Located in the picturesque Puget Sound and its surrounding mountains and forests, Seattle is Washington’s urban gem and home to an ever-growing tech industry. This list showcases ten of Seattle’s best and leading residential architects. These firms are behind some of the area’s most impressive and elegant homes and were chosen based on their outstanding portfolios, unique backgrounds, and varying skill sets.


Olson Kundig

159 South Jackson St Ste 600, Seattle, WA 98104

Under the collective supervision of five talented architects, Olson Kundig Architecture consists of 12 principals, 15 associates, and a staff of over 175 people. The firm operates out of its headquarters in downtown Seattle and has also opened an office in New York. The firm has even gone beyond the East Coast; the firm’s resume now includes a long list of international projects. Unlike most firms on this list, Olson Kundig has its own in-house interior studio that provides a full range of services from material and furniture selection to other customization work. The firm also has its own landscape design studio, which focuses on integrating a home’s design into its respective environment. Olson Kundig works closely with some of the area’s best artists and craftspeople; the result is authentic work personalized to each client. 

Featured above is one of the firm’s best homes. Located in Northern Seattle, this project entailed having to work on the extensive remodel of this home, which dates back to the 1970s. The firm’s team combined its living and dining areas with a large, off-center pivoting steel door coupled with a minimalist color palette. This anchors the home’s themes on cooking and dining, both formally and informally.


Sundberg Kennedy Ly-Au Young Architects

1501 E. Madison St Ste 205, Seattle, WA 98122

Founded in 2012, Sundberg Kennedy Ly-Au Young Architects is a Seattle-based practice that specializes in community-led inclusive design. The company is composed of a tight-knit and collaborative of architects and designers. They are led by the company’s founders, Gladys Ly-Au Young, Rick Sundberg, and John Kennedy, under whose leadership the company has won countless industry accolades and garnered an excellent reputation for the firm. From time to time, the company provides stellar in-house pro bono programs, whose primary aim is to provide architectural design services to under-served communities. 

Featured above is the firm’s work on the Sunset Hill residence. Located in Ballard, this project’s main residence spans around 3,067 square feet, while its accessory dwelling unit and garage are just around over one thousand square feet. The project is a two-story home and showcases excellent grand timber construction and custom wood casework.


Coates Design Architects

900 Winslow Way E #210, Bainbridge Island, WA 98110

Operating out of its office in Bainbridge Island, Coates Design Architecture + Interiors is composed of 14 talented professionals who provide professional design services for commercial, civic, residential, and healthcare projects throughout the country. The firm’s partner and namesake, Matthew Coates, first achieved international acclaim by winning the “Cradle to Cradle (C2C)” Home Design Competition in 2005. Matthew established his own firm with a vision of responsible and highly sustainable design and architecture. His team all have design, construction, and fine arts backgrounds, allowing them to craft excellent design solutions to otherwise complex projects. 

Showcased above is one of the firm’s best renovations located in Seattle. For this home, the firm was challenged with what it calls an extensive “lifestyle correction” due to the many changes the clients wanted for their home. As a result, the firm’s team removed several walls and raised ceilings, created an open-concept floorplan, and installed floor heating. Other details include the home’s all-new recycled glass tile, landscaping, and touches of Asian influences.


b9 Architects

610 2nd Ave, Seattle, WA 98104

b9 Architects has had the opportunity to work in some of Seattle’s best and most sought-after communities. It takes great pride in its comprehensive design and highly hands-on approach, which have resulted in timeless spaces. The firm assists with everything, which includes assisting with permits, conceptual and schematic design, and project documentation. At the firm’s helm is its founder and principal, Bradley Khouri. He holds a master’s degree in architecture from Harvard and focuses on the intersection of education, policy, design innovation, sustainability, and real estate development. Featured below is an excellent embodiment of the firm’s work. 

Completed back in 2019, this three-story single home showcases an impressive contemporary design. Inside, it contains four bedrooms and three and a half bathrooms. The firm also worked on the home’s basement and attached garage.


Studio AM Architects

1501 Western Ave Ste 200, Seattle, WA 98101

With decades of industry experience, Studio AM Architects offers its clients a full range of architectural services. It specializes in custom residential design and interiors and is best known for its traditional, contemporary, and blended styles. The firm describes itself as a small boutique firm, which assures its clients of its hands-on and personalized approach for each project that it takes on. At the firm’s helm are its founders, Aaron Mollick and Michael Troyer. Mollick holds a master’s degree from Tulane University and is best known for his contributions to the high-end custom residential and boutique commercial markets. As for Troyer, he received his Bachelor of Science in Marketing and Management from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business in 1981, in addition to his degree in Architecture and Environmental Design from Ball State University. 

Photo by Haris Kenjar

Featured above is an excellent example of the firm’s talent and expertise. Located in the heart of Seattle, this project entailed having to work on an extensive interior remodel of a two-story Federal style residence. Some of its most impressive elements include its attic and basement level improvements, a new kitchen, powder room, and bathrooms.


Kor Architects

1725 Westlake Ave N Ste 150, Seattle, WA 98109

Kor Architects extends its services throughout Seattle and is highly regarded for its stellar and complete range of residential architecture services. The firm’s work has been featured in excellent publications like 

Luxe Pacific Northwest and Mountain Living. At the firm’s helm is its principal and founder Matthew Kent. He draws inspiration from nearly three decades of industry experience. Kent holds a degree in architecture from the University of Washington. Featured below is one of the company’s best works. 

Spanning over 3,081 square feet, this Seattle Penthouse provides its owners with sweeping views of the city and Puget Sound. Its living and dining spaces showcase high wood slat ceilings, a custom two-sided fireplace, and excellent custom cabinetry.


Thielsen Architects

720 Market St Ste C, Kirkland, WA 98033

Thielsen Architects works out of its office in Kirkland and describes itself as a design-oriented film that commits itself to the highest standards. The firm is best known for its traditional and contemporary spaces. Its comprehensive services include working on feasibility studies, site analyses, programming, preliminary design, and design development. At the firm’s helm is its founder and namesake, David Nielsen. He draws inspiration from nearly four decades of industry experience and has worked in public, commercial, and custom residential architecture. Showcased below is one of the company’s best homes. 

This project spans nearly 5,000 square feet and contains four bedrooms and four bathrooms. The home offers its residents panoramic views of the nearby Lake Washington and the Cascade Mountains. Some other great details include its exterior forms in wood, stone, metal, and glass.


Fivedot

1128 Poplar Pl S – Ste 210, Seattle, WA 98144

Headquartered in Seattle, Fivedot works both locally and globally and is experienced in every aspect of the entire process. The firm has completed projects in over ten countries and three continents. It makes use of a highly collaborative approach and is regarded for its comprehensive design-build process, which allows it to keep the entire process in-house. Since its establishment, the company has worked on countless outstanding educational facilities, libraries, and community health clinics. Featured below is one of the firm’s best projects. 

Located in the Greenlake neighborhood of Seattle, this custom home pays homage to an orchard that used to run the entirety of the area back in the early 1900s. It features seamless indoor-outdoor spaces, three large water cisterns that collect rainwater, and large sustainable windows.


Whitney Architecture

2851 NW 64th St, Seattle, WA 98107

Whitney Architecture works out of its office in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle. It works in and around the area and describes itself as a small independent company that has had the opportunity to take on projects throughout the Pacific Northwest. The firm is composed of a talented and experienced team of professionals, who make sure that each of the firm’s work receives a tailored process that will accommodate each of their unique needs. 

Showcased above is the company’s best residential project. Located in Viewridge, this project features an excellent modern design. Some of its best details include its minimalist finishes, clean lines, and wood-paneled flooring. 

Author

  • 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