Along the eastern edge of San Mateo County is the beautiful city of Menlo Park, California. On top of being a city filled with tree-lined neighborhoods and active commercial districts, it’s also known for being home to the corporate headquarters of Facebook and the place where Google and Round Table Pizza were founded. Menlo Park is a place ripe with opportunities and has a pleasant atmosphere enhanced by the stunning natural surroundings thanks to the San Francisco Bay to the east and the Pacific Coastal Range to the west. The lovely community also hosts many other major employers, earning it the title “Capital of Venture Capital” due to its strategic position in benefiting from and in helping shape new technologies and markets from Silicon Valley.
If you’re looking to establish or grow your business in the area, we’ve gathered a list of the best commercial architects in Menlo Park, California. This list was curated based on the architects’ work, the quality of their projects, the companies’ process, and of course, their recognition in the field.
DES Architects + Engineers
399 Bradford St. Third Floor, Redwood City, CA 94063
Since 1972, DES Architects + Engineers has been building working, learning, and healing environments with utmost precision. It is a multi-disciplinary design firm that provides creative and sustainable solutions that fit the bill when it comes to development, science and tech, healthcare, and education projects.
The firm is led by Tom Gilman and Steve Mincey. Tom has a Bachelor’s in Architecture from the California Polytechnic State and a Master’s degree in Architecture from the Ohio State University. Meanwhile, Steve has a background in Structural Engineering from California Polytechnic State University and a Master’s in Business Administration. Together, they provide DES Architects + Engineers its direction as an award-winning firm with its roots founded in a marriage of design and structural integrity. As an interdisciplinary firm, DES Architects + Engineers serves clients in areas like interior design, civil and structural engineering, landscape architecture, visual communications, and sustainable design services.
The great work that the firm has done has been recognized many times. Some of the awards it has garnered over the years include the 2020 Grand Award for the Best Educational Project for Skyling College Environmental Science Building from the Gold Nugget Awards, as well as the 2020 Citation Award for Architecture for 181 Fremont from American Institute of Architects (AIA) SMC, and the 2019 Grand Award for Best Recreational Facility for its work with The Club at Moffett Towers II, also from the Gold Nugget Awards.
DES Architects + Engineers is also accredited with the U.S. Green Building COuncil (USGBC), AIA, CID, San Mateo Chamber of Commerce, CCIDC, and is a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) AP company. Some of its work has been featured in publications like The Registry and AECCafe. One notable project, shown here, is the award-winning PacBio headquarters in Menlo Park. This project was repurposed from a decades-old distribution center and was turned into a state-of-the-art life science facility. The building maintains the essence of the original high-bay warehouse structure and parts were adjusted to turn it into a modern workplace. The building won the Gold Nugget Merit Award for Best Rehabilitation Project and the Citation Award for Architecture from the AIA SMC.
The Kastrop Group, Inc.
160 Birch Street Suite B, Redwood City, CA 94062
Serving the San Francisco Bay Area is the award-winning firm, The Kastrop Group, Inc. With over 30 years of experience, the firm offers a seasoned approach to designing architectural solutions for each client’s unique needs. They specialize in creating buildings that are designed “for your reality”, focusing on the client’s budget and meeting local permitting requirements to achieve designs that will be built successfully. Early communication with the Planning Department and General Contractor on each project is the key to avoid surprises after the design and construction documents are complete.
The firm was founded by husband and wife tandem, D. Michael Kastrop and Lorianna Kastrop. Mike had been a partner at a firm in San Mateo before establishing his own company with his wife who offered to add her business and financial expertise to his own architectural experience and creative sensibilities. As a team, they built The Kastrop Group, Inc. that has since exceeded the expectations of clients in commercial, residential, and public projects. They have a robust website that provides client education, an interactive project map and other resources, as well as a blog with articles based on their first-hand experiences at www.kastropgroup.com.
The firm has amassed awards like the Outstanding Business Award from The Sequoia Awards in the year 2018-2019, as well as an Award for Structural Remodel/Design in both years as well from the Mayor’s Beautification Awards. The company’s great service and work ethic have also been recognized with the 2017 Torch Award for Ethics, Small Business Category from the Better Business Bureau, and the 2017 Pulse of the City News Award for Service Excellence. The firm is also accredited with the NCARB, AIA, BBB, Peninsula Clean Energy, and is a Bay Area Certified Green Business.
A great example of The Kastrop Group’s great commercial work would be the LV Mar project, which was a restaurant tenant improvement and outdoor seating addition project. Here, the team designed a high-end restaurant with a bar and expanded kitchen to accommodate in-restaurant dining as well as a catering business. The result of the challenge was a beautiful upscale dining environment with a decked outdoor dining area that added to the pleasant ambiance of the sidewalk and charm of the city for passing pedestrians and diners alike.
455 Lambert Avenue, Palo Alto, CA 94306
CAW Architects is known for designing buildings on distinguished campuses, in vibrant downtowns, and in stately neighborhoods. The team is skilled at breathing new life into old buildings, adding energy and economic vitality back into historic places that need careful rehabilitation.
The firm is led by Christopher Wasney, FAIA, and Brent McClure, AIA. Chris brings a wealth of expertise in designing and managing challenging projects for universities, community-based institutions, and non-profits. As a founding principal and with his extensive experience, Chris directs the firm’s higher education projects, which include over 100 projects at Stanford University, U.C. Berkeley, and U.C. Santa Cruz. Brent specializes in public school facility designs and directs the firm’s expansive K-12 educational work that includes new gymnasiums, classroom buildings, and theaters. Many of these projects are LEED-certified, which includes a LEED-Platinum charter high school in Redwood City.
The firm’s specific and rich experience in designing has earned it numerous design awards from AIA California Council, California Preservation Foundation, AIA Silicon Valley, AIA San Francisco, and the Palo Alto Stanford Heritage. Moreover, CAW Architects is also certified with the AIA and USGBC and its work has been featured everywhere from Architect Magazine, Curbed, and The Architect’s Newspaper.
One example of the firm’s stunning work would be the Medico Dental Building pictured here. This historic rehabilitation of this reinforced concrete building improved seismic safety on top of making it look gorgeous once again with its restored ground-floor storefronts, steel windows, and terracotta roof tiles. It even features compatible hand-painted tiles, exceptional lighting fixtures, and stucco restoration that revitalized this important landmark.
1155 Crane Street Suite 4, Menlo Park, CA 94025
The Hagman Group is a well-established firm, garnering many awards over the span of its 30-year experience in the industry. Since its inception, the firm has been designing numerous projects in the greater Bay Area with a real understanding of the particularities that go behind each project, offering great cost-effective design in the process.
The firm was founded by William Hagman and since then, it amassed a wide portfolio, with diverse projects ranging from offices, research, and development facilities, to commercial retail and tenant improvements. In its practice, the Hagman Group offers only quality service to its clients while striving for innovative and eloquent design. This principle has resulted in repeated client satisfaction and many repeat projects and a high number of referrals.
More than that, the firm is also the recipient of The City of Palo Alto Architectural Excellence in Design back in 2010, the Mayor’s Beautification Award 2001, the City Beautification Award 1991, and the Golden Nugget Award in 1988 among others. One example of the team’s great work is this retail project in Campbell.