Located in San Diego County, Coronado is perhaps best known for being a resort city. Unsurprisingly, the city also houses countless impressive commercial structures to keep up with its traffic.
This list showcases ten of the best commercial architects in the area, ranked by various experiences, backgrounds, and outstanding portfolios.
Studio E Architects
2258 1st Ave., San Diego, CA 92101
Headquartered in San Diego, Studio E Architects specializes in housing and mixed-use developments in addition to commercial, community, and higher education projects. The firm utilizes a highly hands-on approach and is regarded for its use of only the best and latest industry techniques, which have resulted in timeless and outstanding work. Its talented and experienced team assists every client throughout the entire process and has established a solid reputation for the company. Since its inception, the firm has become the recipient of a multitude of awards. It was most recently lauded by the PSMJ when it was included in the 2020 Circle of Excellence, where it is joined by 75 other exceptional architecture and engineering companies in the country.
Depicted above is one of the company’s best work. Located in 1660 India in San Diego, this project entailed the repurposing of a former offset printing house into an all-new sales office. The project spans roughly 9,500 square feet and features a new entrance, lobby, and fresh decor in addition to exterior finishes.
Domusstudio Architecture, LLP
2800 Third Ave., San Diego, CA 92103
Drawing its name from the Latin word for “house,” Domusstudio has been in business since 1986 and is regarded for its comprehensive range of services. It often infuses various sustainability efforts into its projects, which have resulted in highly sustainable and efficient spaces. The firm primarily specializes in residential, commercial, educational, and religious spaces and showcases talent and expertise for a wide variety of architectural vernaculars. Since its founding, the company has garnered multiple distinctions for its sustainable designs. These include Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver, Gold, and Platinum-certified projects made with only the best available materials. Its work has also been featured in publications like Ranch and Coast Magazine and San Diego Home and Garden.
The photo above depicts the firm’s work for the Valley Center Library. It is composed of two separate buildings, a library and a local history museum. The library spans 14,000 square feet while the museum is 1,500 square feet. Some of its most impressive features include its modern design and various areas dedicated to children’s programs. The space also provides visitors with beautiful views of the nearby valley. This project won the firm a Citation Award from the American Institute of Architects (AIA).
2710 Historic Decatur Rd. Suite 201, San Diego, CA 92106
KMA Architecture offers its clients a unique approach for each of their projects and is regarded for its complete range of services. It credits its success to the passion and talent of its experienced team, in addition to its solid research techniques. The firm was founded in 1973 and was originally named Krommenhoek and Associates. Back then, its main client was the San Diego Federal Savings and Loan. Since then, the company has designed over 250 branches for what is now known as the Great American First Savings Bank. The firm has of course also expanded its portfolio to include work for commercial developers, hotels, offices, multi unit residential, specialized technical, and industrial buildings.
Pictured above is the company’s work for EIP. Spanning 8,100 square feet, this project sits on the second story of an existing building and required an almost total demolition of the former tenant space. For this project, the firm’s team made use of real oak wood floors, metallic finishes, and an open floor plan.
MW Steele Group, Inc.
1805 Newton Ave. Suite A, San Diego, CA 92113
Founded in 1983, the MW Steele Group is an award-winning architecture and planning firm that offers a holistic approach to building coupled with its complete range of services. It is personally led by its owner and namesake, Mark Steele, who is joined by the firm’s managing principals, Steve Miles and Michael Paluso. Together, they have worked on hundreds of projects for both the public and private sectors, which has allowed the firm to curate an impressive gallery for its portfolio. This includes spaces from the retail, hospitality, residential, planning, and civic market sectors. The firm has had the opportunity to work on projects across the United States and abroad.
Showcased above is one of the firm’s completed projects for Chrome Hearts. This particular branch is located in West Hollywood and showcases great use of Douglas fir, concrete and steel, and custom reliefs and finishes. This particular space also included a private courtyard, which houses the brand’s non-mainstream products.
Architects Mosher Drew
1775 Hancock St. Suite 150, San Diego, CA 92110
For over 70 years, Architects Mosher Drew has been committed to enhancing the San Diego community. As a small business based out of one ofﬁce near downtown San Diego, the firm provides outstanding service by having their team of professionals work with their clients from the beginning of the design until the building is occupied.
Architects Mosher Drew was founded in 1946 by Robert Mosher. The firm’s landmark projects have become icons throughout Southern California, such as the Jenny Craig Pavilion at the University of San Diego, Coronado Bridge, San Diego State Love Library, and the San Diego Zoo Tiger exhibit. The ﬁrm has four principals – William Magnuson, AIA, Ed Holakiewicz, AIA, Benjamin Meza, AIA, LEED AP, Daniel Dubrow, AIA, and a staff of twenty two professionals including 9 licensed architects .
Architects Mosher Drew promotes elemental concepts of ‘Biophillic Design’ such as integrated natural daylight, views, spatial diversity, and ﬂexibility. They consider human comfort in selection of ﬁnishes and materials, colors and textures, and graphics. Combined with attention to long-term cost of ownership and programmatic needs for adaptability, their designs advocate activities that stimulate and energize the user groups.
Davy Architecture, Inc.
1053 Tenth Ave., San Diego, CA 92101
Davy Architecture is proud to be employee owned-and-operated and provides its clients a wide range of services. The company has been in business since 1984 and first started out as a firm dedicated to speculative offices, industrial facilities, and hospitality developments. Eventually, it branched out in 1991 to include more spaces for the public sector.
2419 El Cajon Blvd., San Diego, CA 92104
Operating out of its office in San Diego, obrARCHITECTURE specializes in civic, commercial, educational, and residential projects. It is also uniquely regarded for its artwork and organized events. The firm’s events allow it to foster relationships with some of the area’s best and leading artists and designers, in addition to giving them a platform for their work. The company’s portfolio is a gallery of modern and contemporary spaces. The photo below is an excellent example of its expertise.
Completed for IDW Publishing, this project serves as the brand’s headquarters. It was finished in 2015 and is located in San Diego. For this space, the company primarily drew inspiration from the brand’s artists and its timeless comic strip layouts.
Safdie Rabines Architects
925 Fort Stockton Dr., San Diego, CA 92103
Safdie Rabines Architects specializes in educational, commercial, mixed-use, and residential projects. While it excels in architecture, it is also known for its extensive master planning and urban design. Since 1993, the firm has been led by husband-and-wife duo Ricardo Rabines and Taal Safdie. Together, they work on highly sustainable and site-specific designs, which have resulted in many beautiful structures.
The photo above is located in San Marcos and was completed by Safdie Rabines Architects for QUAD Phase. It entails mixed-use student housing complete with 64 units and 302 beds. It spans over 16,000 square feet and also showcases excellent contemporary interiors.
H2 Hawkins + Hawkins Architects, Inc.
726 9th Ave. Suite 1, San Diego, CA 92101
H2 Architects is an award-winning firm that operates out of two offices: one in San Diego, California, and the other in Gig Harbor, Washington. While building beautiful structures, the firm focuses on building sustainably and incorporating green methods into all of its projects. With this vision, brothers David and Steven Hawkins founded the firm in 1998 and continue to lead the firm towards building outstanding commercial, cultural, residential, and mixed-used structures. Their process is highly client-focused and includes a range of services from beginning to end, including site planning, programming, feasibility studies, master planning, and space planning. All of the firm’s works adhere to LEED standards.
The photo above depicts the firm’s work for the North Island Credit Union Headquarters. It spans over 128,000 square feet with six stories. It received a Silver LEED Certification and showcases outstanding use of stone, glass, and metallic finishes.
Lord Architecture Inc.
11650 Iberia Place Suite 210, San Diego, CA 92128
Established in 1993, Lord Architecture showcases expertise for a wide range of project types for both the public and private sectors. Some of these include healthcare, commercial office, and religious facilities. The firm has had the opportunity to work in some of the most sought-after areas in California and is composed of a talented group of professionals.
Showcased above is one of the firm’s best and leading projects. It was completed for the Sharp Coronado Hospital and entailed an extensive modernization of its 1970’s cafeteria with new fixtures, unique textures and excellent lighting.