Foster City is a modern city with a wide variety of commercial establishments. The city’s public parks include basketball courts, tennis courts, biking trails, soccer fields, and baseball fields. It is, in other words, an ideal location that balances its corporate identity with a recreational lifestyle.

The commercial businesses in the city require maintenance and updates and new establishments are consistently on the rise. The best commercial architects in the area offer design solutions that range in style from contemporary to traditional. Many of these firms have experience working outside of California, and some firms provide projects on the international stage. In addition, these firms have numerous accolades, with numerous platforms and organizations recognizing their work. Our editors listed the top six commercial architectural firms after looking into the experience, portfolio, and accolades of each.


Ware Malcomb

360 Pine St, 2nd Floor, San Francisco, CA 94104

Gary Drew is the current principal leading Ware Malcomb. Since the firm’s inception in 1972, it has continued to grow its team of professionals and expand its services. Those services include civil engineering, branding, and building measurements. A notable aspect of the company is its clientele base that goes beyond California. The firm has worked for clients in New York, Denver, and Chicago, including IKEA, Lexus, Xfinity, and GP Bikes. 

Featured above is one of the firm’s office projects—the Lakeshore Towers. The project included architectural and interior design services for the 240,000 square foot, ten-story building, and a basement parking garage was also included. Projects like this have garnered the company attention from numerous platforms, including the Business Times, Interior Design Magazine, and Architectural Record. The firm has also received a number of awards, such as the 2020 San Francisco Business Times | Top Bay Area Architecture Firms and the 2021 NAIOP Colorado Awards of Achievement.


M•Designs Architects

4131 El Camino Real, Suite #200, Palo Alto, CA 94306

Chip Jessup and Malika Junaid established M•Designs in 1974. The firm has assembled a group of well-experienced professionals, many of which have more than three decades of experience. As a company, the group has over four decades of experience working with different clients from the commercial, multifamily, and residential sectors. One of the commercial projects the firm completed is featured below—the First Republic Bank. The building has a refined exterior thanks to its beige-colored walls and masonry. The façade radiates a classic, yet modern look that provides a sophisticated finish. Projects like this have brought the firm a number of awards, including the 2013 Chrysalis Award and the 2019 META Awards: Platinum. In addition, the SF Chronicle and the Modern luxury Silicon Valley have featured the company.


DES Architects + Engineers

399 Bradford Street, Third Floor, Suite 300, Redwood City, CA 94063

Pictured below is a project completed for Biotech Company B309: a ten-story building that includes a 19,500-square-foot kitchen and cafeteria, a 28,000 square foot meeting center, and a six-level parking structure. DES Architects + Engineers provided expansion services to increase the floor space. Doing so allowed the building to house various amenities and take advantage of the property’s location, providing employees with a view of Vintage Lake. In addition, its exterior features an angled façade and deep canopy, leading to a striking street presence. Under the leadership of Tom Gilman and Steve Mincey, the firm has developed new methodologies and sustainable design solutions to further enhance its projects. Aside from commercial projects, the company has tackled projects in a range of sectors— everything from healthcare to education. The company has garnered various accolades, including the 2019 – Grand Award for Best Recreational Facility and the 2020 – People’s Choice Award for 181 Fremont.


BAR Architects

77 Geary Street, Suite 200, San Francisco, CA 94108

Chris Haegglund founded BAR in 1966. For over five decades, the firm has received attention for projects both local and international. Many of these projects have revolved around entertainment establishments, commercial developments, and mixed-use properties. Wineries, golf clubs, hotels, resorts, and restaurants are some of the projects featured in its portfolio. The company has built an extensive list of accolades; the 2020 Award of Merit, Historic Preservation and the 2020 Excellence in Classical Design are just two good examples. Pictured below is one of the firm’s major commercial projects featuring the City Center Bishop Ranch. This project provides the community with a social gathering area that can fit retail shops, restaurants, and entertainment venues. The property features a size of 300,000 square feet with two C-shaped, three-story structures. In addition, the Alexander Square adds even more retail space and parking.


MA Dimensions

533 Airport Boulevard, Suite 220, Burlingame, CA 94010  

Ayesha Sikandar is the president currently leading MA Dimensions. Sikandar established the firm in 2008, and it has since completed various commercial and residential projects. It is worth mentioning that the firm has offered its services outside of Foster City; it operates in Hayward, Menlo Park, and San Carlos. Pictured below is the project for University Village Apartments. The project consists of various amenities such as lounge areas, a courtyard, conference rooms, a fitness center, and office spaces. The building’s modern design is completed by refined furniture that creates a sophisticated appeal. The building incorporates gray and yellow color schemes that run throughout the various areas. These simple design solutions created a vivid interior.


Panko Architects

311 Seventh Avenue 1, San Mateo, CA 94401

Panko Architects has been in the business since 1975. Since its inception, the firm has expanded from residential projects to commercial projects. Aside from working in the California area, the company has also offered its services in Hawaii. The company’s principal, Stanley Panko, has a Bachelor’s Degree in Architecture and Civil Engineering from Washington State University. Since he left WSU, he has accumulated an extensive background in the industry, becoming a corporate member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA). Pictured below is one of the firm’s notable projects—the Vault 164 Restaurant. The restaurant has a traditional interior design that features an old Bank Vault design theme. The color schemes of brown, white, and gold radiate a refined finish that complements the structure’s design.