Last updated on May 22nd, 2024 at 06:04 am

As the largest city in Alaska, Anchorage has iconic features that attract adventurous visitors, nature enthusiasts, and culture seekers. The city gives onlookers scenic views of uncharted land with the Chugach Mountains as a backdrop, reinforcing its reputation “the Last Frontier.” Its connection to nature gives both tourists and locals a gateway to glaciers, national parks, and wildlife encounters. Anchorage also has world-class museums, including the Anchorage Museum, and, of course, the Northern Lights. 

For those who want to move their family or expand their business to Anchorage, we have created a list of the area’s best architectural firms. These firms are led by experienced industry professionals, people who understand how to create location-specific designs while meeting the needs of clients.

Lumen Design

306 G Street, Anchorage, AK 99501

Lumen Design, an award-winning architectural firm in Anchorage, provides clients with creative solutions and clean designs. Each of the firm’s projects focuses on improving the physical and emotional well-being of users through sustainable and responsible practices. Under the leadership of owner and design principal Petra Sattler-Smith, Lumen Design also uses its environmentally conscious approach to achieve client satisfaction. The firm’s designs—featuring Sattler-Smith’s Nordic influences— consistently observe green practices while encompassing client vision. Publications like Monocle, Dwell, Alaska Home, and Architectural Record have featured the firm’s ability and commitment.

Chicken Shack is one of Lumen Design’s recognized projects; the American Institute of Architects (AIA) awarded the firm with the AIA Alaska Merit Award in 2020. Located in the historic neighborhood of Spenard, Chicken Shack’s design embodies its location’s eclectic, offbeat energy. The project was originally a strip mall that Lumen Design needed to renew through the material palette and finishing touches. Plywood, in particular, played a big role in giving the new Chicken Shack its charm. Lumen Design cut the plywood into two-inch strips and used white finishes to create a spatial framework to create a quant diner with cozy booths. The wooden shelves act as screens to frame an intimate, informal atmosphere, while the original concrete floors give the space modern appeal.

Architects Alaska

900 W 5th Avenue, Suite 403, Anchorage, Alaska 99501

Founded in 1950 by Edwin Crittenden, Architects Alaska proudly stands as one of Alaska’s most established architectural firms. Anchored in Crittenden’s values, the firm is dedicated to surpassing client expectations, crafting exceptional designs, nurturing healthy communities, honoring environmental diversity, and fostering the growth of its professionals. Under the leadership of President David Moore, AIA, Senior Vice President Michael Henricks, AIA, Secretary/Treasurer Andy Simasko, AIA and Vice President principals Stephen Henri, AIA, Mark Kneedler, AIA, and Melanie Mangione, AIA, Architects Alaska has expanded its presence beyond Anchorage and Wasilla to Bozeman, MT and, most recently, Prescott, AZ. The firm offers architectural and planning services to individuals, institutions, government agencies, and businesses of all sizes. Their diverse portfolio features commercial spaces, educational institutions, healthcare facilities, residences, industrial projects, interiors, and senior living environments.

Recently, Architects Alaska completed a 108,000 SF expansion to the Chief Andrew Isaac Health Clinic (CAIHC), operated by the Tanana Chiefs Conference (TCC). This extended clinic, pivotal for 42 Alaskan communities, features advanced imaging facilities, specialized treatment rooms, and a state-of-the-art surgery center, complemented by an on-site pharmacy and spaces reserved for future recovery suites. Beyond its medical prowess, the facility resonates with the rich heritage of the Tanana tribes. Design features were inspired by culturally significant natural elements such as the raven, birch bark, and traditional medicinal plants. These informed the façade design down to room signs and wall coverings. At the same time, a striking native art gallery makes the facility both a medical and cultural beacon for the people of the Tanana Chiefs Conference.

William Merriman Architects 

700 West 59th Avenue, Unit G, Anchorage, AK 99518

William O. Merriman and the William Merriman Architects team have worked on numerous residential and commercial architecture projects since the firm’s inception in 2013. The firm has since expanded its services to include furniture, product, and graphic designs for select clients. Its process, background, and team of skilled professionals allow William Merriman Architects to leverage its experience in traditional and historic residential architecture to work on different project scales. The firm typically works on new construction, addition, and renovation projects for homes, barns, sheds, and outbuildings. The firm respects Alaskan traditions while producing bespoke and tailored services for a collaborative client experience.

The Alaska Farmhouse is located on four and a half acres of exclusive property in Anchorage; William Merriman Architects designed the home to house its Midwestern clients. With an ocean-facing lot, the initial concept involved maximizing privacy and views typical of a traditional home in Alaska. Part of the initial plan featured a driveway that goes through more than 600 feet of spruce trees before arriving at the home. William Merriman Architects later changed the design to center around a main level with a narrow footprint that provides full views of sunsets over the ocean. The second design allowed more natural light to reach the inner parts of the home, especially during the winter months. William Merriman Architects also installed sun porches, reading nooks, and a full library to create a sense of modernity.

Z Architects

194 Olympic Mt. Loop Road, Unit 3, Girdwood, AK 99587

Z Architects is a full-service architectural firm based in Girdwood. Staffed by a team of experienced Alaskan designers, the firm can consistently produce designs that understand the needs of clients and fit into the unique northern landscape. The firm’s collaborative office emphasizes the importance of knowing the details of each project’s location. This approach makes it easier for Z Architects to deliver stunning spaces that meet distinct human and environmental needs while reflecting individual styles. Publications like Tasting Table, Anchorage Daily News, and Alaska Business have featured the firm and its work in recent years, acknowledging its ability and dedication.

Marco Zaccaro functions as Z Architects’ principal architect. As a resident who has lived in Girdwood for the majority of his life, Zaccaro can efficiently translate his over 30 years of experience in the industry into functional designs that fit both the client and the landscape. Each project is completed by observing sustainable development and architecture practices. Zaccaro leads his firm by emphasizing the importance of integrating structure, aesthetics, history, and environment.

Blue Sky Studio, LLC

6771 Louden Circle, Anchorage, AK 99502

Blue Sky Studio, LLC, originally Blue Sky Studio in 2002, is an architectural firm that specializes in client-driven designs for residential projects. It was founded to help clients envision and realize their projects, regardless of scope and scale. Its services include custom home design, remodeling, and construction, home extension, kitchen and bathroom design, and space planning. Most of its work can be found in the Anchorage area.

Catherine Call, AIA, and Anne Severin, AIA, serve at the forefront of Blue Sky Studio, LLC’s operations. Call graduated from the University of Oregon in 1985 with a master’s in architecture, while Severin graduated from the Bergische Gesamthochschule in Germany in 2004 with a master’s in architecture. As firm partners, they guide the firm via careful communication and by practicing precise drawing and 3D modeling. Each design comes from the firm’s emphasis on unique ideas and creative solutions. 


  • 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