Last updated on May 21st, 2024 at 02:08 am

Known as one of the best cities to live in America and one of the wealthiest middle-sized cities in the US, Pleasanton, California is a place that lives up to its name. Not only does it offer residents a hometown atmosphere, it’s also the type of city that is home to many major employers, including Safeway, Workday, Ellie Mae, Roche Molecular Diagnostics, Blackhawk Network Holdings, and Veeva Systems. Given a historic environment that has always fostered growth, it comes as no surprise why it remains an area ripe with opportunities.

If you’re looking to build your new business or renovate your headquarters in the area, we’ve gathered a list of the best commercial architects in Pleasanton. We chose these firms after considering the architects’ history, their design process, the quality of their projects, and of course, the recognition they’ve earned in the field.

Dahlin Group

5865 Owens Drive, Pleasanton, CA 94588

With over 45 years of experience and a team of multicultural professionals, Dahlin Group is a diverse architecture and planning firm that works closely with developers, municipalities, and private clients to create sustainable communities and urban environments. 

The firm was founded by Doug Dahlin, AIA. He is joined by Nancy Keenan, LEED AP, who serves as the firm’s president. Doug founded Dahlin Group with a visionary design leadership in mind that has pushed the firm towards creating solutions that are innovative, real, and achievable. With Nancy’s leadership, the award-winning firm continues to create places that promote human fulfillment and well-being. In every project Dahlin Group takes on, it successfully supports client relationships by matching its rich and diverse expertise with their expectations and goals to create a well-rounded structure that embodies the client and encourages growth. 

Dahlin Group won the 2020 Gold Nugget Grand Awards and was a four-time award winner in 2019 for three different categories: innovative housing design, best affordable housing community, and best multifamily housing community. 11 Dahlin projects were also announced as 2021 Gold Nugget Merit Winners across 10 different categories. Dahlin has also been featured many times in various publications including Architect Magazine, Builder & Developer Magazine, East Bay Times, The Mercury News, The Registry, Bisnow, Rue Daily, and Silicon Valley Business Journal.

Featured here is Dahlin’s 5865 Owens project, a LEED Silver certified office project for Dahlin Group’s Pleasanton headquarters. The building was once a run-of-the-mill 1980s insurance office building; the team turned it into a transit-oriented office that promotes collaborative team-oriented thinking. This solar-powered HQ was turned into a lab for sustainable design and on-site educational opportunities for employees and visitors. Dahlin Group has a deep history in this sector, as it was one of the early adopters of sustainable practices in the area. The building ended up being recognized as the Best Architectural Design in 2008 by the San Francisco Business Times and as the Best Rehab Commercial/Industrial Project by the 2008 Gold Nugget Grand Awards.

Ware Malcomb

4683 Chabot Drive, Suite #300, Pleasanton, CA 94588

With locations all around the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, Ware Malcomb is an ever-expanding contemporary full-service design firm. It offers professional architecture, planning, interior design, civil engineering, building measurement, and even branding to clients across all markets, including both corporate to public institutions.

This strong design firm is currently led by Lawrence Armstrong, Ware Malcomb’s chairman who is a licensed architect in over 45 states and the Canadian provinces. He earned his Architecture degree from Kent State University and is a member of the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards, a LEED Accredited Professional, and a guest lecturer at a few universities. He’s also the 2008 winner of the Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award in the Orange County/Desert Cities Region and a national finalist. He also has a decorated portfolio and has served many foundations, organizations, and alliances in the business. 

It comes as no surprise that Ware Malcomb has been recognized by Inc. 5000 as the fastest-growing private company, the top 15 architecture/engineering firms in Engineering News Record’s Top 500 Design firms, and the top 25 interior design firms in Interior Design magazine’s Top 100 Giants. It’s also been awarded the 2021 Gold Nugget Award in the Best Mixed-Use Project category for One Paseo and the Industrial Development Project Winner by the NAIOP Colorado Awards of Achievement.

One example of its strong work in the Pleasanton area is the sleek and modern Mercedez Benz Pleasanton, a 72,000-square-foot showroom that exemplifies Mercedes Benz’s corporate standard. Ware Malcomb created a building that had a new steel frame front lined with a two-story curtain wall to allow maximum transparency into the building and show off all of the cars waiting inside. 


2101 Webster Street, Suite 2000, Oakland, CA 94612 

Gensler is a global architecture, design, and planning firm, serving about 3, 500 active clients in every industry, across 49 locations around the world. This multi-cultural firm strives to create spaces that are resilient and improve every aspect of life. 

The firm is co-lead by Andy Cohen and Diane Hoskins. Andy is an alumnus of The Pratt Insititute, an active Young President’s Organization Gold member, a board member of the UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability, and is considered by Los Angeles Business Journal as one of the most influential people in Los Angeles. Andy is joined by Diane who serves as the Board Chair of Gensler’s Board of Directors and the catalyst for its research program. Diane is also a graduate of MIT and has an MBA from the Anderson Graduate School of Management at UCLA, on top of being awarded the Oustanding Impact Award from the Council of Real Estate Women and a Regent of the American Architectural Foundation. 

It comes as no surprise that with such strong and dedicated leadership that Gensler itself was the first firm to win three AIA COTE Top Ten Awards for Sustainable Design on top of the AIA IDP Outstanding Firm Award. Gensler has also been featured on the pages of recognized publications like Architectural Record, Quartz, Wall Street Journal, The San Diego Union-Tribune, CNBC, New York Times, and Wired.

Featured here is the AT&T Foundry project in Palo Alto. AT&T wanted a highly adaptable workshop-lab-incubator where people could experiment with AT&T’s systems. Gensler created an office space from a historic French laundry and turned it into an open and collaborative workspace, organized around alternating bays of open spaces and projects rooms connected by passageways. As a cherry on top, the building was built with sustainability at heart: it’s LEED Platinum-certified. 


4750 Willow Road, Suite 250, Pleasanton, CA 94588 

With over 115 years of experience in the business, AC MARTIN is an award-winning, seasoned veteran when it comes to architecture, planning, and interior design. The firm’s adaptability has given rise to its integrated design approach that enabled it to create enduring environments fit for 21st-century lifestyles. 

The firm is currently led by Christopher Martin, FAIA, who serves as AC MARTIN’s Chairman. He is now the third-generation leader of one of California’s oldest architecture firms on top of being a founding member of the Los Angeles Business Improvement District. Before assuming his position, he received his Architecture degree from the University of Southern California and now serves on the Board of Councilors for USC’s Architecture School. For his astounding contributions to the field of architecture, the USC Architectural Guild awarded him the 2006 Distinguished Alumni Award. 

AC MARTIN itself has been awarded as the Grand Winner and a Merit Winner of the 2020 Gold Nugget Awards, on top of being recognized with the AIA Design Merit Award and the Award of Distinction and Design Excellence by the Design-Build Institute of Architects Western Pacific Region. Moreover, AC MARTIN has also been featured in publications like Modern Steel Magazine and Interior Design Magazine. 

Over its generations of experience, AC Martin has built many stunning, high-value structures, one of them being the Sky Lobby at Wilshire Grand in Los Angeles, California pictured below. The new lobby features panoramic views of LA with check-in pods that blend in with the scenery beyond. The check-in area has a three-story-tall light sculpture inspired by the city’s vibrant intersection; when lighted, it’s visible from 70 stories above where the Sky Lobby is. 

William Hezmalhalch Architects Inc.

5000 Executive Parkway, Suite 375 San Ramon, CA 94583

Original and relevant designs that work in the real world are what William Hezmalhalch Architects is all about. With nearly 40 years of experience in the business, the firm has proven itself to be a consistent and reliable provider of all things architecture and planning.

The firm was founded by Bill Hezmalhalch, AIA NCARB, who has over 40 years of experience working with communities and neighborhood designs. He was inducted into the 2015 California Homebuilding Foundation Hall of Fame. His leadership has earned awards, including the 2021 Award BIA Bay Area MAME for a Major Achievement in Marketing Excellence, a Merit Award from the 2020 AIA Orange County Design Awards, the 2020 AIA Los Angeles Design Awards, the 2017 Outstanding Heritage Resource Design Award, and the Merit Award from the 2016 Gold Nugget Awards.

One example of the firm’s wonderful work is this recreational project for Ponderosa Homes. The Ironwood 55 Clubhouse spans more than 8,600 square feet. It serves as a home for an active social culture within the community. WHA designed it to appeal to the residents on top of boasting an impressive set of shared resort amenities: an Olympic-size swimming pool, a spa, two bocce ball courts, a fitness center with a shared aerobics and Pilates area. There are places to relax as well, including a library, a kitchen, a card room, a BBQ area, and an outside covered terrace to provide quintessential luxurious California living. 

dsk architects

6700 Koll Center Parkway, Suite 110, Pleasanton, CA 94566

With a focus on designing sustainable working, learning, living, and healing environments, dsk architects is a full-service design firm that seeks to provide creative solutions for all of your design needs.

Established in 2006, this firm is backed by a combined experience that spans over 35 years. dsk architects, merged with ID/Architecture, strengthened it’s presence in East Bay and Pleasanton. Amir Kakavand is the Managing Partner and CEO of dsk architects. Amir has a rich portfolio that spans 26 years after he graduated from the University of Tehran. He currently directs planning, design production, and project quality—always with the client’s vision in mind. Before taking the reins at dsk, he acted as Director and Principal of many other major firms that give him his edge when it comes to managing projects.

This expertise is greatly needed as dsk architects has a specific passion for nurturing communities with its designs. The firm was recognized for this with the 2019 Economic Driver award by the City of Pleasanton and the Chamber of Commerce and the 2017 ULI Awards for Excellence, on top of being a certified San Francisco and Los Angeles green business.

Featured here is the Atessa project, an office space that provides solutions to meet anti-tamper requirements and solve global supply chain security problems like counterfeiting, cloning, and obsolescence for Atessa’s government and private sector clients. This sleek office communicated a feeling of security while maintaining that sophisticated, professional, and comfortable feel needed in a work environment.

AD Architects

3738 Mt. Diablo Boulevard, 3rd Floor, Lafayette CA 94549

AD Architects is the type of firm that is focused on pluralism and not on a particular style. With every project, the top priority is always improving the built environment with sustainable solutions for both the surroundings and the people, regardless of the size of the project.

The firm was co-founded in 1978 by Newell Arnerich and Robert Diaz at Berkeley, California. As the company grew, it started taking on projects throughout the Middle East and established a record of securing challenging and diverse projects both nationally and internationally. Today, AD Architects has offices in L.A., Oakland, and Honolulu, all serving clients with the firm’s signature tailor-fit design solutions. In its practice, the team behind AD Architects strives to treat each client in a unique way with the help of its collective experiences from other projects. 

One example of its great work is the Inszoom USA Headquarters in Pleasanton, California. Inszoom has been known to provide borderless opportunities to clients of all sizes, be it in Fortune 500 corporations, major universities, or healthcare organizations.  AD designed an office that reflects that by creating a new creative open environment for their USA-based HQ in a stand-alone single-story occupant building.

The KPA Group

6700 Koll Center Parkway, Suite 125, Pleasanton, CA 94566 

The KPA Group is a fully integrated, multi-disciplinary design firm offering planning, architecture, and engineering services to private and public clients. Interestingly, The KPA Group was founded as a structural consultancy practice before it expanded to architectural services and aviation planning services. 

The firm is led by Paul Powers who has more than 30 years of experience in master planning, programming, cost estimating, analyzing existing buildings, space planning, project design, interior design, and construction administration. This seasoned background provides The KPA Group its direction when it comes to providing its characteristic creative solutions, cost-effective designs, timely responses, and a strong commitment to providing good personal service through architecture. A winner of the 2014 Ruby Award, the firm has earned itself a reputation for being a strong and reliable partner for building new projects, modernizations, retrofits, expansions. 

Featured below is the firm’s Ruby Award winner — The Terminal 3 Boarding Area E Design Build project.  The project features innovative design, interactive technology, and a healthy environment to offer travelers in a relaxing, enjoyable space. It was also awarded LEED Gold.

Hereld & Ayres Architects

1039 Serpentine Lane, Suite D, Pleasanton, CA 94566

Hereld & Ayres Architects is a firm with more than three decades of experience in design and construction eased by the power of computer technology. The firm was founded by Kurt Hereld and David Ayres. Kurt has 30 years of experience on projects in steel, concrete tilt-up, and wood frame construction. He is joined by David who was the one who introduced CAD to the firm and nudged the company towards using computer technology when it came to designing. Together, they built commercial and residential projects that blend into the fabric of their respective communities. 

Pictured here is the Lokanta Restaurant. This grill and bar offers a sophisticated menu of Anatolian, Greek, and Mediterranean fusion cuisine. The restaurant itself provides an elegant ambiance that serves as the perfect backdrop for its food. Customers enjoy a warm, contemporary, and welcoming feeling upon entering the building thanks to its beautiful blend of elements and finishes of stone, wood, and metal.


  • Shahe Demirdjian

    Shahe is an Editor at General Contractors with around four years of experience as a writer and editor in the construction space. Shahe has always had a huge interest in commercial/residential construction and real estate. On top of his experience at General Contractors, he has two years of experience as a Construction Partner Specialist at BuildZoom and six years of experience as a licensed real estate agent. In his work, he takes advantage of his expertise to take complex technical jargon from those realms and transform them into accessible, engaging content, blending his business administration expertise with a degree from Arizona State University with his experiential insights. Expertise: Architecture, Home Design and Build, Home Remodeling Key Highlights: Arizona Real Estate - Licensed Salesperson Education: Arizona State University - Bachelors in Business Administration