Last updated on May 22nd, 2024 at 01:54 am

San Diego, a vibrant Californian city, is renowned for its stunning beaches, beautiful parks, and delightful warm climate. Numerous diverse museums, cultural hubs, and artist studios enrich the quality of life in the city, making it a great place to live in and to visit. San Diego also boasts several remarkable commercial structures that contribute to its architectural landscape. Here, we present a compilation of eight esteemed architects responsible for designing some of the city’s most iconic commercial spaces. These firms were thoughtfully selected based on their exceptional portfolios, diverse backgrounds, and the varied expertise of their teams.


845 15th St. Suite #103, San Diego, CA 92101

Offering its services throughout San Diego, BNIM provides its clients with a complete range of commercial architectural services, including architecture, interior design, sustainable and landscape architecture, and project planning. The firm is highly respected for its innovative methods and processes that have resulted in a diverse and impressive portfolio. In 2011, it received the National Architecture Firm Award, a testament to its quality craftsmanship and service.

BNIM was responsible for the design of the Harkin Institute at Drake University, a project encompassing over 17,000 square feet. The goal was to create a prominent landmark on the university campus. The institute showcases exceptional universal and inclusive design, featuring a two-story ramp that serves as a main pathway connecting all floors. The building also incorporates various circulation spaces to facilitate sign-language conversations and incorporates high-contrast and textural elements for individuals with low vision.

Joseph Wong Design Associates

2359 4th Ave. Suite #300, San Diego, CA 92101

Established in 1977, Joseph Wong Design Associates extends its services throughout San Diego and is a leader in architecture and interior design markets. The firm has had the opportunity to work in some of the most sought-after commercial districts throughout California, as well as in most major cities in Asia. For its outstanding work, the firm has been the recipient of countless local and national awards of excellence. These include numerous American Institute of Architects (AIA) distinctions as well as National Design-Build Institute Design Awards.

Showcased here is an excellent example of the firm’s talent and expertise. Completed in 2018, this building contains over 320 units. The firm provided a comprehensive range of architectural services, as well as offered its expertise in mixed-use development. The units within the building encompass a variety of options, including studios, one- and two-bedroom apartments, and inviting lofts. The amenities offered are equally impressive, featuring a clubhouse, a spa, a pool, and a picturesque exterior courtyard.

Ferguson Pape Baldwin Architects

4499 Ruffin Rd. Suite #300 San Diego, CA 92123

Ferguson Pape Baldwin Architects (FPBA) is composed of a talented and experienced team of design professionals. Extending its services throughout San Diego, it has worked on some of the city’s most noteworthy commercial structures. Since its inception, the firm has been the proud recipient of countless impressive accolades, including several Build San Diego Awards from Associated General Contractors San Diego. It has also been featured several times in the prominent publication Engineering News-Record.

Depicted here is one of the firm’s many impressive projects.  Located in Vista, this project was designed for Watkins Wellness and involved an extensive upgrade to the building’s breakroom. The FPBA team used an excellent mixture of wood tones and bright colors in its design, as well as playful and unique furniture. Some of the space’s other great details include its wood slats, its gaming area, and the acoustic fins surrounding the kitchen.


3605 5th Ave. San Diego, CA 92103

Founded in 1979, RDC is a full-service architectural firm headquartered in Los Angeles. It has offices in Washington, D.C. and Arkansas, as well as an international one in Shanghai. As a forerunner in the commercial industry market, the firm specializes in retail, hospitality, and entertainment venue projects. Its portfolio also showcases various corporate interiors, mixed-use, grocery, and wellness spaces. 

The firm’s expertise encompasses a wide range of consumer needs, rendering it equipped to manage any task. Its staff is made up of over 160 talented and seasoned professionals, each of whom uses a comprehensive approach when completing projects. This approach involves methodically and seamlessly integrating architecture, planning, and interior design. From conceptual design, entitlement, and site planning, to construction documentation and administration, the firm’s team is there to assist its clients throughout every step of the process. 

ACRM Architects + Interiors

1045 14th St. Suite #100, San Diego, CA 92101

As its name suggests, ACRM offers its clients a complete and comprehensive range of architecture and interior design services. Working out of its office in San Diego, it has had the opportunity to work in some of the city’s best commercial districts. The firm, which has been in business since 2002, is composed of a talented and experienced team of architects and interior designers who make sure to assist its clients throughout the entire process, from conception to completion. These seasoned professionals have the ability to tackle any project, regardless of size or scope.

The project featured here showcases the firm’s work for Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens. Located in San Diego’s Point Loma community, the project spans over 23,000 square feet of dining areas, indoor-outdoor spaces, and bars, as well as a bocce ball court, an outdoor cinema space, and an expansive outdoor dining garden. While working on this project, the firm’s team impressively made use of reclaimed construction materials that were found on-site. 

Ten Seventy Architecture

4411 30th St. Suite #202, San Diego, CA 92116

Sean and Margaret Canning lead and own Ten Seventy Architecture. The pair, who first met while studying architecture at the New Jersey Institute of Technology, is known for their love of and expertise for modern and minimalist designs. Each holds a Bachelor of Architecture degree, as well as being a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)-accredited professional. This assures the firm’s clients that all their projects will be highly sustainable and energy-efficient.

The project showcased here is a stellar example of Ten Seventy Architecture’s talent and expertise. This project was completed for Hawthorn Coffee, a modern coffee house. In addition to excellent contemporary details that reflect Hawthorn’s mission as a coffee shop, the space also features a unique bar, creative backsplashes, and practical lighting fixtures. 

Lahaina Architects

3268 Governor Dr. Suite #141 San Diego, CA 92122

Since its founding in 2007, architectural firm Lahaina has built a stellar reputation for itself. Offering its services throughout California, Colorado, and Nebraska, the firm is best known for its cost-efficient and forward-thinking solutions. The firm’s portfolio showcases an excellent range of entertainment, mixed-use, and commercial tenant improvement projects.

Featured here is a standout restaurant project completed by the firm. Situated in San Diego, this undertaking was specifically designed for the Bay Hill Tavern and was successfully completed in 2019. The establishment showcases an attractive industrial design concept characterized by its open and spacious layout. This is paired with plants and other elements that bring a welcoming energy to the space.

Marengo Morton Architects

7724 Girard Ave. Flr 2, La Jolla, CA 92037

With over two decades of industry experience, Marengo Morton offers its clients a complete range of architecture and design services. These services include handling permits, drafting, rendering, green building, and completing sustainable design projects. The firm particularly specializes in coastal development, multi-family, and residential projects.

Highlighted here is a remarkable project that exemplifies the firm’s expertise. Designed for the Parq Nightclub, this endeavor features  captivating elements such as wood-slatted ceilings and paneled flooring. The firm’s team made deliberate choices including brick backsplashes and a delightful warm color palette, which contribute to the overall aesthetic. Our editorial team also loved the project’s distinctive lighting design, which adds an extra layer of allure to the space.


  • 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