecture and urban design house creates comprehensive designs that consider not just the interior experience, but how a residence interacts with its context. The firm’s museum-worthy designs works have been featured in Architectural Record, Artforum, Domus, and The New York Times. In addition, the firm has won five Progressive Architecture awards and dozens of citations from the AIA.
For three years, the Pittman Dowell Residence has garnered different citations from AIA for its unique geometric facade. The Pittman Dowell Residence is located in a gorgeous six-acre land sitting on the edge of the Angeles National Forest. The home is a heptagonal figure that is surrounded by intersecting diagonal slices. The unique exterior was designed to give a unique floor plan for the interior. Non-parallel walls make up the interior of the home and there are also no doors inside the home. These walls layer space and limit view access so every room has a sense of privacy. An irregularly shaped outdoor room is found at the center of the home and its edges connect the rooms together.
8609 Washington Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90232
Led by husband-and-wife tandem Zoltan Pali and Judit Fekete, SPF:architects is an architectural firm that specializes in residential, cultural, and commercial projects. The couple both have experience in working with some of the best architects in the industry. Pali has worked with Jerrold Lomax, a member of the legendary architectural collective LA Twelve. While Fekete worked with Hungarian artist Ferenc Latos and trained her to become an expert with Bauhaus architecture. The firm has drawn renovation designs for the Gibson Amphitheater, Greek Theatre, and Getty Villa Museum, having been entrusted with some of the city’s most iconic buildings. But they excel not only at that large scale but also in designing private homes in Southern California neighborhoods. The firm’s works have earned Architecture Magazine’s Home of the Year Award, an AIA National Honor Award, and even more accolades from the Los Angeles Business Council.
The stunning Orum residence definitely stands out in the Los Angeles neighborhood. Seated on the Bel Air Hilltop, the home was designed to look like it was floating above the Los Angeles skyline. The 18,800-square-foot home has a stunning mirror exterior that reflects the views of Long Beach, Century City, and Downtown. The structure is described as a three-winged propeller. These divisions were created to have a space for private and public events. It was important for the homeowner to have a space for large events but still have a private area for her family.
5747 Venice Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90019
Young architect Patrick Tighe is an emerging architect in LA who has won the AIA Young Architect Award and the 40 under 40 awards. Tighe formed a studio in 2004 to design civic, commercial, and residential developments. 15 years later, Tighe Architecture’s works can be found all over the world and it has been published in acclaimed design magazines like Architectural Digest, Interior Design magazine, and the New York Times. The company also earned AIA and American Architecture awards for their affordable housing designs for downtown L.A., adding to a number of achievements that includes more than ten national and regional AIA Honors Awards and a Progressive Architecture Award.
The futuristic Hollywood Hills House is an eco-friendly home that was made under the jurisdiction of the Mulholland Scenic Parkway Specific. Inspired by the home’s mountainous surroundings, the architecture was made to be a secluded residence hidden from onlookers but also have the best view of The Hills. Creating the angular facade was challenging because it required two bar buildings stacked on top of each other. But it was worth it because the home has a full view of the three-acre hillside. A unique feature of the home is that the second level is pivoted 170 degrees to have different rooms for private functions. Each room also has a view of the beautiful hillside.