Columbia is the capital of South Carolina and is named after Christopher Columbus. It is in Richland County and is one of the best places to live. It is a favorite place to visit in the Southeast for tourists and itr is known for its compact and easily navigable streets. Columbia has plenty of striking parks, heritage-filled neighborhoods, world class museums, and exciting outdoor activities. It is also home to several companies that have their global, continental, or national headquarters.

The below list includes fifteen of the best commercial architects in Columbia, South Carolina. They were selected based on their experience, expertise, and awards they have received over the years.


701-A Lady St. Columbia, SC 29201

Established in 1963, LS3P is a multidisciplinary firm offering architecture, interiors, and planning services to a wide variety of clients nationwide. Central to all regions of the Southeast with offices in Charleston, Columbia, Greenville, Myrtle Beach, Charlotte, Raleigh, Wilmington, Atlanta, and Savannah, LS3P is committed to bringing state-of-the-art design, technology, and expertise of a strong regional firm closer to our clients on a local level. With a staff of over 370 employees, the firm has the resources to offer total design capabilities from site selection to occupancy, yet is small enough to give personal attention to each client.

LS3P’s practice leaders serve a broad array of markets including aviation and transportation, military and government, higher education, healthcare, K-12 education, hospitality, historic preservation, commercial, worship, and residential. The firm’s extensive design portfolio also includes specialized expertise in civic, parks and recreation, and other projects.

The firm was named ENR’s Southeast Design Firm of the Year for 2014. It was the recipient of the following citations: A4LE Awards, AIA Awards, ASID Awards, UDA Awards, TCA Awards, and USGBC Awards. Likewise, it has been acknowledged by the following: United States Garen Building Council (USGBC), Charleston Regional Development Alliance, American Institute of Architects (AIA), American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), International Interior Design Association (IIDA), and the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Accredited Professionals (LEED APs).

McMillan Pazdan Smith Architecture

1316 Washington St. Columbia, SC 29201

Established in 1955, McMillan Pazdan Smith is a regional, studio-based, architecture, planning, and interior design firm. Its mission is to help its clients create well-designed environments that improve the quality of communities. Many of its projects come from repeat clients, a confirmation to the firm’s dedication to provide design excellence and quality service.

McMillan Pazdan Smith Architecture’s Founding Principals are Joe M. Pazdan II, Brad B. Smith, and Ron G. Smith. The CEO is Chad Cousins. The firm has made a name for itself throughout the Southeast for its significant and award-winning designs in healthcare, K-12, Higher Education, mixed-use, hospitality, office, and industrial projects. It currently has seven offices in Asheville, Atlanta, Charlotte, Charleston, Columbia, Greenville, and Spartanburg.

The company’s sixty-six years of experience in the industry has seen it rise to be ranked among the top 30 firms in the US, according to BD+C’s annual GIANTS report­­. In 2021, notable Columbia-based firm Watson Tate Savory merged with McMillan Pazdan Smith—furthering MPS’ prominence in the Midlands region of South Carolina. McMillan Pazdan Smith has recently been awarded with the following: 2021 Silver Team Building Award for Excellence in Design, 2021 Louis I. Kahn Citation for the top post-secondary design, 2021 AIA South Carolina New Construction Award, 2021 Chrysalis Award for Community Impact, 2021 IIDA Design Works Award, and the 2021 SC Preservation Honor Award.

Garvin Design Group

1209 Lincoln St. Columbia, SC 29201

Garvin Design Group has been known as one of the leading full-service architecture companies in South Carolina. Its vision is to provide client driven design solutions and to use more strategic delivery models in order to make the design and construction more efficient. It has substantial project experience in the areas of civic, athletic, higher education, and commercial work.

Leading Garvin Design Group is its president, Scott Garvin. He was born and raised in Aiken, South Carolina and is a graduate of Clemson University with a bachelor’s Degree in design and earned his master’s degree in architecture from the same university in 1986. He has practiced architecture in Greenville for more than thirty years before establishing Garvin Design Group in 2003.

The firm has won numerous local and state design awards, a testimony to its over seventeen-year history. Some of which are the 2021 Merit Award New Construction, AIA South Carolina Hammond School & Innovation Center, 2021 Citation Award Interior Architecture, AIA South Carolina Vikor Scientific, 2020 Citation Award Adaptive Reuse, AIA South Carolina and the 2017 Resort Architecture Award, American Resort Development Association (ARDA) Ocean Oak.


1519 Sumter St. Columbia, SC 29201

Founded in 1976, BOUDREAUX has a strong reputation as an aggressive, socially responsible company committed to quality in architecture, planning, interiors, and historic preservation. Its vast experience in the industry has been recognized for its efficiency in offering world-class service and design to various community, government, educational, corporate, and religious institutions.

Heather Mitchell is the president of BOUDREAUX. She earned her degree in architecture from the University of Virginia and Syracuse University, and she has worked for the company for more than twenty years. As president, she succeeds when interacting with new people, ascertaining client needs, and working with them to arrive at creative solutions.

The company has been the recipient of many awards given by various organizations. This includes the 2021 Historic Columbias’ Preservation Revitalization Award for Cathy Novinger GirlScout Leadership Center, 2021 AIA South Carolina’s Design Honor Award for Interior Architecture & the Columbia Chambers’ Golden Wail for Richland Library, 2020 AIA Columbia Design Award for BOUDREAUX office, and the 2019 AIA Merit Award for The Hub at Douthit Hills, Clemson University.

Quackenbush Architects + Planners

1217 Hampton St. Columbia, SC 29201

Established in 2004, Quackenbush Architects & Planners is a full-service architecture and planning company in Columbia, South Carolina. It specializes in commercial, institutional, educational, and civic projects. Its portfolio consists of projects for government agencies, private clients, school districts, universities, colleges, and cities. The firm strives to provide excellent work and professional service, maintaining utmost respect for its clients’ needs, schedule, and budget.

Quackenbush Architects’ founding principal, Doug Quakenbush, earned a Master of Architecture and a bachelor’s degree in design from Clemson University. He is also a member and past president of the South Carolina Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, is registered to practice in Georgia and South Carolina, and is NCARB-certified.

Quackenbush Architects has a strong award-winning track record of various projects. Some of which are the following: 2021 Historic Preservation Award from Historic Columbia, 2020 Merit Award from AIA South Columbia, 2020 Interior Architecture Citation Award from AIA South Carolina, and the 2020 Citation Award from AIA Columbia.

MCA Architecture, Inc.

28 Agora Pl, Greenville, SC 29615

MCA Architecture began as a small architectural practice, and it has grown into a multidisciplinary firm that provides services to its clients throughout the country. MCA has created different building types for a variety of customers. It focuses on the interior features of the building, guaranteeing a satisfying, comfortable, and environmentally friendly space.

With forty-five years of experience in the industry, MCA Architects has gained accreditations from the American Institute of Architects (AIA), Fellow of the American Institute of Architects (FAIA) Marshall Clarke, United States Green Building Council (USGBC), and the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Accredited Professionals (LEED APs). In 2019, the firm was awarded with the Historic Columbia Adaptive Use Award.

Studio 2LR | Architecture + Interiors

2428 Main St., Columbia, SC 29201

Studio 2LR is a full-service architecture and interior design company that is based in Columbia, South Carolina. It is composed of skillful and varied professionals, binded by love for contemporary design. It puts emphasis on sustainable contemporary design that has created an impact in the area where it serves.

Leading the company is its president, Weslyles, who along with Gretchen Lambert, and Tripp Riley, founded Studio 2LR in 2005. Wes obtained his architectural degree, as well his master’s in architecture from Clemson University.

Over the years, Studio 2LR has been commended and recognized by various groups, and it has been awarded with the following: 2020 Citation Award-AIA, 2019 Adaptive Reuse Honor Award-AIA, and the 2018 Historic Preservation Award For Adaptive Use. In addition, the company has also received accreditations from the American Institute of Architects (AIA), Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Accredited Professionals (LEED APs), International Interior Design Association (IIDA), and the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ).

Novus Architects, Inc.

900 Johnnie Dodds Blvd. Suite 200, Mount Pleasant, SC 29464

Novus Architects is an architecture and design company that creates highly functional and beautiful spaces like medical facilities, schools, and community centers. It has developed long-term relationships with its clients, and it listens to them and collaborates with them to create spaces that serve their needs.

Tommy Smith, the CEO and founder of Novus Architects, started the company twenty-five years ago, working for only one client. Since then, the company has expanded and caters to numerous clients in the area it serves and beyond. Tommy completes his education from Clemson University, earning a bachelor’s degree in design. His commitment to remarkable customer service and ingenious process has made the company what it is today.

The various awards the company has received are a testatement to its commitment and dedication. Some of them include: 2021 TEXO Distinguished Building Awards for the Interior Renovation Project of Preston Road Church, 2020 Tilt-Up Construction from the Tilt-Up Concrete Association Rogers and Brown Corporate Headquarters in Landson, SC, 2017 Outstanding Design (Architectural Portfolio) from Enka Intermediate School, and the 2010 AIA Charleston Special Citation Award for “Exterior Strategy” for their work on Hope Lodge Charleston.

Lambert Architecture + Construction Services

1224 Huger St. Columbia, SC 29201

Lambert Architecture + Construction Services is a full-service architectural design firm that offers services including planning, construction management, and interior design services. The company focuses on exceptional design, construction cost analysis, and construction process. With seventy years of experience, its team has successfully transformed projects from design to construction. The company’s skillful professionals are engaged throughout the entire process to deliver individualized services for their clients.

The firm has delivered award-winning projects that have received recognitions such as the 2018 Historic Preservation Honor Award-Kress Corner, 2016 Historic Columbia Preservation Honor Award, and the 2015 Historic Preservation Award-Agape Complex.

Jumper Carter Sease Architects

412 Meeting St. West Columbia, SC 29169

Jumper Carter Sease Architects is the longest-practicing architectural company in South Carolina. It has served its clients with innovative designs in government, academic, corporate, religious, and healthcare architecture for over eighty years. The company has increased in size in the last ten years because of its skilled professionals who are committed to promoting the mission of the company. 

Joel M. Carter, principal architect of Jumper Carter Architects, holds two degrees from Clemson University, a Bachelor of Science in architecture and a Bachelor of Science in building construction and management. He has a number of professional and community affiliations and thirty years of experience in the architectural industry. L. Todd Sease, another principal architect of the firm, has a bachelor of science degree from Clemson University’s College of Architecture. He has been in the industry for twenty-nine years.

The firm has received various awards, including the 2020 and 2021 A4LE Merit Award for New Construction and the 2016 Honor Award for Architectural Excellence from the South Carolina Association for Learning Environments with Sweetgrass Campus.

Jeff Lewis AIA – Architect

561 Jacobs Mill Pond Rd. Elgin, SC 29045

Based in Columbia, South Carolina, Jeff Lewis AIA-Architect is a full-service architectural company that provides office, residential, commercial, and retail architectural design, planning, and construction review. It has a vast experience with new constructions, as well as additions and renovations. 

Jeff Lewis is the principal and president of Jeff Lewis AIA-Architect which he founded in 2009. He has practiced architecture for thirty-two years and has designed and produced construction documents for industrial and commercial buildings for several companies. Jeff completed his degree in architecture and earned his master’s degree in architecture at Tulane University. He is known to be a respected architect who tries to produce exceptional design with the specified budget.

Jeff Lewis AIA-Architect has been awarded and recognized by the following: 2019 Historic Preservation Award, 2013 Preservation and Restoration Award Winner from the Historic Columbia Foundation, and the Historic Columbia Preservation and Restoration Award for their work on J. Davis Powell House. It has been the recipient of 4 Best of Houzz Service Awards in 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2019.

LTC Associates, Inc.

1213 Lady St. Suite 400, Columbia, SC 29201

Established in 1995, LTC Associates, Inc. is a multidisciplinary, design-oriented company that focuses on budget, program, and client expectations. Its creative staff is dedicated to producing superb architecture within a given budget and time frame. It utilizes a passionate approach to every project, providing an opportunity for its efficient and diversified staff to showcase their professional capabilities to clients.

Wes Taylor is the president of LTC Associates, Inc., and he has designed and created structures for twenty years. He completed his master’s degree in architecture at Clemson University. He is also a member of the American Institute of Architects.  On the other hand, John Taylor has almost forty years of working in the industry and is the vice president of LTC. He completed his education at Clemson University and is an active member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA). 

The company has been awarded with the Tilt-Up Achievement Award from the Tilt-up Concrete Association-St. Mary’s Episcopal Church. It was likewise certified by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Accredited Professionals (LEED APs).

JHS Architecture: Integrated Design, Inc.

1812 Lincoln St. 3rd Floor, Columbia, SC 29201

JHS Architecture: Integrated Design, Inc. is a full-service design and planning firm that offers architecture, planning, and interior design services. Based in Columbia, South Carolina, JHS practices even throughout the Southeast North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, and Georgia. The firm is organized around teams that specializes in educational, corporate, healthcare, and resort multi-family projects. Each team is headed by a principal of the company, each possessing over twenty years of experience in their field.

For over thirty five years, JHS Architecture has proven itself as the best in industry. Its numerous awards and recognitions have been a testament to its excellence. Some of these are the 2018 ACQ5 Global Award of the United Kingdom United States-Full Service and Planning Company of the Year, 2017 Hospitality Design Company of the Year-Global Award Winner, Citation Award 2016, and the 2005 National Honor Award for Historic Preservation from the International Downtown Development Association.

Design Initiative Group, LLC

1070 Davidson Rd. Lexington, SC 29072    

Design Initiative Group provides services in complex renovation projects as well as new construction projects. Its founding principals are Josh Boltinhouse and Luke McCary. Josh has served on the local boards of the American Institute of Architects and the Green Building Council, while Luke has served in the American Institute of Architects, and was the youngest AIASC state president to serve on the national AIA boards.

With thirty years of experience in the industry, Luke and Josh have designed and managed a variety of projects for its diverse clients. The company has been certified by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB), American Institute of Architects (AIA) Boltiuhouse, and by the International Interior Design Association (IIDA) Laroche. 

Design Initiative Group was founded in 2020 by its main principals, Josh Boltinhouse and Luke McCary. Having worked together for ten years before going to separate companies, they always discussed how to improve the operations of design firms. In 2020, they were given the opportunity to establish their own business, resulting in the creation of Design Initiative Group. 


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