There are many factors that contribute to the success of a business, and one of the most important elements you need to consider is the environment in which your company or store is operating. To ensure the growth of your business, you should enlist the help of a designer who will create a space that speaks directly to both your customers’ and employees’ needs while reflecting the brand of your company.
We’ve listed the best commercial architects in Santa Clara, California. These firms were selected for their accreditations, certifications, and professional affiliations. We looked at each firm’s industry awards, client reviews, and press features. Our team also discussed the range of services the firms offer, their specializations, and the length of time they have been in the industry.
Architects Mosher Drew
1775 Hancock Street, Suite 150, San Diego, CA 92110
With expertise in architecture and design, Architects Mosher Drew (AMD) crafts commercial, federal, institutional, and healthcare buildings that benefit communities and the natural environment. Its core competencies encompass master planning, design-build, interior design, and building assessment. The AMD team is capable of handling all aspects of programming and feasibility studies and is well-versed in the challenges and complexities of sustainable design.
William Magnuson puts 35 years of experience in architecture, planning, interiors, and construction into practice by leading as the president of the firm. He is a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Accredited Professional (LEED AP), solidifying AMD’s commitment to shaping spaces that respond to nature. Under his direction, AMD has earned design and legacy awards from the American Institute of Architects (AIA) San Diego. His efforts continue to create value for long-term clients and facilities that stand out in the marketplace.
The Torero store at the University of San Diego is a good example. It engages shoppers and students with a multi-sensory experience. A fabricated “Explosion of Confetti” light sculpture hovers over the store and coordinates with video and sound to create custom moods and ambiance. The space is designed to accommodate changing retail and student needs and to serve as a venue for university events.
KMA Architecture and Engineering
2710 Historic Decatur Road, Suite 201, San Diego, CA 92106
Rooted in research and creative analysis, KMA Architecture & Engineering seeks to fully understand all the parameters of every project it handles. The firm develops design solutions tailored to client needs and tests them using advanced technology. KMA gained the trust of San Diego Federal Savings—later named Great American First Savings Bank—when it designed 250 of its branch banks. The company regularly improves its techniques to deliver innovative spaces.
Don Blair sits as the president and CEO of KMA Architecture & Engineering. He draws on 36 years of experience in mixed-use, commercial, retail, industrial, and government building design as a licensed architect in seven states. The LEED AP led the firm to win Merit Awards from the Design Build Institute of America (DBIA), the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC), and the Associated General Contractors (AGC). Blair spearheads the KMA team in undertaking a wide variety of projects, from commercial and medical structures to residential and civic developments.
One of KMA’s most memorable works is The Lofts at 707 Tenth Avenue in Downtown San Diego. The eight-story, mid-rise project houses 208 residential units and retail space on the ground floor as well as three levels of below-grade parking. Residents have access to a roof terrace and central courtyard area that serve as a peaceful urban oasis shielded from the hustle and bustle outside.
Davy Architecture, Inc.
1053 10th Avenue, San Diego, CA 92101
Ric Davy started Davy Architecture in 1984, championing commitment, teamwork, and environmental sustainability through institutional, commercial, healthcare, industrial, and hospitality design. He was tenured as a project manager at a prominent San Diego general contractor before launching his own firm. Ric holds a certificate from the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) and is licensed to practice in California, Arizona, Colorado, and Nevada. He plays an active role in the community, having been honored with the YMCA Golden Triangle Award for his contributions to the YMCA Board. As a distinguished war veteran, Ric afforded Davy Architecture certification as a Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business (SDVOSB). The firm is also an Employee-Owned (ESOP), a Small Local Business Enterprise (SLBE) and a recipient of the Project of the Year Award from the American Public Works Association (APWA) San Diego Chapter.
Davy Architecture values close collaboration with its clients, which is manifested in the firm’s design process. This is apparent in Davy’s work on the Harley Davidson Dealership. The team coordinated with the business to produce two showrooms for motorcycle, apparel, and accessory displays, as well as a service shop, parts storage, and administrative offices. The industrial style of the new dealership was translated through the use of brick, metal cladding, exposed structural trusses, mechanical equipment, and stained concrete floors—all inspired by the iconic old brick Harley Davidson factory in Milwaukee.
T7 Architecture, Inc.
646 Valley Avenue, Suite A, Solana Beach, CA 92075
Based in San Diego, T7 Architecture fashions designs that meet the client’s goals, site constraints, zoning requirements, and the constructability and set budget of each project. The firm emphasizes a powerful link to the outdoors by allowing the sun, wind, and views to shape client-specific spaces. This methodology enabled the firm to attain a Merit Award from the AIA San Diego Chapter. Founding principal Andrew Crocker guides the T7 team in carrying out the site and client-specific strategies the firm is widely known for.
In the span of 20 years, Crocker has amassed a wealth of experience in residential, retail, creative office, restaurant, museum, and healthcare projects. He has honed his design and project management abilities, having worked at Luce et Studio, Gensler, Don Olsen Associates, and BFHL. The AIA member is adept in master planning, documentation, and construction administration, with extensive know-how in processing permits from local to state jurisdictions. Crocker has helped T7 Architecture grow its portfolio of commercial facilities, which includes Surf Rider Pizza in downtown La Mesa.
The California surf and beach-inspired pizza eatery contains interior dining, a pizza and pastry ordering area, a full bar, and two kitchens—one for pizza and the other for pastry production. Its two patios have the largest outdoor dining areas in the La Mesa Downtown Village, with one having a “beach-shack” style bar; the other is friendly-for-all patio with a children’s play area.
2419 El Cajon Boulevard, San Diego, CA 92104
Established in 2008, obrARCHITECTURE was born from the desire to create lasting and meaningful relationships with their clients, projects, and the environment. The firm has proven its capacity to meet and exceed clients’ expectations. The team implements an exceptional collaborative and artistic approach to every project; that approach has won the company an AIA Urban Design Award and an AIA San Diego Merit Award.
Garrick Oliver, Christopher Bittner, and Anney Rosenthal-Hall cultivate obrARCHITECTURE’s strong technical competence and dedication to the clients and people they serve. Oliver has been a practicing architect for 15 years and, like Rosenthal-Hall, is a LEED Accredited Professional. Rosenthal-Hall graduated from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, and became a licensed architect in 2011. Meanwhile Bittner has been in the industry since 2002 and was named the 2021 CEO of the Year Award by the San Diego Business Journal.
The Burger Bench stands out as one of obrARCHITECTURE’s most striking projects. The restaurant mixes new and old, with the original brick and ceiling joists exposed above a new dual-height main bar that features a lower tasting bar in front of the taps for beer sampling. The existing storefront windows were removed and the window line brought back into the space, allowing for outdoor seating, then operable glass doors were incorporated to make the space feel more open.
7851 University Avenue, #207 La Mesa, CA 91942
Driven by curiosity and careful craftsmanship, Asquared Studios leverages its collaborative approach to address design challenges through spatial analysis, research, and strategic thinking. The firm helps clients achieve their goals using a principal-led project delivery system, pioneered by principals Tony Garcia and Jessie Whitesides.
Garcia, who has received the San Diego AIA Young Architect of the Year Award, has overseen a wide range of residential, commercial, and historical renovation projects. He is knowledgeable about pre-fabricated building methods, design-build project delivery methods, and custom-built works in traditional construction materials. Garcia founded Asquared Studios together with Whitesides, whose career has focused on winery, hospitality, agricultural, and single- and multi-family residential projects. She is a licensed architect in California, Washington State, and New York, and is NCARB-certified. Their vernacular take on modern architecture can be seen in much of Asquared Studios’s highly varied portfolio.
The firm is responsible for Rosso Pizzeria and Mozzarella Bar in downtown Petaluma. The industrial-rustic restaurant has booth and banquette seating, detailed with galvanized metal tables and rough-sawn walnut trim. A custom roller shade design was used to turn the continuous expanse of storefront windows into a full-length art mural visible from both the interior and the exterior, while interior accents of “Rosso” red create a signature statement.