Walking around the streets of this ever-vibrant city, you’ll realize that there are stories to be told in every corner, and a rich history etched in the walls. Many famous stops in New Orleans have become must-see spots for tourists, such as the historic French Quarter, which holds one of the most scenic works of art in the form of awe-inspiring architecture in Louisiana.
But the city has more hidden wonders to behold for its visitors; there are numerous other commercial stops that attract a steady stream of visitors to its doors every year, thanks to the pool of award-winning commercial architects who ideate blueprints and spark them to life with superb design. And in this list, we present to you the 10 best commercial architects in New Orleans, Louisiana who are guaranteed to give your next commercial establishment the qualities to captivate everyone.
1119 Tchoupitoulas Street, New Orleans, LA 70130
studioWTA is a multi-award-winning New Orleans-based architectural, planning, and interior design firm that works on residential, commercial, and institutional projects. The firm’s work is highly noted for incorporating novel materials and exemplifying a distinct, contemporary aesthetic. In order to create work that is process-driven, environmentally conscientious, culturally engaging, and visually distinctive, they use a collaborative approach to meet the needs of all their clients.
StudioWTA’s portfolio includes one of their best works, Hotel Peter & Paul, which was named as one of the “World’s Best New Hotels” by Travel + Leisure, Times-Picayune, and the New Orleans Advocate. The former Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic church and school were restored over a four-year period to become Hotel Peter and Paul. Each of the previous schoolhouses, rectory, church, and convent has been meticulously repaired and reused for new congregations. Each structure has its own story and inspiration, and the restoration process ensures that no two guest rooms are alike.
701 Poydras Street, Suite 150P, New Orleans, LA 70139
The firm, founded in 1992 in New Orleans by Victor F. “Trey” Trahan, III, FAIA, has amassed an impressive portfolio of work in the cultural, academic, sports, residential, ecological, and other fields. They search for ideas that are socially impactful, highly sustainable, and aesthetically stunning by utilizing artistic expression, technical innovation, and thoughtful selection of materials. Trahan Architects has changed community surroundings in innovative and relevant ways, and their work has won over 100 national, regional, and municipal accolades, as well as several international design contests, including five AIA National Awards.
Trahan Architects has helped with the development of Natchitoches, the oldest colony in the Louisiana Purchase, home to their project, The Louisiana State Museum and Sports Hall of Fame. The project is influenced by the riverfront environment, early sustainable practices, and the 17th-century bousillage building technique brought to the region by French settlers. It is located on the banks of the Cane River Lake.
320 N. Carrollton Avenue, Suite 100, New Orleans, LA 70119
VergesRome Architects (VRA) has provided quality design and an innovative product along with teamwork and performance for almost six decades. Under the direction of principals Ernest Verges and Ernest Verges II, for whom the company was named, they have built a track record of coming up with innovative, practical, and cost-effective solutions where design complements the operation. VRA, known for its repeat clients, has accumulated a roster of awards as early as 2004 up to 2019, including the 2018 Award of Merit, American Institute of Architects, Louisiana, and the 2019 Award of Excellence in Historic Preservation by the Louisiana Landmarks Society.
The seven-story atrium on Floors 21 through 27 was commissioned by VergesRome, the facility architect for the 28-story Pan American Life Center in the New Orleans CBD. The requirements for the program were to create a meeting space for Iberia Bank workers to have lunch or breaks, as well as to conduct unique after-hours events. For simple access from an upper floor to the center of the area, VRA created a magnificent glass and steel stair. Weathered wood flooring, combined with turf and carpet systems, reflects and relates to the natural world. The atrium finishes and design are carried over into the new kitchen and conference room.
432 N. Anthony Street, Suite 303, New Orleans, LA 70119
With established roots in the industry since 2001, NANO is an award-winning, New Orleans-based firm specializing in architecture, interior design, and custom furniture. The firm is led by Terri and Ian Dreyer, who run with the philosophy that every project should not just be approached only at the scale of the city, but also at the very smallest of details, in order to achieve its grand design. It is this belief that has won the firm numerous awards, such as its very recent wins, the 2019 Idea Award of Recognition, and its 2021 Reader’s Favorite, Inside New Orleans. NANO is also the only architecture firm in New Orleans invited to participate in the Venice Biennale, a prestigious annual exhibit that showcases outstanding works by artists, architects, universities, and thought leaders from all over the world.
NANO LLC is behind the creation of Il Mercato, a historic architectural jewel at the neighborhood’s focal point. The “Magazine Market” is a stucco-finished building with a classical arched loggia, red tile roof, and steel casement windows, which was built as a WPA project for the New Orleans Public Market System in the 1930s. The historic materials were prioritized in terms of budget and aesthetics, as well as the replacement of main mechanical systems and the creation of a ‘Destination’ facility. Creating an outdoor location that complemented the hall in terms of functionality, commerce, and aesthetics aided in achieving that goal.
1100 Poydras Street, Suite 3550, New Orleans, LA 70163
Established in 1991, Rozas Ward is a diversified group of specialists dedicated to delivering outstanding, sustainable, and client-focused architecture across a broad spectrum of typologies. The firm’s staff excels in various areas, but they specialize in healthcare, education, multifamily, and commercial design, and its portfolio boasts of works that deliver high-quality, high-touch design solutions that are both efficient and effective in the real world. Rozas Ward has won Louisiana Landmarks Society Awards for Excellence in Historic Preservation multiple times.
Rozas Ward worked on The Rum House, a 4,000-square-foot ground-up structure that nestles between the enormous existing oak trees to create a natural outside courtyard. A giant sailing ship for the internal bar, rope swings for the external bar stools, roll-up garage doors that open the interior to the exterior, raw use of materials, exposed construction, and a vivid palette are all highlights of the design. It all comes together to create an ideal setting for some tacos and a drink.
650 Poydras Street, Suite 1250, New Orleans, LA 70130
Manning has been a collection of LEED-accredited, creative experts providing architecture, interior design, sustainability, and urban planning services around the world since 1985. Transportation, education, civic, cultural, business, healthcare, and hospitality are among its specialties. The firm’s purpose is to provide design and planning solutions through a thorough and collaborative approach based on long-term client and professional relationships. Manning Architects is a recipient of various awards, such as the 2020 Project Achievement Award by the CMAA, and the 2020 AIA Design Award.
The firm exhibits its professional craftsmanship through Pinnacle’s Baton Rouge location, a luxurious Southern Louisiana destination that features a fully integrated casino and entertainment complex. L’Auberge Casino & Hotel Baton Rouge is located on the banks of the Mississippi River and is designed to evoke the atmosphere of a southern riverfront lodge and bayou hideaway. The casino areas are connected to the batture on the side of the levee, and the campus is placed along the river. On the land side of the river levee, a twelve-story hotel was built, with 210,000 square feet of casino and support space on the riverside. Thirty luxury suites, a rooftop pool, a party area, and a fitness club are among the hotel’s 206 rooms.
Sizeler Thompson Brown
300 Lafayette Street, Ste 200, New Orleans, LA 70130
Sizeler Thompson Brown Architects has been developing settings that support work, play, healing, and learning since 1979, with a continuous desire for progress. The firm is continually looking for ways to contribute to the betterment of the world via inspired, purposeful design brought to life by its avid commitment to sustainability and technology innovation. This was inspired by the collective experience of more than half a century working in the industry of the firm’s principals, William Sizeler, Thomas Brown, Allen Ohlmeyer, and Brian Faucheux. The firm has been lauded by the New Orleans Magazine numerous times and was awarded as the Best in New Architecture as well as the Best in Design in 2016 and 2017.
Sizeler Thompson Brown Architects Healthcare Design Group designed Slidell Memorial Hospital’s 2-story, a 74,000-square-foot extension including a 2-story atrium lobby with a massive staircase and the potential for a future 3rd floor. The first level features a new 20,116-square-foot Emergency Department, 27 treatment rooms, six patient holding bays, two specialized trauma rooms, inpatient and outpatient testing, pre-and post-operative recovery for catheter patients, and a dedicated radiographic procedure room. The former ED has been converted into the new Heart Center, which serves as a link between the new ED and the hospital. As the main point of the registration area’s ceiling feature, a light well placed in the original ED porte-cochere was given new life.
757 St. Charles Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70130
Buchanan Blitch, Sr. created Blitch Knevel Architects in a tiny office on Metairie Road in suburban New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1958. The firm’s mission back then, as it is now, was to give clients memorable experiences centered on listening to their needs and project goals while exceeding their expectations. For 60 years, the firm has expanded successfully and steadily with long-term repeat clients and numerous honors from our peers in the architectural field. Its penchant for building sustainable designs has won the firm multiple recognitions over the years for its green projects.
Featured in the photo below is a 1,000-student Middle/High School for New Orleans’ historic Holy Cross School established in 1849, designed and built in a hurry to replace Holy Cross’ Katrina-devastated 9th Ward location. Among the site’s features are performing arts facilities, a library, and a technology center, as well as comprehensive athletic facilities and fields. The new Gentilly neighborhood campus, which sits on a 20-acre plot, was built to look like the historic school. The Romanesque-style structures are reminiscent of Holy Cross’s Main Building.
1200 Annunciation St, New Orleans, LA 70130
M2 Studio is an architecture and interior design firm situated in New Orleans. AIA certified architect and principal, Charles J. Neyrey, is an expert that knows all aspects in the build process, and is a firm believer in concocting affordable design solutions that actualize clarity and long-term sustainability. The company has been functioning with this belief since 2011. It is the winner of the 2018 – New Build of the Year Award by New Orleans Homes & Lifestyles, as well as the 2019 Louisiana Landmark Award for Excellence in Historic Preservation.
M2 studio created The Beatnik, a hotel that encourages guests to embark on a spiritual adventure, and experiment with natural components in their natural state. The goal was to incorporate harmonious natural elements into the area to provide guests with a sense of well-being in a relaxed but elevated setting. Four modern floating cabins with wet bars, private outdoor showers, and sitting areas are available on the site. The textures and visual effects of materials chosen in each cabin and throughout the landscape design embody the subject of senses.
5190 Canal Boulevard, Suite 201 New Orleans, LA 70124
Proudly pioneering in the industry for over 70 years, Lachin Architects is a full-service architectural firm that provides clients with seamless experiences and innovative design solutions, as well as on-time project delivery. Because of Michael Lachin, the company’s namesake, Lachin Architects has become a recognized leader in the planning, design, and construction management of a wide range of projects, garnering the firm a wide array of certifications and prestigious awards.
Lachin Architects was in charge of the building of Meraux Elementary School, a 122,000-square-foot Chalmette school located off of Paris Road. It is constructed with student circulation, security, and flood prevention as top priority, as is the case with the bulk of our school projects. The school has administrative offices, classrooms, a cafetorium, secure outdoor play areas, and a full-size gymnasium. The school has an attached clock tower, which is a distinctive feature. The clock tower is a reflection of the family history of the Meraux family, after whom the school is named. The Meraux family possesses one of the world’s largest clock collections.
400 Poydras St., Ste. 1510, New Orleans, LA 70130
Architects Ralph Cushing and Everett Terrell created Cushing Terrell (previously CTA Architects Engineers) in 1938. Ralph and Everett acted on the notion that combining architecture, engineering, and design allowed for deeper interactions and more creativity; this belief formed the foundation of our design profession and continues to define it today. Cushing Terrell is dedicated to developing projects that are environmentally friendly and sustainable.
The Roosevelt Hotel, currently known as Hotel Theodore, is a historic 20-story structure that dominates the Seattle skyline. The hotel lobby, first-floor coffee shop, conference rooms, two-story interior atrium, and outside facade were renovated by Cushing Terrell in collaboration with interior design consultants Susan Marinello Interiors and David Hill Design. Rider, an upscale restaurant and bar that references local industries with an open fish counter and an open-air grill for an upgraded, multi-sensory dining experience, was also added as part of the renovation. Faux skylights imitate natural light levels, bringing the building’s natural surroundings to the forefront for visitors.
1139 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd., New Orleans, LA 70113
Adamick Architecture is client-focused and dedicated to improve New Orleans’ and the Gulf Coast’s built environment. They specialize in the restoration of old properties as well as the development of new ones in historic areas. Their success is fueled by the belief that it is possible to preserve New Orleans’ unique architectural heritage while also constructing high-quality new structures for living and working in the city. They offer historic tax credit applications, master planning, liquor license applications, variances, and feasibility studies, among other design-related professional services. Adamick Architecture has been featured in multiple press since 2015 such as Dwell Magazine, New Orleans City Business, Times Picayune, and has also been granted the 2020 Merit Award by the Louisiana AIA.
The stunning historic refurbishment of the original Gardner Realtors building on Maple Street in Carrollton was designed by Adamick Architecture. The office was originally made up of two old structures joined by a sequence of nine expansions. This resulted in roughly twenty-four different floor elevations throughout the structure. By removing these tiny expansions and developing a comprehensive linking building that serves as the office’s “bullpen,” Adamick Architecture was able to help clients realize a larger vision for the area. Many antique elements, such as bargeboard on the walls, brick fireplaces, and beadboard ceilings, were preserved and included into the business’s makeover. Historic commercial tax credits were approved for this project, which helped defray the price of this massive renovation.
3221 Tulane Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70119
Albert Architecture is a group of architects, engineers, and designers who are dedicated to setting new standards for professional services. They respond to ever-changing realities by utilizing design innovation. They have personally made it their mission to help each client achieve a brighter future by creating a constructed environment that benefits the community and human experience. Obtaining extensive experience in both bid-build and design-build delivery methods, Albert Architecture was able to achieve a multitude of commendations from various press such as Biz New Orleans, Preservation in Print, and New Orleans Homes & Lifestyles.
Albert Architecture instigated the renovation and conversion of Seven Three Distillery, established previously as a 14,000 square foot warehouse, into a modernized distillery with retail space, lounge area, tasting room, and bar areas.
WDG | Architects Engineers
821 Baronne Street, New Orleans, LA 70113
WDG Architects Engineers, based in New Orleans, Louisiana, is a full-service architecture and engineering firm. WDG, which began as a commercial architecture and engineering department within a larger firm in New Orleans in 1989, continues to provide design services to clients throughout the Greater New Orleans area, the Gulf Coast region, and the United States. Ronn P. Robin, the firm’s principal, has more than 30 years of expertise in architectural design, operations, and project management in commercial, healthcare, industrial, and educational settings.
During a four-year refurbishment of the Hotel Monteleone in the French Quarter, WDG offered architecture and engineering services. To maximize facility performance while enabling individual room temperature control, the mechanical, plumbing, electrical, and fire detection and suppression systems were overhauled, brought up to current requirements, and the newest energy saving technology was used. Custom energy recovery ventilators were placed throughout the hotel to exchange energy between the outside air and exhaust systems while also enhancing pressurization.
2121 Airline Drive Suite 500, Metairie, LA 70001
Since the firm’s inception in 1991, the driving forces behind Pascal Architects have been to marry authentic history with effective technology, to mold the next generation of architects to be self-sufficient problem solvers, and to build deep-rooted relationships with their clients to create solutions that evolve with their businesses. They are a group of licensed architects, general contractors, project managers, and administrative staff who are passionate about the built environment and its impact on our culture, society, and understanding of the world. Pascal Architects is a multi-certified firm that has been venerated by various press such as NOLA and University of New Orleans Athletics, among many others.
Pascal Architects collaborated with The Ritz to rebuild 453 internal guest rooms and hallways in 2012 to meet the evolving needs of the hotel’s high-end customers, finishing the project in under 110 days without affecting hotel operations. They oversaw the construction and day-to-day administration of the project, which included hard and soft improvements, as well as new wallcoverings, paint, and millwork alterations, all of which were completed on time and on budget. Paschal Architects collaborated closely with the hotel’s business team to ensure that the new design and furnishing selections were in line with the hotel’s brand identity as well as the current needs of its guests.