There are various factors that contribute to the success of a business, and one of the most important elements you need to consider is the environment in which your company or store operates. To ensure the growth of your business, you should enlist the help of a designer who can create a space that speaks directly to both your customers’ and employees’ needs while reflecting the company’s brand.
The list below includes the best commercial architects in Los Angeles, California. These firms were selected for their accreditations, certifications, and professional affiliations. Our editorial team also made their selections after we looked at their industry awards, client reviews, and press features. Our team also discussed the range of services the firms offer, their specializations, and the length of time they have been in the industry.
9530 Jefferson Boulevard, Culver City, CA 90232
For more than half a century, HOK has been a global firm specializing in design, architecture, engineering, and planning. Its 1,600 employees work together across a network of 23 locations spread across three continents. Since 1955, HOK has been creating structures and places that are responsive to people’s and the environment’s demands. The firm’s designers are grounded in technical expertise, inspired by a wide range of disciplines, and dedicated to delivering solutions that inspire clients and communities.
The Los Angeles team is led by Anne Fletcher, a member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Accredited Professional. She is a member of the Board of Governors for the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC) and an executive board member for the LAX Coastal Chamber of Commerce. She is also active in the Urban Land Institute (ULI) and on the national Urban Development Mixed-Use Council (UDMUC-Red).
Anne highlights the many distinct voices of HOK, each with its own great concepts. Consider the firm’s take on Dentsu Aegis Network’s West Coast office in Culver City. With direct views and access to an outdoor terrace, this space invites people to sit and meet with colleagues. The design of the mezzanine takes inspiration from the Hollywood Hills hillside neighborhood, with a dark green textured wall providing a backdrop for the large “Dentsu” sign. A white painted metal handrail wraps around the perimeter of the mezzanine slab, with its design and proportions suggesting the iconic Hollywood Sign.
Skidmore, Owings, & Merrill (SOM)
333 South Grand Avenue, Suite 3600, Los Angeles, CA 90071
SOM believes that design is not just about conceptualizing spaces that awe and stun — it’s more about meeting the needs of its users, turning their aspirations into reality, and transforming how they interact with the world around them. This core principle has guided the company since its inception in 1936. As a green architect and advocate for sustainable design, the firm has focused on how design plays a significant role in change, especially when it comes to the protection and restoration of the natural environment.
Many of its projects all over the world represent the firm’s passionate environmental activism through green-certified architecture that has transformed landscapes in a wide range of sectors, including the multifamily and mixed-use commercial markets. Composed of a team of architects, designers, and engineers, the firm’s sustainable designs are modeled on its ultimate goal of contributing to the much-needed transition to a zero-carbon economy. Aside from producing projects that passed USGBC’s Platinum, Gold, and Silver LEED standards, many of its projects in its Los Angeles home carry the same ideals.
Under the leadership of Michael Mann, the firm completed a new SOM office space to accommodate the growth of its Los Angeles studio. The LEED Gold-certified office includes four conference rooms, two pantries, an architectural materials library, a model shop, critique areas for design reviews, and common spaces. The existing 36th-floor space was completely renovated to create an open plan with no private offices. In this non-hierarchical environment, sit-stand workstations for various architecture and design discipline groups are integrated with studio leadership.
550 S Hope Street, #1950, Los Angeles, CA 90071
SmithGroup takes a research-based and data-driven approach to design that champions sustainability and community. Its core competencies encompass architecture, engineering, landscape architecture, urban design, and environmental science. The firm has built a clientele of global leaders in the workplace, health, higher education, science, and technology sectors.
Bonnie Khang-Keating is the Vice President of SmithGroup. She is an active member of the Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA) and serves as a design commissioner for the city of Pasadena and a cultural heritage commissioner for the city of Los Angeles. She is on the City of Pasadena Mayor’s Planning Advisory Committee as well. Drawing on her 25 years of experience, Bonnie steers SmithGroup in coming up with design solutions that have earned awards from the AIA, the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers, and the American Planning Association.
Bonnie has also guided SmithGroup in developing work environments such as Arup’s downtown LA headquarters. Organized around a central open staircase, the three-story workplace promotes creativity, inclusivity, and wellness. The main arrival area is on the middle level, home to the main conferencing center, technical BIM rooms for collaboration and modeling, and the acoustically isolated SoundLab/ExperienceLab. Huddle rooms and niche work areas occupy the center of the floor plate near the stairs, which provides informal seating and encourages spontaneous interaction. A comprehensive maker space and library occupy much of the lower level; the top level is devoted to a large and lively café area.
5750 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 550, Los Angeles, CA 90036
A culture of discovery and cooperation distinguishes CO Architects as a pioneer in design and innovation. The USGBC-certified firm specializes in architectural design, technical systems, planning, documentation, and project management carried out by a diverse team of professionals. With the support of The Center for Health Design, CO Architects undertakes institutional, civic, academic, health sciences education, science, technology, and healthcare projects. The firm’s in-house staff has capabilities in programming, facility evaluation, comprehensive planning, and laboratory and medical planning. CO Architects puts its expertise into practice in order to craft spaces that benefit its users and their communities.
Managing Principal Jenna Knudsen is the driving force of leadership within the firm. Her career has focused on large-scale academic, laboratory, and healthcare projects on university and healthcare campuses across the country. She is a member of the AIA and a LEED Accredited Professional; she is nationally recognized for her outstanding use of BIM and integrated delivery. Under her leadership, CO Architects has built strong ties with the DBIA and obtained Evidence-Based Design Accreditation and Certification.
CO Architects is responsible for the design of the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, which involved an expansion and re-imagination of the North Campus. The project features a redesigned front façade with an entry bridge, pedestrian-friendly terraces and communal areas, and a two-level car park. A series of glass pavilions contains a live butterfly collection, the museum shop and ticket office, the café, and outdoor dining. A four-acre landscape program provides gardens and outdoor learning environments.
10880 Wilshire Boulevard, #1850, Los Angeles, CA 90024
Founded in 1939, HKS Architects has built a legacy as a leading architecture and design firm across the US. Started by Harwood K. Smith in Dallas, the firm steadily grew from a local practice to one with a national and global reach of unrivaled industry-leading architectural delivery. Scott Hunter—a Fellow of the AIA and a LEED Accredited Professional—continues to lead the Los Angeles studio to success in commercial projects. The firm ranks third on Building Design+Construction’s List of the Top 150 Architecture Firms in the country. Its list of impressive awards includes numerous AIA Awards, International Interior Design Association (IIDA) National and Global Awards, and ENR Awards.
The open-air SoFi Stadium is a great example of the firm’s work. The structure’s translucent roof, seating bowl, concourses, and landscape were sculpted and designed to create the feel of an outdoor venue while providing the flexibility of a traditional domed stadium. The FAA’s height restrictions—one of the project’s initial design challenges—became one of the most prominent features of the overall project. The seating bowl sits 100-feet below the existing grade. That’s about two to three times the depth of other similar multi-use venues. HKS created an indoor/outdoor meandering series of paths that guide fans down to their seats and concourses.
617 West 7th Street, Suite 1200, Los Angeles, CA 90017
For more than 85 years, Perkins&Will has explored the power of design and how it can inspire joy, uplift lives, and strengthen the spirit of community. This core concept has guided the company’s practice for decades to produce spaces where architecture delivers a transformative experience to its users and the communities that they serve. Its team of designers and principal architects are honored members of industry institutions, including the AIA and the US Green Building Council; many are also certified as LEED-Accredited Professionals. The firm currently serves a long list of market sectors and operates from its 25 studios around the world.
The firm has designed several multi-award-winning projects that embody the firm’s core belief as an influential mover and practitioner that champions innovation and sustainability. One of its most important works in the city is the design for its own office, a LEED-Platinum-certified office design that represents the firm’s “bold, brave, and brilliant” stand as a reputable company with a multi-awarded practice, recognized by the AIA, IIDA, and American Society of Interior Designers (ASID).
With Richard Marshall at the helm, the Los Angeles studio of Perkins&Will has positively impacted the social fabric and urban landscape of the community designing schools, hospitals, universities, research buildings, museums, residential towers, and workplaces. The Hollywood Romaine, for instance, fits the local community with wall graphics and murals that evoke local street art and provide relief from the limited daylight and views in the waiting rooms at the center of a very narrow floor plate. The introduction of modern, colorful, playful furniture creates an inviting environment with multiple seating arrangements for visitors, patients, and staff.
AC Martin, Inc.
444 South Flower Street, Suite 1200, Los Angeles, CA 90071
AC Martin is a California-based architecture, planning, interior architecture, and research firm that takes an integrated design approach to create enduring environments for the 21st century. The same principle—to create enduring environments that positively affect people’s lives—guides the firm in creating historic California landmarks. AC Martin’s approach is constantly evolving and growing. With accreditation from the AIA, LEED, and the DBIA, it pushes the boundaries of design using a methodology that is sustainable and technologically advanced.
Christopher C. Martin is the third-generation leader of AC Martin and a founding member of the Los Angeles Business Improvement District. His work has contributed to the economic vitality of downtown Los Angeles. As a civic leader, he has devoted a significant portion of his time to critical issues facing the City and County of Los Angeles.
Chris led the firm to the IIDA Calibre Design Award by creatively telling the story of a culinary French steakhouse with a California twist, using charred wood and saddle leather accents. The La Boucherie experience begins at the crystal bar, a glowing pink glass beacon inspired by Marie Antoinette’s shimmering jewels, glassware, and mirrors. A semi-private venue, the Atelier, features an exposed prep kitchen that acts as an interactive kitchen theater. A massive wood slab table is the piece de resistance for this ‘chef’s table’ concept. At the atelier table, guests will enjoy flights of wine, cheese, and charcuteries while enjoying a full view of the preparation underway behind the 12-foot-high darkened glass wall.
523 W 6th Street, Suite 300, Los Angeles, CA 90014
NBBJ is an architecture and design firm that creates spaces according to the WELL Building Standard and explores how they will impact human behavior. It finds energy-efficient solutions that promote community, support well-being, and enrich experiences through an empathetic methodology built on science, meticulous research, and the belief that all voices must be heard. Along with its global network of teams, NBBJ has partnered with Google, Amazon, Samsung, and Microsoft for projects recognized with awards from the IIIDA.
Jonathan Ward, Design Partner of NBBJ Los Angeles, is a Fellow of the AIA and a LEED Accredited Professional. He has worked internationally on some of NBBJ’s most notable buildings, such as headquarters projects for Tencent in Shenzhen, Samsung in San Jose and South Korea, Ant Financial in Hangzhou, the Wellcome Trust in Cambridge, and Reebok in Massachusetts. His breadth of experience continues to help him bring new thinking to NBBJ’s projects, including the Staples Center, one of the most recognized sports arenas in the world.
The 18,000-seat arena is an iconic piece of civic architecture that hosts 250 major events throughout the year, including the annual Grammy Awards, the X Games Competitions, the Democratic National Convention, and the World Figure Skating Championships. Its core design element is its capacity to be reconfigured to accommodate different kinds of events. The Staples Center has been given American Architecture Awards by the Chicago Athenaeum.
444 Flower Street, Suite 4700, Los Angeles, CA 90071
Since its establishment in 1945, CannonDesign has championed sustainability, community involvement, and architectural excellence. These qualities have long represented the company’s vision of shaping the future of architecture by serving the education, commercial, science and technology, sports, hospitality, and healthcare sectors. Many of its milestones and achievements can be attributed to the fusion of ideas that came from the more than 1,000 creative thinkers, experts, and problem-solvers headed by CEO and AIA member Bradley A. Lukanic.
As a firm that serves the commercial industry, the company is a nationally-recognized institution that consistently secures commendations and industry awards every year. CannonDesign has been ranked the number one University Design Firm on the 2021 Interior Design Top 100 Giants list and second on the Building Design and Construction list. The firm continues to collaborate with leading educational institutions to complete significant master planning, architecture, interior design, and consulting work for the sector.
Sally Ride Elementary School commissioned the company to design a two-story facility for 650 kindergarten through fifth-grade students. It contains 27 classrooms, administrative offices, a joint-use multi-purpose space, food services, and a library. The project features a City of Los Angeles pocket park with resting areas, a band shelter, and connectivity to the city’s library across the street.
3101 West Exposition Place, Los Angeles, CA 90018
RIOS is an international design collective that explores the integration of architecture, interior design, landscape, and product design to amplify the impact of design. Within the practice, the built environment and landscape architecture are interconnected to harness the positive impacts of wellness and define design as a continuum.
The firm believes that design is a dynamic exercise influenced by a collection of people representing diverse perspectives. Their company culture is expressive of their values, and they prioritize joy, inclusivity, audacity, originality, attunement, resiliency, and a commitment to creative problem-solving. The firm structure acknowledges that innovation is key to transformative design.
The Spotify Content Campus in Los Angeles creates a new paradigm combining the future of audio facilities with the workplace. The campus encompasses three buildings and 147,000 sq. ft. and offers various spaces from small to large audio production spaces for visiting creators and employees to create and collaborate. Equal opportunities for creators and employees are encouraged in an array of highly technical but accessible and intuitive recording studios, listening rooms, writer’s rooms, and editing suites. The performance stage and Dolby screening room coupled with the food hall, barista, and pitstops offer a high-end entertainment and hospitality facility, whilst the multipurpose workplace follows Spotify’s global hybrid working values in its concept of a dynamic workplace and a comfortable space to work.
2140 Hyperion Avenue, Silverlake, Los Angeles, CA 90027
Since Michael B. Lehrer established Lehrer Architects in 1985, the firm has garnered Awards for Excellence in Design from the AIA for its outstanding work on built residential, commercial, institutional, and landscape projects. The company’s in-house staff is accustomed to designing, managing, and collaborating with community and cultural groups on projects around Los Angeles, mirroring Michael’s dedication to the local community. Michael was the president of AIA Los Angeles and Homeless Health Care Los Angeles. The AIA Fellow is currently serving on the University of California at Riverside Design Review Board and the Harvard Graduate School of Design Alumni Council as Chairman Emeritus. As demonstrated by the firm’s design for the MLA Studio Office, Michael has authored and developed many of the strategies the firm has used to respond creatively to the needs of its clients while staying on top of current trends.
The team created a new transparent building-within-a-building by transforming an old factory building into this new design studio. An existing major heavy steel beam at the center of the existing double-gabled roof carries the new lightweight steel stud rafters at the peak of the new interior gabled roof. The interior roof riffs visually engage with the new roof and amplify the inherent beauty of the structure. Having opened 21 eight-foot skylights in the factory roof that had been covered for over 40 years, the ceiling brings in enough light to meet daytime work requirements without artificial light.
515 South Flower Street, Suite 3700, Los Angeles, CA 90071
Designs at ZGF Architects are created to enhance human performance, well-being, and inspiration. The firm combines technical solutions with style, materiality, and craftsmanship to develop spaces that are responsive to its current and future communities. The firm’s work on the Eli and Edythe Broad CIRM Center for Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research reflects this approach. A glass envelope brings natural light deep into the interior, serving as an integral part of the LEED Gold-certified building’s operating system. Angled glass fins reduce glare; the ventilated double-glass wall reduces solar gain and creates oblique views with its play of transparent and translucent glass. The open laboratories are organized in a transparent neighborhood scheme, setting this building apart from other laboratory facilities as there are no obstructions across the width of the building. This unique arrangement provides visual connections between program elements and allows flexibility for future modifications.
Other than research facilities, ZGF Architects’ portfolio includes projects for healthcare, academic buildings, mixed-use developments, corporate campuses, museums, transportation facilities, and eco-districts. As a LEED Accredited Professional and an AIA member, Managing Partner Ted Hyman cultivates a philosophy of collaboration, design excellence, and environmental stewardship.
Clive Wilkinson Architects
6116 Washington Boulevard, Culver City, CA 90232
Clive Wilkinson Architects is a distinguished architecture and design practice that has been creating modern, contemporary residential, commercial, and institutional structures since 1991. The firm’s work has garnered over 150 national and international design awards as of this writing, including a Merit Award from the Los Angeles Chapter of the AIA and placing as a finalist in the Architizer A+ Awards.
Clive Wilkinson, President and Design Director, is an award-winning architect with expertise in the application of urban design to interior design. He is a Fellow of the AIA and the IIDA, which has also dubbed him the “Pioneer of Design.” He has created unique spaces for Disney, Google, Macquarie, Microsoft, and Nokia. In 2005, he was inducted into the Interior Design “Hall of Fame.” His firm’s portfolio of work has been selected as a finalist for two years running in the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt Museum National Design Awards.
His expertise has produced a collection of exemplary buildings, such as the A+D Architecture and Design Museum in Los Angeles. Grounding the context of Los Angeles as an experimental platform, the museum floor was covered with a 1982 map of the city. A series of low, irregular, trapezoidal display plinths shaped the pathways through the show and provided the backdrop to support materials that can be viewed from above. Since the historical exhibits required protection from daylight and UV damage, the museum’s glass storefront was covered with a large-scale lenticular, appealing to a notion of movement and the car culture of Los Angeles.
MVE + Partners
1900 Main Street, Suite #800, Irvine, CA 92614
Founded in 1974, MVE + Partners believes in a simple, proven approach to completing projects. Mixed with artistry and the latest technology, the approach has proven effective through several projects and recognitions the firm has achieved over the years. The firm has been featured in publications such as Building Design + Construction, Architect Magazine, ReBusinessOnline, and The Real Deal. They have earned numerous awards including the AIA Orange County 25-Year Design Award.
One of MVE + Partners’ finest projects is the Howard Hughes Center, a high-end business and entertainment center located in Los Angeles. It contains a television station, an IMAX theater, fine restaurants, shopping, golf course, high-rise offices, and medical office buildings. The team organized the center’s parking circulation and equipped it with ramps. Service functions and pedestrian systems were incorporated into the design of the structure, ensuring that the building operates efficiently for all users.
Aside from commercial builds, the firm’s exceptional designs are exhibited in its mixed-use, multifamily, resort, retail, institutional, hospitality, and recreational communities and master plan projects. These designs are generated by dedicated team members—true innovators and professionals. MVE is led by an accomplished and experienced team of architects, designers, planners, and business professionals. They represent the greatest talent our industry has to offer and reflect the quality, leadership, success, and high standards of their clients.
2525 Michigan Avenue, Building T4, Santa Monica, CA 90404
Montalba Architects is a multi-disciplinary firm supported by a team of architects, designers, and professionals working across two offices. The firm produces select architecture and urban design-related projects with professional experience that includes the fine arts, media, and business management. Montalba emphasizes environments that are both socially responsive and aesthetically progressive. Over the last 15 years, the firm has continued to refine its craft through the forces of volumetric landscapes, material integrity, natural light, and pure spatial volumes to create solutions to the pragmatic requirements of the client, constructability, and context. The firm fosters communication between involved parties and leads the architectural and construction teams on behalf of the client as proactive experts.
As the founding principal of Montalba Architects, David Montalba is the driving force of leadership and design within the firm. In addition to maintaining membership with the Singapore Institute of Architects, he has also been recognized with numerous awards. Those awards include the National Young Architect Award from the AIA in 2008, the 2019 AIA Institute Honor Award, and over 100 other design awards. David works closely with the principals and staff in taking on a more personal approach to each project, including The Row’s first flagship store.
Slipping through the store’s double-height entry courtyard, customers are pulled through an over-scaled glass door and into the foyer, which looks out onto the pool lounge. The gallery-like interior is retail-focused with a residential-infused spirit. Natural light floods into the galleries flanking both sides of the pool through operable floor-to-ceiling structural glass doors and a new 25-foot-long skylight.