Known as the most expensive town in America, Atherton is the epicenter of Silicon Valley’s money. The town offers privacy, prestige, and proximity to various major tech companies including Facebook, Google, and Tesla; that’s why it became highly ideal to tech billionaires. It serves as the home to technology executives, including the Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, Google’s Chairman Eric Schmidt, and the late Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen.
Being a residential area, there is a demand for commercial establishments and civic centers to serve this wealthy neighborhood. The firms on this list of the best commercial architects in Atherton, California have proven their expertise in designing stunning landmarks all over the state. These firms have been chosen for their experience, their impressive portfolios, and their long lists of prominent clients. These firms are also led by members and fellows of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Accredited Professionals (LEED AP.)
501 Second Street, Fourth Floor, Suite 402, San Francisco, CA 94107
Although the youngest company on this list, WRNS Studio has proven to be a dominant force in the commercial architecture industry. Since its establishment in 2005, the firm has completed numerous projects throughout San Francisco, Seattle, New York, and Honolulu. Its sustainable and site-specific designs have won over 125 awards, including the 2021 Green Building Award from AIASMC and the 2021 Top Ten Award for AIA’s Committee on the Environment. The firm’s projects have been featured in numerous media publications, including the Architectural Record, Learning by Design, and World Architecture News. The firm has also consistently ranked on Architecture Magazine’s annual ranking of the top ten firms for sustainability, design, and business. In fact, the firm gained the number one spot on this list in 2018.
WRNS Studio has partnered with household names like Adobe, Airbnb, Google, Dolby, Microsoft, Princeton, and Stanford University. The Sonoma Academy’s Janet Durgin Guild & Commons is among the most notable in the educational sector. The firm built the institution’s 19,500 square-foot student center. It is the first to be awarded both Zero Carbon and Petal Certification by the International Living Future Institute, being the first Zero Carbon certified and the fourth Petal certified in California. The building was featured in 12 different publications and won 16 awards, including the 2020 Merit Award for Built from the AIA Redwood Empire, the 2020 AIA Excellence in Design for Well-being from AIA East Bay Design Awards, and the 2019 Building Health Leadership Award from USGBC.
660 Market Street #300, San Francisco, CA 94104
Mithun is the oldest company on this list, and it’s also an established name in the commercial architecture industry. Since its inception in 1949, the firm has delivered unique and remarkable designs for mixed-use, office, civic, education, and recreation projects. The Mithun team makes it their mission to have a deep understanding of the client’s vision and values. They also pay strict attention to the site’s environment to create innovative, thought-leading, and sustainable designs. Their more than 80% repeat clients are a testament to the team’s dedication to upholding this mission. Throughout the firm’s over seven decades of existence, it was recognized by various organizations and won awards, including the 2021 Buildy Award, the 2020 DBIA Western Pacific Region’s Honor Award, and the 2020 Los Angeles Conservancy Preservation Award.
Mithun was behind the Menlo-Atherton Performing Arts Center, an award-winning multi-use performance space that enhances the Menlo-Atherton High School’s art and science-oriented curriculum. This 31,209-square-foot building includes a 500-seat auditorium, a band room, an outdoor gathering plaza, a performance stage, and a dining hall. It houses practice, rehearsal, and performance programs that enhance the creativity of actors and musicians. The $33-million performing arts center was awarded the 2010 Citation Award from the AIA Los Angeles’ Design Awards and the 2008 Civic Project of the Year from San Jose Business Journal’s Structures Awards.
Feldman Architecture, Inc.
1648 Pacific Avenue, Suite B, San Francisco, CA 94109
Feldman Architecture is a full-service architectural firm established in 2003. The firm produced numerous designs for commercial, office, restaurant, and residential industry and have won awards along with it. Some of these awards include the 2021 Honor Award for Residential Design Architecture, the 2019 Gold Award from Gentry Magazine’s Home Design Excellence Award, and the 2018 Merit Award from Gold Nugget’s Best Commercial Project under 20,000 SF. The firm was also featured in various media publications, including Dwell, Interior Design, and Luxe Interior + Design. Feldman Architecture has long been recognized for its carefully detailed designs that are site-sensitive and ecologically responsible. The Feldman team ensures that the projects not only meet client’s needs, they also enhance their life, the life of their community, and the environment.
The firm did an outstanding job in designing the Lencioni Construction Company’s new building. Located in San Carlos, California, the team incorporated modern elements into the rugged industrial shell and renewed the old building. They went for a simple and timeless design for the façade and used storefront windows to maximize the amount of sunlight that comes in. The team also restored and refurbished the exposed concrete floors, blocks, wood trusses, and ceilings to give tension between the old and new elements of the interior.
130 Portola Road, Portola Valley, CA 94028
For over 33 years, CJW Architecture has been producing impeccable designs for commercial, civic, education, recreation, and residential projects. The firm is led by principal architect Carter Warr, AIA, CSI, NCARB, who has more than 25 years of experience. He worked as a general superintendent and project architect for well-established firms before founding the firm in 1988. Carter and his team of highly skilled artisans have a combined experience of over 85 years. They can find a solution that best fits the projects and they will tick off everything in the client’s checklist. Their design process fosters a collaborative, inclusive approach that helps make the client’s design a reality.
Studio S Squared Architecture, Inc.
1000 S Winchester Boulevard, San Jose, CA 95128
Established in 1996, Studio S Squared is an architecture firm that services Silicon Valley and the San Francisco Bay area. The firm has completed projects for the retail, office, hospitality industry, as well as a number of residential projects. The firm has also produced notable projects featured in Palo Alto Online, SFGATE, and Mansion Global. The firm’s work on the Fahrenheit Ultra Lounge in downtown San Jose is worth mentioning; they partnered with Jones-Baker – an interior design firm from Texas. They were able to transform the existing 3,900 square-foot mixed-use building into a sophisticated, luxurious upscale bar. It is an ideal place for intimate or private meetings.
The firm’s founder and CEO is Eugene Sakai, AIA, LEED AP, a former San Jose Arts Commission member and past chairman for its public arts committee. He is currently a consulting architect to the San Carlos city’s residential design review committee. He also has multiple degrees from prestigious universities, including a degree in Urban Studies from Stanford, a degree in Biological Sciences from UC Davis, and Masters in Architecture from UC Berkeley. Eugene appreciates the harmony between man and nature. He teaches that philosophy to the young, aspiring architects that Studio S Squared nurtures.