It is a huge responsibility to design environments where people raise their families and grow old. And it can be tough to find a skilled architect with the necessary expertise, knowledge, and care. Apart from having the experience, the architect must be well-versed with the particulars of the multifamily housing market.

To help you choose the right designer equipped to handle your building requirements, our team has listed the best multifamily architects in Santa Ana, California. 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.

Lorcan O’Herlihy Architects

4106 West Jefferson Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90016

Lorcan O’Herlihy Architects (LOHA) is an award-winning architecture and urban design firm of twenty-five talented designers with offices in Los Angeles and Detroit. LOHA seeks to elevate the human condition via the built environment, operating on the belief that architecture functions within a layered context of political, environmental, and social structures. The firm works with a diverse group of stakeholders to deliver large-scale neighborhood plans, large mixed-use developments, supportive housing, and university residential complexes. LOHA has built over 100 projects across three continents and has been recognized with over 100 awards, including the American Institute of Architects (AIA) California Distinguished Practice Award and the AIA LA Firm of the Year Award.

Lorcan O’Herlihy, founder and design principal of LOHA, embraces architecture as a catalyst of change. Each project exhibits Lorcan’s mindset that artistry and social connectivity are key to building vibrant spaces. The Architectural League of New York selected him as one of the eight “emerging voices” in the United States in 2006.

Driven by O’Herlihy’s passion and creative vision, LOHA has built a robust portfolio of work that includes Jeanette301. The five-story apartment complex houses a community of live-work studios with shared workshops and social spaces designed to facilitate and promote a collaborative living environment. Interconnected courtyards serve as a bridge to the surrounding community and balance the interior and outdoor networks.

SVA Architects

6 Hutton Centre Drive, Suite 1150, Santa Ana, CA 92707

SVA Architects has specialized in architectural design and planning for over 18 years, partnering with public and private clients in California and across the western United States. It has worked on a number of high-profile civic, cultural, educational, mixed-use, residential, military, and commercial projects that enhance wellness for both users and the larger community.

Partner and President Robert M. Simons has 30 years of experience: he has designed and planned multi-use institutional facilities, hospitality, design-build developments, and projects born from public-private partnerships. The AIA member is responsible for the nationally-lauded Celadon at 9th & Broadway which received a Global Award for Excellence and Healthy Places Award from the Urban Land Institute (ULI). In addition, Robert’s designs have received recognition from the Coalition of Adequate Student Housing (CASH) and the AIA California Council (AIACC). Meanwhile, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Ernesto Vasquez incorporates smart-growth principles in creating socially and environmentally responsible living spaces. The community advocate is a Fellow of the AIA and serves on the boards of BRIDGE Housing and the National Parks Foundation. 

The two partners have instilled the value of collaboration and sustainability in SVA, resulting in the design of Avalon Walnut Creek. The mixed-use urban community features market-rate and affordable apartments, rental townhomes, retail space, and commercial office space. Residents benefit from a pedestrian-friendly setting with close proximity to goods, services, and convenient multimodal public transportation.

TCA Architects

18821 Bardeen Avenue, Irvine, CA 92612

Inspired by cultural narrative and evolutionary design, TCA Architects is dedicated to creating experiences that champion community and promote forward-thinking change. From a complete evaluation of the opportunities and constraints of each site, TCA explores various ideas through design illustrations in order to generate a “Big Idea.” The overall fabric of a project and its spatial relationship—including façades and a range of construction materials—are then identified. Then clients can experience the resulting architecture through sketches, 3-D models, and photorealistic renderings. 

Aram Chahbazian, AIA, is the President and CEO of TCA. He draws from over 32 years of experience in multi-family design and mixed-use properties. Under his leadership, TCA Architects has completed landmark mixed-use and high-density housing projects, such as G-12 and Olive in downtown Los Angeles (LA) and the Camden in Hollywood. A Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Accredited Professional, his work has been recognized by the AIA, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), and the Pacific Coast Builders Conference (PCBC). 

La Placita Cinco, an inclusive community that reinvigorates a 50-year-old retail center, is one of TCA Architects’ finest pieces of work. The project consists of family-oriented affordable homes, outdoor amenities, and a repurposed commercial center. The former gas station and a portion of the parking lot were replaced with a mixed-use building with bedroom apartment homes and ground-floor community space.

Studio One Eleven

245 East Third Street, Long Beach, CA 90802

Studio One Eleven offers architecture, landscape, and urban design services geared towards making urban communities more sustainable and vibrant. Its team draws inspiration from the history, climate, culture, and context throughout the design process of each project. Alan Pullman, the founder of Studio One Eleven, puts 30 years of architecture and urban design experience into practice guiding design teams on mixed-use, urban infill, and adaptive reuse projects. He holds membership with the AIA and ULI, where he serves on the Urban Revitalization Council. He sits as a board member for Downtown Long Beach Associates and is an advisor to the 4th Street Merchant Association. Senior principal Michael Bohn is a member of the AIA and ULI as well. He leads several market-rate and affordable housing projects, including many transit-oriented developments and public intervention efforts. Sharing a passion for urban revitalization, Alan and Michael are advocacy leaders actively participating in community re-development. Studio One Eleven’s adaptive reuse work on the Santa Ana Arts Collective (SAAC) is a good example.

The team repurposed a 1965 international style office building into affordable studio, one-, two-, and three-bedroom live-work lofts. The redevelopment integrates residences, arts programming, and transportation improvements to further uplift the Main Street Cultural Corridor. Within easy walking distance to Santa Ana’s arts institutions, SAAC includes art studio spaces, a dance studio, an art gallery, two music studios, and other arts-focused amenities for both residents and the public.

William Hezmalhalch Architects

680 Newport Center Drive, Suite 300, Newport Beach, CA 92660

William Hezmalhalch Architects (WHA) is a multidisciplinary firm of architects, planners, and designers that manage every aspect of the architectural process to fulfill a client’s goals. With almost 40 years in the business, WHA has formed strong ties with subcontractors and collaborated with agencies, builders, and developers through design, budgets, codes, entitlement, and construction documentation.

Bill Hezmalhalch is the President of WHA. His four decades of hands-on experience spans a wide range of residential building types including custom, luxury, and resort properties, as well as single-family conventional, high-density detached, and attached homes. Hezmalhalch is affiliated with the AIA and accredited by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB). He was inducted into the William S. Marvin Hall of Fame for Design Excellence as well as the California Homebuilding Foundation Hall of Fame. He has been sought out as a speaker at many premier industry conferences and has led WHA into winning a Best of 55+ Housing Award from the NAHB.

This affordable housing development is an outstanding representative of WHA’s long portfolio of multifamily projects. Grand staircases lead residents and visitors from the street up to courtyard-oriented townhouses, landscaped walkways, a tot-lot, a BBQ, and sitting areas. A community kitchen, a computer lab, multi-purpose rooms, an outdoor living room, a fireplace, and common laundry facilities can be found in the Resident Building. Open retail and guest parking are provided to ensure visibility and ease of access.