Also known as the Seven Cities, Hampton Roads is a hub for outdoor activities with friends and family. It has a well-earned reputation as the home of the American Music Festival, and it has developed quite the retail scene as a result: many outlet shops to cater to visitors. Our editorial team decided to list some of the architects who have designed spaces for this bustling city.

Aside from being award-winning companies with recognition from industry publications, these firms are also members of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), and Hamptons Road Chamber. The quality firms are more than capable of providing Hampton Roads with the retail shops that reflect the city’s ambiance.


Cox, Kliewer & Company

2533 Virginia Beach Blvd., Virginia Beach, VA 23452

A strong orientation towards teamwork combined with a dedication to design quality: this work ethic helped Cox, Kliewer & Company craft over 25 million-square-feet of enclosed spaces which includes multi-family structures, offices, retail, and hospitality projects. Among these is Pembroke Mall which required renovations and a tenant upfit. One of the first malls in the Eastern seaboard, the project included designing a total street-front renovation of the mall, including the signs and streetscape improvements along Virginia Beach boulevard.

Over the years, the firm has designed many other projects like Pembroke Mall. Some have even been deemed award-winning, gathering honors for the firm. These projects also led to recognition from publications like Virginia Business Magazine, Virginia Pilot, and 13 News Now. 

HBA Architecture & Interior Design

One Columbus Center, Suite #1000, Virginia Beach, VA 23462

Established in 1974, HBA Architecture & Interior Design is known for designing plans for various markets. After years of honing its skills, the firm has a portfolio of projects from the government, civic, health, industrial, operational,  living, learning, entertainment, and retail markets. Along the plethora of projects, its most notable work is Bayside Harley-Davidson. Located on Frederick Boulevard near the on-ramp to eastbound I-264 in Portsmouth, this new motorcycle sales and service facility replaced the existing Bayside Harley-Davidson facility on High Street in Portsmouth. Alongside the main sales and service building that consists of a pre-engineered metal building system, the project included a five-story motorcycle display tower found near the interstate for maximum exposure.

Since the facility was developed for multiple outdoor uses, it also has a large, paved motorcycle training area and multi-surface training trail. Being exposed to crafting projects such as the Bayside Harley-Davidson building helped the firm gain more experience to gain recognition from publications like The Lane Report, The Daily Progress, Charlottesville Tomorrow, and Richmond Biz Sense. 

Retnauer Baynes Associates

432 Battlefield Blvd., Suite #101, Chesapeake, VA 23322

An award-winning architectural design, BIM, and visualizations firm, Retnauer Baynes Associates is one of Hampton Road’s design leaders. After designing projects in various markets which include the residential, multi-family, religious, hospitality, industrial, public works, and commercial markets, this firm has been recognized in magazines like Virginian Pilot and Richmond Biz Sense. It was also awarded the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce’s 2016 award for Small Business of the Year. 

Currently, the firm is led by CEO Sandra Baynes and founding principal Thomas Retnauer. While Retnauer is a graduate of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and is an EarthCraft certified professional, Baynes was presented the Chesapeake Economic Development Business Leadership Award for Outstanding Vision, Dedication, and Commitment to Excellence in the Hampton Roads Business Community in 2010. Combining their experience and skills, Retnauer Baynes Associates has the capability to produce top tier projects. 

RRMM Architects

1317 Executive Blvd., Suite #200, Chesapeake, VA 23320

Licensed in 49 states, this 32-year old firm has a diverse portfolio that includes projects for the K-12, higher education, public safety, federal, housing, and retail markets. RRMM Architects has worked with many national retail clients such as Dollar Tree, Family Dollar, DTLR, LifeWay Christian Stores, Ferguson, Mcdonalds, Taco Bell, Total Wine, 7-Eleven, and many other local retailers.

Its relations with Fortune 131 giant DollarTree, in particular, is quite the notable one since the two have been working together for 30 years. Since 1991, the firm has completed over 5,000 new and renovated stores across the country which vary in sizes from 3,000 square feet to 15,000 square feet.

Projects like these are handled by COO/Architect Donna Elliott who has extensive knowledge in retail design, including new and renovated facilities, shopping centers, and mall spaces. She has also been highly praised by company CEO and president, Duane Harver who highlighted Elliott and the retail team’s exceptional customer service.

The Design Collaborative

424 W 21st St., Norfolk, VA 23517

For 44 years, The Design Collaborative has been known for its leadership in energy-efficient building design. The firm has a list of local and regional clients which includes Toyota, Infiniti, and Honda. Alongside projects for these brand names, The Design Collaborative’s most notable work is the Pier Shops at 15th. A 70,000-square-foot two-story shopping mall on Atlantic Avenue in Virginia Beach’s oceanfront resort area, it received an Honor Award for Commercial Development from the Virginia Beach Planning Commission.

Alongside this project, the firm is also experienced in designing offices, mixed-use buildings, and automotive dealerships that have led to the firm being recognized by publications like Southside Daily Publication, Virginian Pilot, and Op Ed News.