San Luis Obispo’s laid-back lifestyle is just one of the reasons people flock to the area; it is frequently named one of the best communities to live in for total well-being. The city is also often recognized for its vibrant downtown, historic buildings, exhibitions, art galleries, wineries, craft breweries, and hospitality. There are numerous bars, diners, coffee shops, and parks to be discovered here. San Luis Obispo has something to offer for everyone and it is one of the top cities for an open business environment.
If you want to open or start a business in San Luis Obispo, we’ve compiled a list of the best commercial architects working in the area. Our team chose these firms for their experience, press coverage, awards, and affiliations.
RRM Design Group
3765 S Higuera Street, Suite 102, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
Founded in 1974, RRM Design Group is an employee-owned award-winning design firm of architects, engineers, landscape architects, planners, surveyors, and LEED-accredited professionals. Serving San Luis Obispo and the rest of California, it specializes in architecture, engineering, surveying, landscape architecture, planning, and urban design.
RRM Design Group operates under the leadership of president and CEO Erik P. Justesen. A member of the American Society of Landscape Architects and a LEED-accredited professional, Erik is a graduate of the California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, with a degree in landscape architecture. Under his helm, several press members have featured the firm’s works, including San Luis Obispo Tribune, independentnews.com, Encinitas Advocate, San Mateo Daily Journal, KSBY, and San Jose Spotlight.
The company holds affiliations with a variety of organizations, including the U.S. Green Building Council, the American Council of Engineering Companies, the National Association of Home Builders, and it is a recipient of LEED Platinum, Gold, and Silver.
Ten Over Studio
539 Marsh Street, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
Ten Over Studio is an inventive, seasoned, and award-winning firm providing the highest design and customer service levels. It offers complete architectural and planning services with thoughtful, honest advice. The firm puts an emphasis on environmentally sensitive design to help its clients realize their dreams and improve their bottom line. The company has been serving the hospitality, multi-family, non-profit, office, and public sectors since it was founded in 2014.
With Jim Duffy leading the firm as president and CEO, Ten Over Studio’s commitment to sustainable design has led to a portfolio with a wide range of projects, including quite a few with LEED certification. Jim is a graduate of UC Santa Barbara with a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies and a master’s degree in architecture from the University of Oregon. He draws upon 25 years of experience and was a former Architectural Review Commissioner and a Habitat for Humanity SLO mentor and board member.
Ten Over Studio’s expertise in the business has gained the firm memberships with the San Luis Obispo Chamber of Commerce, the San Luis Obispo Downtown Association, the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards, and the U.S. Green Building Council. The press has also featured the firm, including San Luis Obispo Life Magazine, Firehouse Magazine, San Luis Obispo Tribune, Hospitality Net, and New Times San Luis Obispo.
560 Higuera Street, Suite C, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
19six Architects, established in 1906, is one of California’s longest established architectural firms. The company, previously known as PMSM Architecture, first joined the architecture industry over a century ago when A.B. Higginson, a designer and architect, saw significant flaws in the design and structure of local buildings and desired to improve their quality. What started as a small business in Santa Barbara has grown into a statewide architectural firm known for its award-winning design excellence and dedication to community impact.
Alan Kroeker currently supervises the firm’s operations. He has more than 30 years of planning, design, and construction experience, and he emphasizes learning environments. Alan’s career and portfolio have been lauded by many, especially with the affiliations it holds with organizations like the Community College Facility Coalition, the Coalition for Adequate School Housing, the U.S. Green Building Council, and Habitat For Humanity.
19six’s work includes K-12 and higher education, healthcare, performing arts, civic, and master planning, as well as architectural and planning services. For over a century, the firm has served as an extension of its clients, collaborating with them to develop dozens of buildings that foster communities and growth.
Andrew Goodwin Designs
2050 Parker Street, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
Andrew Goodwin Designs is an award-winning design firm that specializes in architectural, graphic, and interior design for projects throughout the Western United States. Its residential and commercial projects have been completed in Hawaii, Arizona, California, and Washington. Recent projects include restaurants, community centers, custom residential designs, and boutique commercial projects.
Aside from being an architectural design firm, Andrew Goodwin Designs also serves as strategists, writers, and advocates, emphasizing impactful design for cultural progress. The company culture encourages global advocacy for philanthropic design and educates emerging professionals to take part in and convey their work in this field.
With years of dedication to its craft, Andrew Goodwin Designs’ works have been acknowledged with a variety of honors. The above project, Active Coffee Co., won the 2020 Citation Award from The American Institute of Architects, Central Coast Chapter, and was named project of the month by the same organization in 2019..
Studio Design Group Architects
762 Higuera Street, Suite 212, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
Studio Design Group Architects is a full-service architecture company headquartered in beautiful San Luis Obispo, California that offers design, planning, and permitting services based on its collaborative design approach. Since 1981, the firm’s architects have steadily built a reputation for superior designs and long-term client connections in the health care, hospitality, commercial, and residential industries, especially focusing on OSHPD 1 hospital work.
Brian Starr and Tim Ronda currently lead Studio Design Group Architects as principal architects. Brian, the son of an architect, has always observed and recognized how architects can engage both their creative, artistic, and aesthetic sides and their number-crunching, systematic sides. Brian graduated from California Polytechnic State University with a Bachelor of Architecture degree. He is also a LEED-accredited professional and a National Council of Architectural Registration Board member.
Tim graduated from Cal Poly in 1983 with a Bachelor of Architecture and a Minor in Philosophy, and he is a LEED-accredited professional. Tim has worked on designing a wide variety of projects since co-founding Studio Design Group with Brian, including groundbreaking health care facilities, fine hotels, landmark commercial buildings, and authentic residential neighborhoods. Tim’s technical expertise and eye for detail ensure that the final building design is true to the conceptual design and a long-term asset for the firm’s clients.
studio 2G Architects
811 Palm Street, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
Founded over a decade ago, studio 2G Architects is a Certified Woman Owned Small Business and a Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise. Passionate advocates for sustainable environments, it carries its LEED-accredited professional BD+C and is a part of the Architecture 2030 Commitment. This is a commitment to design all new buildings to be net-zero energy by 2030.
studio 2G has a solid reputation among its clients and consultants for being sensitive, meticulous, and detail-oriented—as well as for consistently producing high-quality work. As a full-service architecture firm, studio 2G serves the public, residential, and commercial sectors under the oversight of Laura Gough and Heidi Gibson. The two began their partnership at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, where they earned their Bachelor of Architecture degrees in 1994. They then cultivated their field knowledge, working regionally, until they finally brought studio 2G into realization in 2005. Both are licensed architects in the state of California.
Since the firm’s founding, its works have been featured multiple times by SLO Tribune, Living Lavishly Vol. 7, Paso Robles Daily News, SLO Life Magazine, Santa Maria Sun, and Inhabitat.
garcia architecture + design
1308 Monterey Street, Suite 230, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
Founded in 1998, garcia architecture + design is a multidisciplinary design company composed of architects, engineers, artists, artisans, sculptors, painters, musicians, and design instructors. Its design philosophy embraces architecture as art, requiring its skilled team to raise the level of design beyond the merely pragmatic. The company specializes in mixed-use, hospitality, commercial, interiors, land use planning, architectural design, seismic renovation, and real estate development.
Since garcia architecture + design’s founding, it has been honored to receive numerous recognitions for its impeccable work. That includes the 2021 Design Awards for Bridge Street Lofts, The Butler Hotel, and 40 Prado Homeless Shelters from the American Institute of Architects Central Coast Chapter. It also holds affiliations with the Royal Institute of British Architects, the American Institute of Architects, the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards, the International Conference of Building Officials, and San Luis Obispo Green Build.
Ravatt Albrecht & Associates, Inc.
1241 Johnson Avenue, #155, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
Ravatt, Albrecht & Associates, Inc. (RA) was founded in 1999 and is a multi-disciplinary company offering planning, architecture, interior design, mechanical and electrical engineering, and plumbing design to both the public and private sectors. The firm is well-known for its dedication to staying within budget and meeting the needs of its clients. RA’s architects and engineers collaborate to deliver full-service turnkey solutions that are both exquisite and sustainable.
The firm has also been recognized as Central Coast’s original design-build firm, providing architectural and engineering services for developments that have a positive influence on the community. RA currently runs under the leadership of principals Greg Ravatt and James Albrecht. After working as principals together at a multi-disciplinary design firm for seven years, Greg and Jim realized they shared similar visions and formed Ravatt, Albrecht & Associates in 1999.
The company holds memberships with the U.S. Green Building Council, the International Interior Design Association, the American Society of Interior Designers, the American Institute of Architects California, and Associated General Contractors. The firm is staffed by LEED-accredited professionals.
Arris Studio Architects
1327 Archer Street, Suite 220, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
Arris Studio Architects is a full-service architectural firm that firmly believes in a collaborative approach to construction projects. Thom Jess and Steve Rigor, the partners of Arris Studio Architects, have a combined 28 years of experience developing and managing complex and challenging architectural projects. These projects are spread across Northern and Central California, as well as many Western states. They include the historic remodeling of Berkeley’s Shattuck Hotel, a 199-room landmark hotel built in 1909, to both reasonably priced and market-rate multifamily communities, mixed-use urban infill projects, and large-scale retail centers.
Arris Studio Architects’ skilled team of experts holds memberships with the American Institute of Architects. It is also a recipient of the 2017 Green Homes Honor Award for 860 Humbert. The firm’s projects are often lauded by the press. Some of the firm’s press features include Monterey Herald, DJC Oregon, San Luis Obispo Tribune, The Business Journals, and Santa Ynez Valley News.
Pults & Associates
3592 Sacramento Drive, Suite 140, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
Founder Steven D. Pults launched Pults & Associates in 1980 to offer clients a full range of quality architectural design services for all its construction needs. Since then, the firm has evolved into a well-known full-service design, project management, and construction management company focusing on medical and hospital construction, wineries, restaurants, office and commercial projects, and large-scale residential projects.
Steven moved to San Luis Obispo in 1968 to attend Cal Poly, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in architecture in 1973. Soon after, he founded Pults & Associates. Under his leadership, the firm has grown to be one of the largest in the area, with licenses in five states. Steven has received numerous design awards and has earned approval for challenging projects by emphasizing design quality and creativity.
Frances F. Gibbs works alongside Steven. Frances relocated to the Central Coast to attend Cal Poly after graduating from the State University of New York with a Bachelor of Professional Studies in Architecture. She later joined Pults & Associates. As principal, she is in charge of design and project management for a wide range of ongoing residential and commercial clients. Frances also develops and maintains the office’s production standards.
2668 Richard Avenue, Cayucos, CA 9343
Kornreich Architects works alongside its clients with full-service architectural capabilities, giving their projects individual attention and focus, starting with initial discussions, continuing through design phases, comprehensive construction documents, and bid and construction administration. Founded over three decades ago, the firm’s list of loyal repeat clients includes commercial and residential developers, winery owners, and custom home builders.
Founder Garth Kornreich is an architecture graduate of California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo, who launched the firm in 1990. Under Garth’s leadership, Kornreich Architects holds affiliations with organizations including Rotary International, American Institute of Architects, San Luis Obispo Cultural Heritage Committee, and San Luis Obispo County Property Owners Association. The firm’s work has also been featured in Business Journals, and it was also a design award recipient of the San Luis Obispo Downtown Association for its Mission Medical project.
1009 Morro Street, Suite 203, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
Paragon Designs, founded in 1985, provides architectural services from design to construction and has a long history of working with county and municipal building and planning departments. It takes pride in creating practical solutions and design concepts that are in the owners’ best interests. The company also works with consultants and owners to incorporate the design into cohesive construction documents.
Paragon Designs is a LEED-certified office, providing a spectrum of services from contemporary to additions with historical contexts to larger commercial mixed-use buildings. The firm is currently led by Thom Brajkovich, who has 27 years of experience as an architect and master builder on the Central Coast. He believes that architecture should emerge naturally and always enhance the environment. Color, style, texture, geometry, balance, and sustainability all factor into Thom’s designs, and he makes communication with his clients an absolute priority.
Omni Design Group, Inc.
711 Tank Farm Road, Suite 100, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
Omni Design Group, Inc. is a full-service design firm that serves clients in a wide range of markets and locales with architectural and civil engineering services. Its multidisciplinary services in architecture, civil engineering, land surveying, and telecommunications work together to provide clients with a single point of contact and a solid business relationship they can rely on. Omni’s corporate headquarters are in San Luis Obispo, California, where the company has been in operation for over 25 years.
Omni Design Group—formerly known as Mid-State Engineers—was founded in 1982. The firm began by offering planning, civil engineering, and land surveying services. In 1998 it expanded to include architecture. Since then, Omni Design Group has expanded from 12 to approximately 35 employees.
The company and its excellent work have been featured in numerous publications, including The Tribune, SLO Life Magazine, Telegram-Tribune Home & Garden, California Home + Design, and Living Lavishly Magazine.