Overview

Perhaps best known for the glitz and glamor of Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles is California’s gem and is called home by countless luxury and household brands. It is regarded for having some of the country’s best-known fashion companies, retailers, and flagship stores and this list is a showcase of 15 of its best and leading retail architects behind some of its most recognizable outlets. These firms were chosen based on their stellar portfolios, impressive clientele, and outstanding backgrounds. These companies are no stranger to acclaim and have had their work featured in countless publications.

Top Retail Architects

Abramson Architects

Address:
5171 West Jefferson Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90016

About Abramson Architects

Abramson Architects seamlessly weaves spaces into warm, unique, and functional areas tailored to its clients’ needs. It specializes in a variety of market sectors aside from the retail industry, which includes corporate, health and wellness, institutional, and hospitality ventures. The firm’s portfolio also brandishes several custom single-family residences. Its designs are often reminiscent and reflective of its Southern California roots but also remain progressive and innovative. Abramson’s work is usually distinguished by its team’s generous use of straight lines coupled with layers of light and texture. Its contributions to the local retail architectural scene, as well as its work for other markets, have been recognized multiple times, with the firm being the proud recipient of over 50 design awards. The firm has also been featured various times in several publications, including CA Home + Design, Urbanize LA, and Architizer.

Featured Projects

Showcased above is one of the firm’s best projects. Located on West Third on Melrose, this project spans roughly 4,626 square feet. It was a former synagogue now turned into a health-conscious coffee shop and the second brick and mortar shop for Dosist. For this, the Abramson team redesigned and thickened its former facade.

Clive Wilkinson Architects

Address:
6116 Washington Blvd. Culver City, CA 90232

About Clive Wilkinson Architects

Clive Wilkinson Architects employs a design-build approach and collaborates with some of the area’s most forward-thinking and progressive brands and clients. It has been in business since 1991 with its founder and namesake Clive Wilkinson, who serves as the firm’s president and design director. He has completed over six million square feet of creative workplace, educational, institutional, and residential projects, both locally and abroad. The firm’s work has been recognized a multitude of times and is the proud recipient of over 150 national and international design awards. That includes the National Design Award for excellence under the Interior Design category from the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum in 2012. Clive Wilkinson Architects provides a full range of architectural and interior design services, which encompass programming, research, feasibility analysis, urban design, and master planning.

Featured Projects

The photo above depicts the firm’s work on the Disney Store headquarters in Pasadena. Completed back in 2007, this space spans over 81,000 square feet and entailed having to work on its interiors and adaptive reuse. For this project, the Clive Wilkinson team worked with workplace strategists, DEGW and created an excellent organizational plan. One of this project’s most distinct features is its “honeycomb” structure, which serves as a display of both Disney’s sample products and forms into a second conference room.

RDCollaborative

Address:
245 East Third St. Long Beach, CA 90802

About RDCollaborative

In business since 1979, RDC is a full-service architectural firm headquartered in Los Angeles with offices in Washington, D.C., and Arkansas. It also operates an international location in Shanghai. Its staff is composed of over 160 experienced and seasoned professionals who employ a comprehensive approach when designing spaces. The firm is a forerunner in the commercial industry market and specializes in retail, hospitality, and entertainment venue projects. Its portfolio also showcases various corporate interiors, mixed-use, grocery, and wellness spaces. In other words, the firm’s experience covers all consumer experiences, rendering it equipped to manage any task. The RDC team takes a comprehensive look at each of its projects’ space, and from there, methodically employs an approach that is an infusion of architecture, planning, and interior design. From conceptual design, entitlement, and site planning to construction documentation and administration, the firm’s team is there to assist throughout the entire process.

Featured Projects

The firm is the recipient of a multitude of awards. Its most recent include the LA Business Council Award, the AIA Long Beach/South Bay Citation Award, and a FRAME Design Social Award. The GUESS Los Angeles store is the product of an integration of its classic branding coupled with retro elements. It features a clean storefront finished with rough concrete with art-deco reminiscent arches, brass details, and Hollywood-style lighting. Inside, a skylight and its fixtures are a mix of solid concrete forms shedding natural light on art-deco-inspired metal racks.

Montalba Architects

Address:
2525 Michigan Ave. Bldg. T4, Santa Monica, CA 90404

About Montalba Architects

Established in 2004, Montalba Architects is a multidisciplinary firm that derives its success from the experience and talents of its team of architects and designers. It operates out of two offices, offering its clients a comprehensive range of architectural design services. The company’s portfolio includes a diverse range of luxurious residential homes. It also provides a spectrum of retail projects, including flagship stores and showrooms. The company also offers in-house work such as graphics, branding, and merchandising services.

Featured Projects

The company has earned numerous American Institute of Architects (AIA) distinctions in addition to LABC Architectural Awards and Architizer A+ Awards. Showcased above is one of the firm’s best projects. Completed back in 2019, this project spans over 1,625 square feet and serves as BLDWN’s first flagship retail destination in Melrose Place. The palette for this space consists of solid white oak, black solid steel, and micro-ribbed glass. The firm’s team also infused custom oak millwork as a hand-finished backdrop to the clothing on display.

Nadel Architects

Address:
1990 S. Bundy Dr. Suite 400, Los Angeles, CA 90025

About Nadel Architects

Regarded as among Los Angeles’ best and leading architectural firms, Nadel Architects offers its clients a complete and comprehensive range of design and planning services. It is noted for its excellent cost-effective solutions and affiliations with various vital industry organizations. These include the AIA, the Association of Commercial Real Estate, and the Building Industry Association. These memberships allow it to stay up to date with the best and latest industry techniques and methods. Nadel’s portfolio showcases an excellent gallery of commercial, retail, education, and hospitality spaces. It has also taken on several mixed-use and multifamily projects. From Los Angeles and cities across the country to Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and beyond, the firm has secured a solid reputation for its innovative solutions to otherwise challenging work. Since its inception, it has received over 91 industry awards. It also operates out of three offices in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and Scottsdale.

Featured Projects

Showcased below is the firm’s work on the Sunset Millennium. Located in Los Angeles, this project was completed back in 2002. It is a mixed-use urban infill project situated in the center of the historic portion of Sunset Strip in West Hollywood. The project caters to upscale shops and restaurants with outdoor programming.

Perkins Eastman

Address:
523 West Sixth St. Suite 600, Los Angeles, CA 90014

About Perkins Eastman

Perkins Eastman is a global design firm founded on the belief that design can have a direct and positive impact on people’s lives. The firm’s award-winning practice draws on its 1,000 professionals networked across twenty-one offices worldwide. By keeping the user’s needs foremost in the design process, the firm enhances the human experience across the spectrum of the built environment. The company specializes in a wide range of building types, which include everything from office buildings and tenant improvements to senior living communities and educational institutions. The firm’s portfolio also includes completed workplace and commercial projects for companies including Philips, SAP, WeWork, Smith+Nephew, and Blue Apron.

Featured Projects

The project below best embodies the firm’s talent and expertise. Located in the heart of Los Angeles, this one-of-a-kind retail and entertainment destination was a celebration of Hollywood Boulevard’s historical and fictional elements. The firm’s team worked on a marquee theater, updated its hotel, as well as redesigned several dining and retail establishments.

Standard Architecture | Design

Address:
4411 Santa Monica Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90029

About Standard Architecture | Design

Standard Architecture is a Los Angeles-based practice that offers its clients a broad range of architecture and interior design services. It is led by its principals, Jeffery Allsbrook and Silvia Kuhle, who ensure that each project the firm manages receives the benefit of their diverse experience. Jeffery and Silvia lived and traveled extensively in Europe before settling in Los Angeles. The time they spent abroad influences their work to this day and has resulted in unique spaces. Under their leadership, the firm’s team emphasizes the importance of creating spaces that are responsive to their environment. The firm’s work is distinguished by its straight lines, minimalist finishes, and maximization of natural light.

Featured Projects

Designed for Helmut in West Hollywood, this boutique spans over 3,000 square feet and won the firm several AIA Awards. The concept for the project goes back to the brand’s roots: grayscale and minimalist. For this, the firm’s team made use of smooth troweled plaster walls and concrete floors with accents of stainless steel and black, charcoaled wood. It also designed a new courtyard towards its rear.

Assembledge+

Address:
6255 W. Sunset Blvd. Suite 920, Los Angeles, CA 90028

About Assembledge+

Headquartered in Los Angeles, Assembledge+ adheres to the highest standards and is the product of the vision of its founder, David Thompson. He personally assists and oversees each project that the firm takes on and offers his insight into both the firm’s large and small projects alike. Under his leadership, the firm’s work is often regarded for its modernism. Its core material palettes include architectural essentials such as western cedar, oak, concrete, glass, and terrazzo. Depicted below is one of the firm’s best projects.

Featured Projects

Designed for AETHER Apparel, this project serves as the brand’s all-new flagship store. Located in the heart of Los Angeles’ La Brea design district, the project is set in a 4,000 square-foot industrial space. It features two full-sized glass garage doors that open into a sidewalk, its own walk-in freezer for prospective gear, and 45 modular wood crates.

Bergmeyer

Address:
800 South Figueroa St., Suite 1080, Los Angeles, CA 90017

About Bergmeyer

Bergmeyer classifies itself as a design collaborative and works through its projects with a highly proactive, creative approach. The firm’s services include architecture, interior design, branding, graphic strategy, project management, and visual merchandising. It also infuses several green design and building practices into its work, rendering its spaces highly sustainable and energy-efficient. The firm’s portfolio shows a rich and curated gallery of not only retail spaces but also several projects from the restaurant, workplace, commercial, multifamily residential, educational, cultural, hospitality, and healthcare markets. Its process also emphasizes the importance of contextualizing designs and taking into consideration a project’s environment to achieve a client’s goals better.

Featured Projects

The showcased project was designed for Brookstone, one of the firm’s many long-term clients. This project serves as the fifth version of the brand’s prototype. For this, the firm’s team made use of color block accents and warm wood shelving. It also maximized the floor space for freestanding displays.

Bestor Architecture

Address:
2030 Hyperion Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90027

About Bestor Architecture

Operating out of its headquarters in Los Angeles, Bestor Architecture was founded by Barbara Bestor in 1995. She is a fellow at the AIA and has led Bestor into becoming an award-winning company with an excellent reputation and clientele list. Some of its most noteworthy projects include the headquarters for Beats by Dre and Snap, Blackbirds, a new small-lot housing development in Echo Park, and countless other unique residences and commercial establishments. The firm has also taken on several projects from the hospitality and cultural industries and has been recognized with various distinctions such as the AIA National Design Award for Interior Architecture. Bestor has also graced the pages of publications such as Architectural Digest, Elle Decor Italia, Curbed, and Vogue.

Featured Projects

Depicted above is the firm’s work for Clare V. Silverlake. Located in Los Angeles, this project was designed and completed back in 2012. It is a stand-alone boutique that showcases the brand’s totes, weekend bags and clutches along with carefully curated jewelry, clothing, and accessories. Its interiors were custom-designed to fit excellent shelving and wonderful display boxes.

AUX Architecture

Address:
2404 Wilshire Blvd. Suite 12 D, Los Angeles, CA 90057

About AUX Architecture

Established in 2008, AUX Architecture is an award-winning Los Angeles studio that specializes in retail, high-end residential, mixed-use, multifamily, and performance space projects. Pronounced “Ox,” the firm derives its name from the Latin word “auxiliarius,” which means “to aid” and the port that often comes with devices and gadgets that allow them to run the latest extensions. The firm has dedicated itself to using the most innovative techniques and processes, and the result is a number of exciting projects. Some of its latest and exciting endeavors include two performing arts centers, an art gallery, and an award-winning multifamily townhouse.

Featured Projects

At the firm’s helm is Brian Wickersham, an experienced architect and LEED-certified professional. Under his leadership, the firm has had the privilege of being recognized with a multitude of awards. Prior to his establishment of the firm, Mr. Wickersham first gained experience in the offices of Daly Genik Architects, Frank Gehry, and Graft. He has also guest lectured and served on juries at institutions throughout California, including at SciArc, USC, Woodbury, ELAC, and Cal State Long Beach.

Sargenti Architects

Address:
448 S. Hill St. Suite 808, Los Angeles, CA 90013

About Sargenti Architects

With two decades of experience in the industry, Sargenti Architects holds itself to a higher standard in terms of providing architecture, engineering, and design services with the end goal of crafting signature concepts. The firm is a one-stop shop for every service a client may need for a commercial endeavor. Its unique model keeps all of its projects at low cost but high quality. The firm specializes in retail, hospitality, restaurant, big box, automotive, construction, and corporate interior projects. The firm operates out of six offices, five in the United States and one in London, and it is licensed in 49 states, including Puerto Rico. Its growing team of over 160 professionals has worked with various household brands, including international giants like H&M, GAP, and Target.

Featured Projects

The photo above showcases the firm’s work for STUDS, a New-York born piercing studio that opened its first-ever location in Los Angeles on Melrose Place. For this branch, the firm’s team opted for a lot of neon colors, acrylic, LED lights, diachronic film, and reflective materials. Uniquely, this location features the brand’s best-selling studs turned into stickers posted all over the storefront window.

Studio One Eleven

Address:
245 East Third St. Long Beach, CA 90802

About Studio One Eleven

The award-winning Bloc stretches over 450,000-square-feet of retail space and opens up to the city street life with a dazzling array of stores that represent Los Angeles’ diverse and growing market. As opposed to the inward-facing structure of the former Macy’s Plaza, The Bloc houses outdoor promenades, terraces, and plazas. It is a vital Transit-Oriented Development given its location at the epicenter of the region’s expanding rail lines and bus network. The Bloc takes cues from the local government’s Mobility Hub Pilot Program and even has a direct connection to the 7th Street Metro Station. The entire layout was changed from a solid mass into a series of decks, crossings, and balconies that create an inviting urban living room in the center of downtown capable of hosting various activities and stores.

Featured Projects

At the LABJ Commercial Real Estate Awards, Studio One Eleven was granted a Silver Award in the retail category for its efforts and expertise on The Block. The project is one out of the hundreds of unique and impressive spaces that the firm has worked on. Its architects and planners are known for their meticulous attention to detail and their visionary contributions to the city’s skylines. The firm is also socially responsible and strives to infuse various sustainability practices into each of its projects.

ShubinDonaldson Architects, Inc.

Address:
3751 Robertson Blvd. Culver City, CA 90232

About ShubinDonaldson Architects, Inc.

Shubin Donaldson commits itself to innovative, creative solutions. It makes use of a highly-collaborative approach and works on both commercial and residential projects. The firm has been in the industry since 1991 and has won numerous awards including the Westside Urban Forum Merit Award and several other distinctions from the AIA. Showcased below is an excellent example of the firm’s talent and expertise.

Featured Projects

This project was designed for G/Fore and serves as both a showroom and a design office that spans over 3,500 square feet. Located in Beverly Hills, the idea behind this project was an interplay between traditional and modern spaces which was achieved through a wood-paneled arcade that ran down the center of the space. This also served as a display of the brand’s products.