In a competitive rental market, it can be challenging to create a unique identity for your project. You need a seasoned architect who will prioritize understanding your project’s site opportunities and constraints. Enlisting the help of a professional can help your facility achieve a strong connection with the community by relating the building back to the neighborhood context.

The list below describes the best multifamily architects in Knoxville, Tennessee, selected for their accreditations, certifications, and professional affiliations. Industry awards, client reviews, and press features were also considered. The below article also examines the range of services the firms offer, their specializations, and the length of time they have been in the industry.

McCarty Holsaple McCarty Architects and Interior Designers

550 W. Main St. Suite #300, Knoxville, TN 37902

Founded in 1965, McCarty Holsaple McCarty Architects and Interior Designers (MHM) is a five-decade-old firm that employs a collaborative approach. It believes that the key to any project’s success is an efficient collaboration between clients and its design team. Doug McCarty implements this approach to all the services it offers, including planning, design, and documentation. Doug has made significant contributions to the profession, which has resulted in his elevation to the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects (AIA). Doug and his team fulfill the client’s vision through the application of research and careful introspection. The results are wonderful structures that consistently exceed expectations. 

A sample of the firm’s successful work is Tailor Lofts, one of the oldest mercantile buildings in downtown Knoxville. MHM renovated the building into three levels of apartments and added a retail space on Gay Street. Each residential level has three apartments, including a top-level two-story plus roof deck unit. Blackhorse Pub and Brewery occupies the main street-level retail space.

Sanders Pace Architecture

514 West Jackson Ave., Knoxville, TN 37902

Brandon Frazier Pace and John Lynch Sanders started Sanders Pace Architecture in 2002 and grew it to become a master at designing complex and diverse projects. Practicing in East Tennessee, the firm is surrounded by clients in either the countryside or the urban center. As a result, the firm has experience designing different structures on different sites. It has become an expert in exploring the unknown, creating new opportunities and design solutions in unexpected places. Because of this, the firm gets to create new exciting structures that link to a site’s history. Its designs are a blend of the old and the new, using advanced tools and materials to preserve and enhance a place.   

 Displaying Sanders Pace Architecture’s unique take on designs is Cityhouse in Downtown Knoxville. For the project, three distinct exterior spaces are provided per unit: a traditional brownstone-style recessed courtyard, a balcony, and an expected urban rooftop/garden with 360-degree views capturing the entire center city. Each unit is organized around a central interior staircase, which provides connections between each floor and brings daylight into the center of the building through the large windows located in the rooftop penthouse.

BarberMcMurry Architects

505 Market St. Suite #300, Knoxville, TN 37902

Established in 1915, BarberMcMurry Architects has been recognized in the industry for more than 100 years, confirming its position as a leading commercial firm. As one of the most experienced architects in Tennessee, this century-old firm has created many award-winning designs. Under the direction of Chuck Griffin, the firm’s sustainable, functional, and creative outputs have resulted in a number of awards. As the CEO and president, Griffin applies his 39 years of experience to developing many of the strategies the firm has used to creatively respond to the needs of its clients. Throughout the years, BarberMcMurry Architects’ goal has remained the same: to create lasting structures that facilitate a positive working and living environment.

 One of the firm’s highly acclaimed designs is the replacement of affordable housing for the outdated public housing buildings in the Five Points community. The project consists of 31 buildings with a total of 82 units, as well as additional green space, playgrounds, and a shared computer room. With the integration of wider streets and greenways, the mixed-use development lessens the stigma of public housing while honoring the history and culture of the community. The buildings also adhere to Enterprise Green Communities Certification criteria, which is earned through sustainable construction techniques that emphasize energy efficiency.

Johnson Architecture

2240 Sutherland Ave., Suite #105, Knoxville, TN 37919

Johnson Architecture was founded in 1994 by Daryl Johnson to create a practice that designs with rhythm and purpose. Its style brings a positive flow of energy into the spaces it designs, whether they be commercial or residential. This energy comes from the synergy of client vision and the firm’s creativity, producing one-of-a-kind structures. Daryl has in-depth knowledge of the intricate process of reaching consensus or seeking public approval, which has contributed to the firm’s practice. Johnson Architecture’s collaborative approach brings a uniqueness to every community, restaurant, hotel, church, and school that the company shapes.

 Showcasing the firm’s unique architectural voice is its design for Five Points Phase Two. This multifamily complex covers five acres and features 84 energy-efficient affordable housing units, infrastructure improvements, new sidewalks, green spaces, and a playground. A new street grid enhances neighborhood connectivity. The project was named a winner of the 2019 Orchids Awards, given annually by Keep Knoxville Beautiful.

Design Innovation Architects

402 South Gay St. #201 Knoxville, TN 37902

Design Innovation Architects (DIA), established in 1989, is a company of architects and designers with a collective focus on commercial and residential projects. Its work and client service are motivated by a shared attitude of responsible stewardship in order to better integrate the design and construction of a sustainable and livable environment. Principal Faris Eid, a member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Accredited Professional, enforces sustainable approaches to the firm’s projects. Corporate settings, hotels, medical office buildings, multifamily, and mixed-use complexes are examples of its commercial work.

Regas apartment building in Knoxville, TN for Design Innovation Architects. Photo By Randy Sartin Photography.

DIA fully comprehends each client’s identity and goals for its commercial buildings, earning a Knox Heritage Preservation Award and the Chamber’s Blue Ribbon Award. The firm also infuses its mission and values into every design it produces. As a result, DIA creates fully efficient and inspirational spaces, such as Regas Square, the new mixed-use building, spanning 20,000 square feet and housing 101 units, and locate next to the Historic Regas Restaurant. The firm designed the project to incorporate its urban surroundings, with pedestrian scale lightings, walkways, trees, and outdoor spaces for retail stores.

DKLEVY Architecture and Design

3523 Maloney Rd. Knoxville, TN 37920

Since its inception in 2011, DKLEVY Architecture and Design has been an innovative and dynamic architectural practice with extensive reach and experience with projects in the commercial and residential sectors. Daniel Levy is the principal architect of the firm who leads the firm in conceptualizing design processes and listening to clients’ requirements and visions. The AIA member has led the firm to be recognized with BUILD 2021 Architecture Awards and the ACHP National Preservation Chairman’s Honor from President Obama’s appointed design jury for the best preservation project at the Guest House at Alexander Inn. The firm also won Best Senior Living Project of the Year for design and architectural work at Historic Knoxville High School. Driven by its commitment to fulfilling client needs, DKLEVY turns virtual schemes into real environments that excite users, stimulate productivity, and provide value.

The City South, one of the firm’s projects, is a premier urban living apartment building in South Knoxville’s Old Sevier district. It is located across the river fro Downtown Knoxville, and is close to shops and dining spots. The firm designed three different floorplans, and incorporated a saltwater pool, a state of the art fitness center, and rooftop lounge within the apartment.

Benefield Richters Architecture

902 N Central St., Knoxville, TN 37917

Since 1999, Benefield Richters Company has helped clients find and create spaces that bring joy and success to businesses and people in their community. Principal Amy Sherrill leads the firm in realizing their clients’ vision and goals and turning their investment into a building they love and are proud to share with the community. Since 1999, the firm has made significant contributions to the industry, earning several awards, including the 2020 Orchid Award from Keep Knoxville Beautiful and being named among the Best of the Best in Commercial Architecture by CityView Magazine for four years running.

 One of the firm’s most notable projects is the renovation of the historic Commerce Building. It features carefully restored original solid pine floors, an expansive great room with rich exposed brick, and soaring ceilings with exposed original timber beams. Stunning arched windows overlook the picturesque streetscape and skyline, allowing light to filter into state-of-the-art open gourmet kitchens. With living room ceilings at about 20 feet tall, residents have the option of constructing second-level loft space.

R2R Studio, LLC.

2575 Willow Point Way, Suite #105, Knoxville, TN 37931

A three-time winner of the Keep Knoxville Beautiful Orchid Award, R2R Studio is a highly-experienced firm that has operated for over 17 years. Founded in 2004, the firm has accomplished many projects, complex and small. It is composed of expert architects and designers all hailing from Knoxville. Founder Scott Osborn has cultivated a culture of embracing the ideas and contributions of team members as well as clients. He learned the importance of collaboration from working with renowned architects Krzysztof Bojanowski and John Sicard. By embracing a wide range of voices, the firm has developed remarkable designs.

 Such remarkable design can be seen in the Mews II project, which houses 20 alluring yet affordable condos made to convey a brownstone feel, as well as exclusive commercial space. The exterior design respects the historic context of the surrounding area. The masonry and exposed brick have traditional features along the main street but become more simplified as the building wraps the perimeter of the site. Manufactured stone and steel accents complete the exterior façade.

WystWynd Designs

401 North Forest Park Blvd. Knoxville, TN 37919

Founded in 1983, Wystwynd Designs is inspired by adventure and optimism. Its founder, Ric Mixon, has been inspired by his travels on the West Coast and in the Mojave Desert. Bringing the energy from these places back to Tennessee, Mixon built the firm with a fresh and approachable perspective. Its goal is to create moving places that exhibit excellence when it comes to design. While doing so, Mixon, a LEED Accredited Professional, employs environment-friendly methods. He continues his dedication to sustainable efforts by joining different training programs, including EarthCraft. A member of the American Institute of Architects, Mixon is involved in East Tennessee’s community development through design.

With four decades of experience in the industry, WystWynd Designs has managed a variety of projects, including retail, medical, and mixed-use developments. In the multifamily sector, the firm has handled the Davis Building project. Overlooking the beautiful Greenway in Maryville, its condominium units showcase high ceilings, exposed brick walls, ornate architectural details, and panoramic views. For each unit, the window is an essential feature that allows natural light to pour in. The building is located only a few steps from restaurants, shopping and entertainment establishments, and a library.


  • Blaine Comeione

    Blaine has served as Editor at General Contractors for six years, drawing from over ten years of experience in construction and real estate. His comprehensive understanding spans commercial construction, architecture, and home builds, cultivated through diverse roles in the industry. With four years at BuildZoom and a background as a licensed real estate agent, Blaine possesses a unique perspective that enriches his editorial work. His dedication to delivering informative content is underscored by his extensive tenure in the field, ensuring that readers receive valuable insights into the dynamic world of construction and home design. Expertise: Architecture, Commercial Construction, Home Design and Build Key Highlights: Over 6 years of experience writing and editing in the construction space, Editor at General Contractors, Previous experience at BuildZoom and Keller Williams Realty Education: Ohio University, Bachelor of Science in Human and Consumer Science - Minor in Business, 120+ Hours of New Jersey Real Estate Education, 120+ Hours of Arizona Real Estate Education