Whether it’s an office, retail space, hotel, or restaurant, a commercial space must reflect the values of the people who will be using it. Working with an architect who can help you figure out your programmatic and financial objectives will enhance your project’s value and ultimately enrich the community.
To help you choose the right designer equipped to guide your next construction project, our team has curated a list of the best commercial architects in Providence, Rhode Island. These firms were selected for their accreditations, certifications, and professional affiliations. We also considered the recognition each firm has received in the form of industry awards, client reviews, and press features. We have laid out the range of services the firms offer, their specializations, and the length of time they have been in the industry.
146 Westminster St., Providence, RI 02903
3SIXØ Architecture handles the design and development of commercial, institutional, residential, and even furniture projects. Grounded in collaboration, 3SIXØ begins the design process by getting to know the clients and their goals before agreeing on budget, timeline, and project scope. The team conducts site surveys and research on zoning and building regulations as well as operational procedures. It works with the client in developing a design, and assists with material selection and construction documentation. 3SIXØ oversees the construction of the project, including choosing a contractor, evaluating budgets and bids, and regularly monitoring the workmanship on site.
Kyna Leski and Chris Bardt teamed up to establish 3SIXØ on the principles of ethical responsibility and flexibility. Leski has worked as the City Architect Design Decision Review Advisor to the Mayor of Providence, the Planning Department, and the City Planning Commission and Downcity Review Commission. Bardt’s 23 years of experience includes working as a designer with James Stewart Polshek and as senior designer with Kohn Pedersen Fox. A member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), Bradt has served on the board of the Quonset Development Corporation Design Review Committee. Under Leski and Bradt’s leadership, 3SIXØ has been recognized with multiple awards from the AIA and the Boston Society of Architects (BSA) for its outstanding craftsmanship, demonstrated in the Lumiere Salon project, shown here.
8,000 copper rods hang from ceiling to floor of the salon, forming a luminous scrim which lines the interior of the glass storefront. The copper screen provides a degree of privacy for the clients during the day, while allowing one to see into the space as it glows from inside in the evening.
Vision 3 Architects
225 Chapman Street, Providence, RI 02905
Vision 3 Architects partners with clients in delivering architecture and interior design services, with special expertise in furniture, fixtures, and equipment procurement. It takes on adaptive reuse projects and is accustomed to handling the challenges of preservation and renovation work. From conceptualization to construction administration, Vision 3 incorporates sustainability strategies and energy performance modeling that are aligned with the guidelines of the US Green Building Council (USGBC). The firm’s in-house workforce has planning capabilities that cover master planning, feasibility studies and cost estimation, code compliance reviews, site selection, and programming needs analysis. In every project, it uses Building Information Modeling (BIM) and visual communication technologies as tools in crafting contextually responsive spaces.
Principal David Prengaman has been personally involved in Vision 3’s design of corporate headquarters, medical campuses, and religious spaces. The registered architect and Construction Document Technologist (CDT) is the president of the Rhode Island Chapter of the AIA. He is on the boards of the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB), Executives Association of Rhode Island, and AIA New England. Like Prengaman, Principal Paul Hauser is certified by NCARB and is a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Accredited Professional. He spearheaded the integration of BIM technology in the design process and was a part of the Vision 3 corporate office team for over ten years. Prengaman and Hauser champion green building through Vision 3’s long portfolio of award-winning projects, including the renovation of 2-3 Davol Square.
The team made repairs to the large central atrium of the 1880s building and updated its lobbies and common areas. The main entrance to the buildings received a new canopy that complements the recently redeveloped South Street Landing adjacent to the property.
111 Chestnut St., Providence, RI 02903
DBVW Architects is a full-service architectural firm that provides interior design, historic preservation, planning, graphics, and branding. Its restoration and adaptive reuse work has earned the firm a multitude of preservation awards from prestigious organizations. DBVW communicates effectively with clients to guide them through the construction process, down to furniture selection. With LEED-Accredited Professionals on staff, the company builds environmentally-conscious buildings that enhance the urban landscape.
Michael Viveiros’s skill in designing new structures and repairing existing ones stems from his fascination with modern cities, vernacular construction, and heritage architecture. His career has taken him to numerous countries, creating new highrise buildings, performance centers, academic spaces, churches, and community health centers. Douglas L. Brown has in-depth knowledge of historic, low-income, and new market tax credits. Viveiro and Brown both hold membership with the AIA, while Martha L. Werenfels is an AIA Fellow. As an advisor to the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Martha joined a national Sustainability Task Force centered on enhancing the essential link between sustainability and historic preservation.
The firm designs commercial, healthcare, government, and residential architecture in contemporary and modern styles. An example is the Brown University Department of Computing and Information Services.
Designed to feel like a modern technology hub with Brown University’s overall esthetic, the new office has an open layout to promote collaboration and ease of information sharing. It features large conference rooms, small breakout rooms, a large lecture room, and privacy rooms.
Saccoccio & Associates
1085 Park Ave., Cranston, RI 02910
Architectural design and consultancy, historic restoration, facilities planning, and interior design are the core competencies of Saccoccio & Associates. The firm assembles the design team for a project by selecting consulting disciplines based on the unique skills they can provide. The multidisciplinary team is able to handle feasibility studies, bank inspections, and fire code compliance. Adept in sustainable design and site-appropriate architecture, they carry out energy efficiency reviews and achieve LEED certification for the company’s projects.
In his 40 years of practice with the firm, Mark Saccoccio has developed many award-winning commercial, academic, and public-use buildings. A recipient of the NCARB President’s Medal, he has held positions as President of AIA Rhode Island, Chairman of the Rhode Island Green Technology Consortium, and Board Chair of The Greater Providence YMCA. He is a current board member of the Independent Square Foundation. Also certified by NCARB and a member of the AIA, Steven Guglielmo has over 35 years of experience in design and is a LEED-Accredited Professional. He has served as Board Chair of the Cranston YMCA and maintains other community and professional affiliations. The principals have been the driving force of Saccoccio & Associates’s commercial, civic, academic, and residential work, which includes the historic restoration of Heaton and Cowing Mill in Providence.
For this project, the firm converted an abandoned mill, built in 1845, into 19 one-bedroom micro-apartments and one efficiency unit. The complex houses common areas, a community space to be used for education and job training, and a landscaped outdoor area along the West River.
50 Holden St., Providence, RI 02908
With accreditation from NCARB and the AIA, RGB Architects specializes in architecture, project management, and interior design. In addition to planning, design, and construction administration, RGB provides building assessment, code compliance analysis, and pre-development services. Honored with awards by the Providence Preservation Society, RGB is well-known as an expert in historic restoration and preservation, and adaptive re-use. It takes a holistic approach to designing spaces that respond to the needs of the client and the environment.
Principal Andrew Barkley is an Accredited Learning Environment Planner and a LEED AP. His 25 years of experience has allowed him to refine his skills as a building designer and envelope specialist, which is reflected in his historic rehabilitation work. A member of the Historic District Commission, he has received recognition from the BSA, and has been invited to present at the AIA National Conference for Justice Facilities. Barkley’s design expertise is supplemented by President Jason Iacobucci’s proficiency in construction. Iacobucci gained advanced knowledge of the construction process from his time as a principal of Solus4 and vice president of Taurean Construction Management. Their combined efforts, along with those of the RGB team, have resulted in the design of the Promenade Apartments, one of the largest historic renovation projects in Rhode Island.
Nestled within the renovated Providence factory building are 220 luxury loft apartments with rustic and industrial features and modern detailing. Airy green spaces in addition to a rooftop terrace allow residents to enjoy the outdoors.
Symmes Maini & McKee Associates
275 Promenade St. Suite 275, Providence, RI 02908
Symmes Maini & McKee Associates (SMMA) is a design practice that has focused on architecture, engineering, interiors, and site design since 1955. It also has capabilities in sustainable design, commissioning, graphic design, and project management, working in accordance with the principles of the AIA. From investigating site feasibility options to implementing energy-savings initiatives, the SMMA team pools its unique talents to create places that convey the client’s industry and community goals.
Ara Krafian is the Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of SMMA. He advises clients on project development, cost control, and creative options for alternative approaches, and leads strategic growth and development. Krafian serves as a board member of the Massachusetts Building Congress and director of CoreNet Global New England. He has strong ties with the National Society of Professional Engineers, Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, BSA, and NCARB. Krafian ensures that SMMA’s integrated project delivery method is applied in the firm’s corporate, commercial, government, and technology projects, like the Arthur F. and Patricia Ryan Center for Business Studies at Providence College.
The building features a two-story active classroom addition with an interconnected, double-height, multipurpose atrium. The daylit atrium is an inviting, open gathering space that provides interior and exterior orientation, acting as a vibrant center of student activities and academic involvement. This multifunctional space can accommodate large events, the only such space on campus.
2 Charles Street Suite A1, Providence, RI 02904
ZDS constantly adapts its architecture and interior design practice to the needs of its hospitality and commercial clients. The firm documents all aspects of the project, spanning design development, contractor bidding, preconstruction, and construction administration. With its design technique rooted in communication, leadership, and integrity, ZDS takes inspiration from the specific requirements of each project, whether a mixed-use, hospitality, medical, or educational facility.
After 15 years as a principal at his previous firm, Eric Zuena established ZDS in his hometown in Rhode Island. He brings to the firm two decades of project management experience in the hospitality industry, having designed and managed luxury hotels and mixed-use properties across the United States, Middle East, China, and Southeast Asia. The NCARB-certified and LEED-Accredited Professional is the former president of the Rhode Island Chapter of the AIA, which honored his firm with several Design Awards. Zuena has ushered ZDS in building a portfolio of market-driven and socially responsive projects. An excellent representative of the firm’s work is this mixed-use development at 249 Thayer.
The upper three floors of this new, four-story structure are dedicated to Brown University’s brand-new Nelson Center for Entrepreneurship, while a Shake Shack store occupies the ground level, serving the lively community of the Upper East Side. A delicate use of stone, metal panels, and glazing gives the structure its jewel-like characteristics.
One Central St., Providence, RI 02907
KITE Architects balances architectural design and technical expertise to create environments that enhance people’s lives. It tackles feasibility studies, zoning and code review, interior design, and related consulting services for new construction and renovations. KITE is thoroughly familiar with the complexities of urban sites, renovation of historic and mid-century modern buildings, sustainable design, and special projects with technically demanding requirements.
Christine M. West is one of KITE’s two principals. Her work as an architect has emphasized effective management and technical quality, with her forte lying in the management and development aspects of sustainable building. She has been Chair of the Providence City Plan Commission since 2012 and is the architect member of the Providence Building Board. Christine also sat as Chair of the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB), as one of her many contributions to the community. She is a member of the AIA, as is principal Albert Garcia. Garcia worked with the internationally recognized firms of Office dA in Boston and KieranTimberlake in Philadelphia, where he took part in the design of educational institutions, private residences, restorations, and adaptive reuse projects. West and Garcia foster KITE’s atmosphere of teamwork and collaboration that has yielded noteworthy results, such as the Narragansett Bay Commission’s Administration Building.
The education center is surrounded by rain gardens that demonstrate stormwater management strategies and the use of drought-resistant native plant communities. The lower floors of the building house various plant staff support areas, including new locker room facilities, a lunchroom, and kitchen areas. A third-floor fitness center overlooks green roof terraces and the plant beyond.
161 Exchange St., Pawtucket, RI 02860
LLB Architects is an architectural practice with particular strengths in interior design, planning, and historic preservation. It collaborates with the client in designing context-responsive spaces that promote well-being, and at the same time, translate the culture and vision of the client’s company into a material structure.
Three principals run LLB, bringing together creative, technical, and management expertise. Christian J. Ladds has taken on local community leadership roles on the Rhode Island Board of Examination and Registration of Architects, the Providence Preservation Society Planning and Architecture Review Committee, and the Construction Management Professional Advisory Board for Roger Williams University. Christian served as President of AIA Rhode Island, as did Kathleen Bartels and R. Drayton Fair. Kathleen is the current Chair of the Buildings and Grounds Committee for Community Preparatory School, which aids socio-economically disadvantaged grade school students. Like Christian and Kathleen, Drayton is LEED-accredited and holds membership with the AIA. An active member of the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the American Library Association, Drayton’s career has primarily revolved around the planning and design of library and municipal facilities.
LLB renovated Craig-Lee Hall at Rhode Island College and modernized its building systems. On the interior, the traditional boundaries of the cubicle were broken down and replaced with a new, open student lounge for group study and student gatherings. A transition space between the offices and classrooms encourages connections and social interaction.
35 Greenwich St., Providence, RI 02907
A recipient of the Rhode Island Minority Business Enterprise of the Year Award by Governor Lincoln Almond, Torrado Architects builds with the geographic, historic and programmatic context of its projects’ sites in mind. The pillars of the firm’s design approach include careful design and planning that stays within budget and on schedule, awareness of user demands, and respect for the existing structure. The firm offers feasibility studies, master planning, design development, construction documentation, and construction administration services. Throughout the project’s lifespan, clients are kept in the loop to guarantee that their vision and goals are met.
Luis Torrado is the President of Torrado Architects. His work has received awards from the AIA, Providence Preservation Society, Rhode Island Historic and Heritage Commission, and the Construction Council of America. The NCARB-accredited architect was appointed by the mayor and the governor to the boards of the Providence City Plan Commission, Capital Center Commission, and East Providence Waterfront District Commission. He is also a recipient of the Minority Small Business Person of the Year Award from the Small Business Administration. Torrado guided his team in producing Roger Williams Park Botanical Center, the largest public indoor display gardens in New England. The Conservatory and greenhouses encompass approximately 12,000 square feet of gardens. This setting is enhanced by a significant education center and beautiful event space.
Brewster Thornton Group Architects
317 Iron Horse Way Suite 202, Providence, RI 02908
Brewster Thornton Group Architects, LLP (BTGA) is a women-owned business with 30 years of experience in master planning, facility assessments, preservation and adaptive reuse, new construction, and interior renovation. It implements sustainability strategies in evidence-based design and project planning as a steward of the environment. When it comes to historic architecture, BTGA understands how to blend restoration with modern building codes and choose appropriate materials.
Mary Dorsey Brewster started the firm as a way to make a difference in people’s lives through design. Her creative perspective, supported by solid technical knowledge and years of expertise, results in effective design solutions for both clients and communities. Brewster serves on the Rhode Island State Board of Professional Licensure and is an active member of the AIA, as is Barbara Thornton. Thornton’s mastery over building science and moisture management has been invaluable in addressing the challenges of historic buildings.
Their direction has paved the way for BTGA to earn recognition from AIA Rhode Island and the International Interior Design Association for its institutional, educational, historic, and residential projects, such as the Johnson and Wales University Crime Laboratory.
As part of the design, BTGA renovated an under-utilized office suite to provide classrooms with lab equipment and advanced teaching technologies. The project team added a staged crime scene space and installed large glass windows from the main corridor.
1 Virginia Ave Suite 202, Providence, RI 02905
n|e|m|d architects, inc. is a cross-disciplinary team of project managers, project architects, interior designers and support staff that integrates construction efficiency and sustainable materials in architectural design. Master planning, site planning, feasibility studies, zoning regulations, and historic structures are all areas where n|e|m|d’s knowledge and skills come in handy. It stays actively engaged with clients to develop the project timeline, budget, and design goals, while keeping lines of communication open from beginning to end. As a pioneer of healthcare design, n|e|m|d is knowledgeable in medical terminology and equipment, clinical operations, and hazardous materials transportation.
President Mehdi Khosrovani, AIA has practiced architecture and been involved in construction since 1980. His experience working at some of the leading healthcare facilities in the region has shaped the firm’s healthcare specialization. He has constructed and renovated operating rooms, imaging facilities, laboratories, nursing and elder care units, medical office buildings, and research facilities. He has steered the firm towards achieving recognition from the Construction Management Association of America’s New England Chapter and the AIA, where he is also a member.
The University Orthopedics Building is a prime example of n|e|m|d’s healthcare projects. The four-story, steel-framed building is clad with a metal/composite panel rain screen. Large areas of glass visually reinforce the vertical circulation elements of the building and allow ample transmission of natural light into its core.
30 Brenton Ave, Providence, RI 02906
up architecture designs environmentally-conscious commercial, educational, civic, and residential buildings. Emphasizing positivity and flexibility, the team modifies the design throughout the process and gathers information about the contextual background of the project. The firm achieves a balance of design, budget, and time, while effectively communicating ideas to the clients to help them visualize and hear their feedback. The exchange of ideas between up architecture and its clients is the central element of the firm’s methodology.
Mark A. Hallee has spent over 25 years creating institutional, educational, and commercial structures, with supplemental residential expertise in multifamily housing. He has a firm command of master planning, new construction, additions and renovations, adaptive reuse, and historic restoration. His employment at HMFH Architects in Cambridge, LLB Architects, and Williams & Frehsee cultivated his experience in K-12 educational design and residential design-build. Halleel’s thoughtful design approach and sensitivity to context can be seen in much of the firm’s highly varied portfolio.
This office renovation established a bright new headquarters for a company called Building Enclosure Science. Originally a truck dealership and subsequent window showroom, the space was fully gutted and replaced with offices and workspace areas. Also included was a cube / tower feature, a central open stair to a new mezzanine and large open conference area. A goal of the project was to create a vibrant, dynamic workplace with simple, clean detailing.