Last updated on May 22nd, 2024 at 06:13 am

Raleigh, North Carolina, teems with vibrant culture, lovely parks, and rich history. It’s a place where warm southern hospitality meets creative technology hubs, nourishing a dynamic, welcoming community. Its abundant resources, diversity, and the resilience of its people shape its distinctive charm. Further enhancing Raleigh’s appeal, the city is home to top-notch architectural firms, as showcased below. These eight firms stand out for their awards, experience, and impressive portfolios.

Cline Design

125 N. Harrington St., Raleigh, NC 27603

Cline Design, with a rich 34-year history, is a leading integrated design firm based in Raleigh, North Carolina. Renowned for generating original design solutions that celebrate the uniqueness of each site and community, it emphasizes crafting spaces that facilitate connection and a sense of community. Incorporating sustainable and practical design, it blends indoor and outdoor environments harmoniously.

Michael Mesnard, the president, leverages his 30-year industry expertise to provide well-designed high-rises, mid-rises, mixed-use communities, and retail buildings. Likewise, Cari Jones, the managing partner, brings her 30-year experience to ensure quality housing and mixed-use design solutions.

Recognized with multiple accolades, including the 2023 TBJ Space Award and the 2019 AIA North Carolina Firm of the Year Award, Cline Design’s impactful design approach is acknowledged widely. The firm holds prestigious certifications from institutions like AIA, ASLA, and ULI. Its work has been featured in numerous publications, such as Baltimore Magazine and Architect Magazine.

Szostak Design

3101/2 West Franklin St., Chapel Hill, NC 27516

Szostak Design, an architectural design and planning firm, has graced the Chapel Hill, NC landscape with original and sustainable architecture since 1980. Guided by Principal Philip Szostak, FAIA, it emphasizes a rigorous, research-driven, and collaborative approach to create designs that resonate with the unique context of each project and fulfill client visions. The firm’s commitment to environmental responsibility is evident in its diverse portfolio. It incorporates LEED-certified projects and integrates sustainable principles in all its undertakings.

At the helm with Szostak is David Clinton, AIA, NCARB, REFP, who has led the development of educational projects and has been a staunch advocate for sustainable design throughout his 40-year career. Honored as the AIA North Carolina Firm of the Year in 2014 and with numerous other accolades, Szostak Design’s design excellence is well-recognized. It has AIA, NCARB, and LEED-accredited professionals, and its works have featured in publications like Walter Magazine and The News & Observer.

Maurer Architecture

115 1/2 East Hargett St., Raleigh, NC 27601

Based in downtown Raleigh on the historic East Hargett Street, Maurer Architecture has established itself as an award-winning firm since its inception in 1993. Renowned for a personalized approach to high-quality design, it prioritizes giving each project individual and thorough attention, cultivating a reputation of integrity within the design community, inspection agencies, and clientele. These clients range from developers and businesses to nonprofits and homeowners, many of whom consistently choose Maurer Architecture for their design needs. The firm is celebrated for its creative take on urban restoration and adaptive reuse projects, demonstrating a profound commitment to preserving the historic aesthetic.

The firm’s president, David Maurer, AIA, LEED AP, guides this approach, leading various historic preservation projects across North Carolina. Maurer Architecture has earned multiple awards and accolades, reflecting its commitment to historical preservation. The firm consists of AIA and LEED-accredited professionals, with its works having been showcased in various publications, including Raleigh Magazine and Natural Home & Garden.

310 Architecture + Interiors

302 Jefferson St., Suite 250, Raleigh, NC 27605

Established in 2010, 310 Architecture + Interiors is an expanding multidisciplinary design firm based in Raleigh, NC. Offering a range of integrated services, including architecture, interior design, branding, and planning, it caters to an extensive array of project types, from corporate and educational to health care, government, retail, and commercial.

At its helm are Paul Fox, a seasoned interior designer with a love for the Raleigh design community, and David Bradford, AIA, LEED AP, a dedicated professional with a 30 year track record of completing successful building projects. A commitment to design excellence and exceptional client service sets the firm apart.

The 310 Architecture + Interiors team, composed of AIA and LEED-accredited professionals, has been recognized with several accolades, including the 2022 IIDA Carolinas Healthcare Design Award and the 2017 Sir Walter Raleigh Award for Community Appearance. It has also been featured in publications like Insights Magazine and Raleigh Magazine, reflecting its significant contributions to the design industry.

Thoughtcraft Architects

331 W Main St., Suite 204, Durham, NC 27701

Thoughtcraft Architects, founded in 2005, stands true to its name by championing thoughtful, well-crafted architecture and interiors. With offices in the Boston area and in Durham, it offers a balance of spirited exploration and precise innovation in its work. Catering to a diverse project portfolio-residential, multifamily, commercial, institutional, civic, and adaptive reuse of historic buildings-it strives to deliver architecture that enhances the human experience by connecting people to each other, their surroundings, and a better future. 

Photo credits to John Horner Photography

Thoughtcraft’s leadership includes Founding Partners Chris Johns and Jason Hart, who both have extensive experience in design and construction. Johns, leading the Boston studio, is known for his balanced expertise in award-winning design and hands-on construction.  At the same time, Hart maintains a wide perspective while seeing through the clutter and evaluating alternatives keeping the firm and projects focused on priorities. The firm’s talent and dedication have earned it numerous awards, including the 2022 George Matsumoto Prize and a 2022 Residential Architect Magazine Award. Features in various publications such as Dwell, the Boston Globe, and Metropolis Magazine further underscore its industry stature.

Grant Group Architecture

1502 W North Carolina 54, STE 602, Durham, NC 27707

Grant Group Architecture, established in 1993, is recognized for its eclectic portfolio encompassing new constructions, home additions, and innovative renovations that rejuvenate older spaces. It attributes its success to invaluable relationships with contractors and industry partners, ensuring exceptional craftsmanship and attention to detail in each project.

Brian Grant, AIA, LEED AP, and Katie Wakeford, M.Arch diligently coordinate every project. Brian’s comprehensive experience in various building types empowers him to blend artistry with pragmatism, creating thoughtful, meaningful, and budget-conscious designs. Additionally, his expertise in green building systems brings effective energy savings and resource conservation strategies to the table.

Katie, a master of architecture from NC State University and a LEED Accredited Professional, brings a passion for housing and sustainable design alongside her rich experience in research. Grant Group Architecture received the 2013 AIA North Carolina Merit Award for the Haw River Retreat.

Arielle Condoret Schechter, Architect, PLLC

440 Bayberry Dr., Chapel Hill, NC 27517

Established in 2008, Arielle Condoret Schechter, Architect, PLLC is a passionate design firm that embraces various forms, sizes, and scopes. It offers services including custom-designed homes, modern interior design, mid-century modern renovations and additions, custom furniture, and light fixtures. Additionally, landscape design featuring native plants and wildlife habitat gardens forms part of its expansive portfolio. It has projects scattered from the Blue Ridge Mountains to the coast of North Carolina, with Micropolis Houses worldwide.

Photo by Tzu Chen Photography.

Arielle Schechter, the driving force behind the firm, specializes in warm modern and modernist residential architecture, including Net Zero design and passive house construction. She utilizes a client-centered, hands-on approach, crafting homes that are modern, warm, energy-efficient, and sustainable. Daylight forms her greatest architectural inspiration, bringing a life-enhancing interplay of light and shadow into each home. Recognition for the firm’s exceptional work includes the 2020 Matsumoto Prize Award for the Haw River House.

Lisle Architecture & Design, Inc.

323 W Morgan St., STE 100, Raleigh, NC 27601

Established in 1998, Lisle Architecture & Design, Inc. is a boutique North Carolina-based firm offering design and construction services for commercial, public, institutional, and residential projects. With offices in Wilmington and Raleigh, it has built a reputation for providing high-quality and comprehensive construction solutions, pushing boundaries with creative problem-solving approaches. At its core, it values good quality design fused with efficient construction administration, reflected by its extensive track record of repeat clients and referrals for over 25 years.

David Lisle, the creative flare of this four-person operation, leverages a family background of artistry and has been instrumental in transforming multiple buildings into company office spaces. Alongside David, Laura Lisle brings invaluable financial management to the firm. With a commitment to sustainability and design excellence, the firm’s professionals maintain affiliations with AIA and LEED. It has been featured in local publications such as Wilmington NC Magazine and Wrightsville Beach Magazine.


  • 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