Santa Cruz is famous for its high-stoke surf culture, vast beaches, and some of the world’s most excellent off-shore breakers. But this laid-back stretch of beach offers more than swimsuits and paddleboards. It is also home to some of the best commercial architects who design exemplary, world-class commercial buildings.

In case you would like to erect a commercial building in this city, our team has listed the best commercial architects in Santa Cruz. They were selected based on their awards, recognitions, stunning portfolios, and excellent client reviews.

Robert Nebolon Architects

801 Camelia Street, Suite E, Berkeley, CA 94710

Operating in the Los Angeles and Bay Area, Robert Nebolon Architects has been in the industry for almost three decades. It is an award-winning architecture firm that specializes in high-residential and commercial projects. The owner, Robert, who holds the firm’s namesake, obtained an architecture degree from the University of California at Berkeley. After graduating, Robert earned his master’s degree from the University of Washington at Seattle. 

Its modern regional residential work has been well received, both nationally and internationally. Some of its exceptional projects were also featured by several publishers, including the New York Times, Dwell Magazine, and The Wall Street Journal. The firm collaborates with clients to achieve exceptional projects that speak to their location, as it considers how a space will prove unique and engage local and international interest.

California’s geographical, cultural, technological, and ecological influences in design are exceptional. When the firm creates its designs, it utilizes this diversity and scans for potential opportunities.

Fuse Architects

512 Capitola Ave, Capitola, CA. 95010

Founded in 1991, Fuse Architects is a commercial and residential firm serving the Santa Cruz area. It is an architecture and construction company that specializes in progressive modern architecture. Led by Daniel Townsend and Daniel Gomez, the firm ensures that each project design is fully realized. The team calls this process “architect-led construction.” Fuse Architects has a pool of talented professionals who share the same passion for outstanding architectural design. To ensure that they deliver their clients’ requests, they closely monitor each project from design to completion. 

Previously, Daniel Townsend was a design consultant and architect at Oasis Media Corporation, as well as a designer at Ware Malcomb Architects. Their skills and expertise, combined with the rest of the team, permits them to take on every type of creative design challenge. This ranges from large commercial projects, private residences, and custom furniture to product design.

WRD Architects

2340 Garden Road, Suite 100, Monterey, CA 93940

Wald Ruhnke & Dost Architects, LLP is one of Monterey County’s largest and most active architectural firms. This reputable firm already has thousands of successful and meaningful projects.

Leading the team are Henry Ruhnke and Christopher Barlow, its principal architects. Henry and Christopher are highly-respected architects with years of experience. While Henry finds purpose in the community designs he makes with the team, Christopher creates designs to empower people.

WRD Architects attracts and fosters an environment for some of the most talented and professional team of architects. This enables professionals to focus on creating functional, beautiful spaces. This can range from buildings to interiors, as well as supporting both public and private enterprises. The people who work with WRD Architects recognize how much they value integrity, professionalism, trustworthiness, and excellence.


122 East Arrellaga Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101

HBA has served the Monterey Bay Region, San Francisco Bay Area, and throughout California for over three decades. In 1990, founding partners Jan Hochhauser, AIA, and Jay Blatter, AIA, established the company. Since then, they have focused on providing outstanding design and first-rate services from the brief to the construction.

This multi-disciplinary firm based in Santa Barbara, California is also LEED AP certified. This certification ensures that it incorporates sustainability principles into everything it does. As a result, they integrate every project into its surrounding natural environment. Both Jan and Jay are NCARB Certified and have experience in Arizona, California, Colorado, New York, Oregon, and Washington.

The firm currently specializes in different projects, including Healthcare, Residential, and Commercial designs. Aside from its expertise, HBA also has extensive experience in land planning, feasibility analysis, and land-use entitlement. HBA’s unique values and business acumen distinguish them from the rest.

SCA Architects (Spector Corbett Architects Inc.)

877 Cedar St, Suite 248, Santa Cruz CA 95060

Spector-Corbett Architects has offered its services to clients since its founding in 1985. It is an architecture, planning, and design firm specializing in commercial, residential, and public projects. Designability, budget, and accountability are of central importance for its architectural services. It extends beyond these with the immense transformation it brings to every project. 

It operates under the leadership of the principal architect and president Brian Spector, licensed in both California and Arizona. Brian earned his degree from the Tulane University School of Architecture and his interim programs from the Harvard University GSD and Columbia University. He is also a member of several organizations, including the US Green Building Council, and is a board member at the United Way of Santa Cruz County. 

The team behind SCA Architects drives effective project management to ensure a smooth process for its clients. Client relationships are crucial to its practice, and people return to the firm because of its reliable performance.

William Bagnall Architects Inc.

125 Mission St # 4, Santa Cruz, CA 95060, USA

William Bagnall Architects was established in 1971 by William Bagnall in Santa Cruz, California. Fifteen years later, William was joined by his son, Peter Bagnall, as an architect. They worked on several projects together for twenty-five years. Peter now owns and is the principal of the firm, with over thirty years of experience serving Santa Cruz County and the surrounding Central Coast.

It has also completed several LEED-certified projects, including hotels, restaurants, car dealerships. It ensures that its projects meet clients’ standards and are sustainable and efficient. Some of its most notable projects include the Santa Cruz Subaru & Toyota, Porsche-Audi, Volvo, and Nissan Dodge Volkswagen offices. It is also responsible for the design of the Hyatt Place in Broadway Santa Cruz.

As WBA brings ideas to life, they successfully lead their clients through projects from inception to completion.

Anderson McKelvey Architects

536 Soquel Ave, Santa Cruz, CA 95062

Serving the Santa Cruz community since 2004 is Anderson McKelvey Architects. The firm specializes in retail projects, but its past projects range in complexity. This includes simple room addition, large-scale homes, restaurants, and commercial centers. AMA provides thoughtful direction and support, ensuring a fruitful client-architect collaboration. 

Each project is completed to create solutions that bring architectural ideas to life. This is demonstrated with its flexible approach to architecture. Operating under the leadership of John McKelvey and Dennis Anderson, AMA builds various architectural styles such as Modern, Mediterranean, and Craftsman designs. John earned his degree in Environmental Studies from UC Santa Cruz thirty years ago. His early work focused on housing rehabilitation and historic preservation, while Dennis graduated from UC Berkeley’s architectural program in 1974 Dennis, then developed a career dedicated to design and construction. 

Their skills and expertise, combined with a highly professional team, enables AMA to deliver successful projects throughout Northern California, including the Monterey Bay area, San Francisco peninsula, and Marin county.