Irvine, California, often referred to as the “Center of Orange County,” stands out for its vibrant cultural scene and dynamic spirit. The city boasts an array of theaters, museums, and entertainment venues, making it a hub of artistic and recreational activity. Recognized for its diverse, robust, and rapidly expanding economy, Irvine excels in sectors such as financial services, technology, healthcare, and manufacturing. The Irvine Spectrum Center, situated in the city’s eastern region, offers shopping and entertainment options, while the Irvine Business Complex in the western part serves as a significant employment hub, comprising the city’s two primary commercial districts.

If you are looking for the expertise of an architectural firm in this bustling city, this list features some of the architectural firms that have contributed the most to the aspirations of residents, business proprietors, developers, and emerging enterprises there. These firms have been selected based on their skills, experience, expertise, and impressive portfolios, all dedicated to enriching the evolving cityscape.


DRA Architects

32 Executive Park Ste 100, Irvine, CA  92614

Since its inception in 1992, DRA Architects has served diverse clients, businesses, and non-profit groups with exceptional projects and extensive services. It works closely with its customers, making sure it understands their budgets, schedules, and visions in order to provide professional and quick service. Its dedication to excellence and customer satisfaction allows it to build solid relationships, ensuring smooth project delivery and an enjoyable construction experience. No matter the project’s size, scope, or complexity, the firm’s team of experts can guarantee satisfaction and exceed expectations with their strong design direction and integrated, personalized approach. 

One of the firm’s notable projects is the main office of Printronix, a company that offers customized printing services for supply chain and production processes in harsh printing environments. To fit the branding of the company, DRA Architects created the interior with a simple, transitional design featuring clean lines, white walls, and gray flooring. The team also included wooden accents which add a rustic charm to the space. 


Lee & Sakahara Architects

16842 Von Karman Ave Ste 125, Irvine, CA 92606

Since its establishment in 1979, Lee & Sakahara Architects has expanded from its humble beginnings to become one of the most well-known companies in the architectural industry. Whether it is working on a simple interior design project or a full-scale custom home, the firm is dedicated to quality, professionalism, and honesty. The high rate of returning clients to Lee & Sakahara is a testament to the team’s prowess as highly skilled professionals and adept listeners who guide their clients seamlessly through every project phase. Through a hands-on and collaborative approach, the firm adeptly comprehends its clients’ aspirations, translating them into tangible realities.

Over the years, the firm has earned extensive recognition for its work, including many industry awards and media features. One of the firm’s notable products that has received attention is the CPS Corporate Center, which features a 115,000-square-foot office building with a parking garage. The building’s clean lines, sleek finishes, and monochromatic exterior make it stand out against the stunning background. This project perfectly showcases the firm’s dedication to creative and thoughtful design solutions. 


Robinson Hill Architecture

3195 B Airport Loop Dr, Costa Mesa, CA 92626

Robinson Hill Architecture, Inc., is based in Orange County and licensed to practice architecture in 22 states. Well known for their expertise in retail, restaurant, hospitality, and office, RHA is also passionate in their designs of public spaces that complement active lifestyles and sense of community. A service-first business model es applied to all levels of every project. Their design process is site and team specific, making each project dynamic and unique. This collaborative approach involves all team members, ensuring the best ideas are brought forth to enrich each project.

RHA has 36 years of commercial experience with a portfolio of local, regional, and international projects diverse in scale. Its growing success can be attributed to a passion for architecture and cultivated client relationships. 

One of the firm’s notable projects was a multimillion-dollar renovation of Centerview, an outdoor center. The plaza, which is about 60,000 square feet in total, includes a six-story parking building, an outdoor plaza of approximately 33,000 square feet, and a large open water feature of 15,000 square feet. The scope of the firm’s work included adding safe public spaces, areas for storing bikes, and enticing dining options. The newly remodeled plaza also has a mix of soft seating, accent furniture, and different ways to control the amount of shade, such as retractable umbrellas and set shade elements. 


Shubin Donaldson

3751 S Robertson Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232

Shubin Donaldson is an architectural and design firm known for its entrepreneurial energy, strong sense of community, and colleague support. Since its inception in 1990, the firm has built an impressive portfolio that showcases its ability to deliver high-quality projects on schedule and within budget. Employing an integrated and tailored methodology, the firm’s adept designers and builders collaborate closely with clients and other trade partners to ensure seamless project delivery. The team also focuses on constant communication, close collaboration, creative design techniques, and cost-efficient solutions, all of which consistently guarantee satisfaction and exceed customer expectations. 

Photography: Benny Chan, Fotoworks

Among the firm’s standout accomplishments is the Castaway Commons project in Newport Beach, California. This undertaking involved relocating and renovating the building to enhance its street-facing appearance and outfitting it with contemporary retail, restaurant, and office spaces tailored to the needs of tenants and customers.


Avalon Architectural, Inc.

18006 Sky Park Cir Ste 100, Irvine, CA 92614

Avalon Architectural is a small architectural design company in southern California. Founded in 2000, the firm has worked on countless projects, including business, retail, private car showrooms, tenant improvement, hospitality, multi-family, and master planning projects. The firm uses a personalized approach to managing each project, working from the idea that every great home starts with the client’s unique goals, and that each and every project is different. Therefore, its highly-skilled professionals work closely with each client to create spaces that meet their needs and exceed their expectations. The firm combines this approach with critical problem-solving skills and an intuitive sense of design in order to find the right balance between massing, function, light, shadow, openness, materiality, and color.

The Spanish-style hacienda in Irvine, California, perfectly exemplifies the firm’s quality and professionalism. At the rear, the residence extends to a spacious covered loggia, providing an inviting space to relish the pool, barbecue area, and outdoor living. Additionally, the tower houses a unique room, while the basement features a wine cellar, showcasing the depth of design and attention to detail that defines the project.


Danielian Associates

60 Corporate Park, Irvine, CA 92606

Since its inception in 1968, Danielian Associates has focused on developing a design process centered around communication, collaboration, and solid relationships. In these 50 years of experience, the firm has worked with the core belief that customer satisfaction is the key to its success. Therefore, the firm puts just as much emphasis on building strong, interactive, and dynamic partnerships as it does on planning and designing its projects. No matter the project’ size, scope, or complexity, the firm offers the capabilities of a big company while maintaining a personalized, hands-on approach of a small one. This approach has earned the firm many satisfied clients who testify to its quality and professionalism. 

Highlighted here is one impressive project completed by Danielian Associates. Beverly at Eastwood Village stands as the epitome of luxury living, owing to its formal style, striking architecture, and meticulous attention to detail. The expansive living spaces within its three meticulously designed floor plans exude both grandeur and innovation. The home’s exteriors, adorned with intricate details, leave a lasting and remarkable initial impression.


7 Designs + Development

15375 Barranca Pkwy Ste B-106, Irvine, CA 92618

Since its inception in 1996, 7 Designs + Development has been strongly committed to meeting its clients’ needs through excellent design, technical skills, and prompt service. The firm’s designers and builders are committed to delivering high-quality projects that offer the best value possible. The firm’s remarkable portfolio stands as a testament to this dedication, encompassing a diverse range of successful projects. Central to its ethos is a design process that fosters collaboration between designers, the business, and end-users. Through this synergistic approach, coupled with efficient workflows and strong partnerships, the firm ensures a seamless project delivery and a rewarding experience for all stakeholders involved.

Interior design, landscape design, furniture design, and construction converged seamlessly in the creation of this three-floor luxury home project. The original house was about 5,500 square feet, and 7 Designs + Development added another 675 square feet by adding a dining room and expanding the third floor. The third-floor addition allowed the owners to have a home gym, game room, full bathroom, kitchenette, sitting area, and full-sized balcony. 


Robert Hidey Architects

3337 Michelson Dr Ste 170, Irvine, CA 92612

Established in 1990, Robert Hidey Architects has earned a well-deserved reputation as a reliable and trustworthy full-service architecture firm.  Its expert designers and builders are committed to delivering high-quality results that reflect each client’s unique needs, personality, and lifestyle. Regardless of the project type or scale, the firm offers a high level of timeless architectural designs that are inventive and trend-setting. With its unmatched expertise, consistent and efficient project management, and top-notch customer service, the firm has built an impressive portfolio and a solid track record of satisfied clients. Its wide range of national and foreign work has further set it apart.

One of the firm’s notable projects is the Gardner Residence. This project showcases a charming rustic design infused with natural elements and a palette of earth-toned colors, making it a captivating presence against its breathtaking backdrop. Abundant windows not only infuse the interior with ample light but also invite in refreshing breezes, creating an ambiance of seamless indoor-outdoor connection.

Author

  • 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