Located southeast of Los Angeles, Huntington Beach is best known for its stunning piers and beachfront properties as well as an impressive range of parks, gardens, and community spaces. There’s also the commercial district that draws shoppers from across the state, even across the country. Retail spaces can prove challenging for general contractors, considering the number of details and demands that come with them. It’s important to find qualified professionals who can manage the unique demands of retail architecture. We’ve listed ten of  Huntington Beach’s best—the architects behind some of the town’s most noteworthy commercial retail spaces. These firms were chosen for their experience, stellar portfolios, and extensive backgrounds. Several of these companies are also proud recipients of a multitude of accolades and have been featured in a variety of publications. 

Montalba Architects

2525 Michigan Avenue, Building T4, Santa Monica, CA 90404

Established in 2004, Montalba Architects is a multidisciplinary firm that derives its success from the experience and talents of its team of architects and designers. It operates out of two offices, offering its clients a comprehensive range of architectural design services. The company’s portfolio includes a diverse range of luxurious residential homes. It also provides a spectrum of retail projects, including flagship stores and showrooms. The company also offers in-house work such as graphics, branding, and merchandising services.  

The company has earned numerous American Institute of Architects (AIA) distinctions in addition to LABC Architectural Awards and Architizer A+ Awards.

The project above was completed in 2013 and embodies the firm’s talent and expertise. Completed for Bottega Veneta in Costa Mesa, this retail space spans over 4,600 and was designed in collaboration with a design team in Italy. This impressive space features custom millwork, merchandise vignettes in lacquered metal and rich walnut, suede and glass display nooks, and mirrored surfaces.

Withee Malcolm Architects

2251 W. 190th Street, Torrance, CA 90504

Headquartered in Torrance, Withee Malcolm Architects is a full-service architecture firm that specializes in an extensive range of projects. It is composed of over 40 talented and experienced professionals who have committed themselves to the highest standards. It extends its services throughout Southern and Northern California and it has had the opportunity to work on some noteworthy spaces. The firm specializes in urban infill, housing, commercial, industrial, restaurant, and hospitality-focused markets. The firm provides innovative and highly unique solutions to challenging, complex work. Withee Malcolm has been featured in various publications, including Builder and Developer Magazine and The San Fernando Valley Business Journal. The firm is also the recipient of several Gold Nugget Awards.

Located in the heart of Huntington Beach, this project was designed for a Porsche Dealership. This is only one of the firm’s multiple works for the brand across Southern California. The WM team had to provide work on both its architecture and interior design and it incorporated cutting-edge vehicle servicing technology. 


32 Executive Park, Suite 115, Irvine, CA 92614

ShubinDonaldson commits itself to innovative, creative solutions. It makes use of a highly-collaborative approach and works on both commercial and residential projects. The firm has been in the industry since 1991 and has won numerous awards including the Westside Urban Forum Merit Award and several other distinctions from the AIA. 

Located in Los Angeles, this space was designed for Murad. It serves as the brand’s flagship store and has an excellent overall layout. The firm’s team opted for a clean modernist theme, and it includes ceramic tiles, laser-cut screens, and an iconic ceiling.

Robinson Hill Architecture

3195 B Airport Loop Drive, Costa Mesa, CA 92626

Robinson Hill Architecture, Inc., is based in Orange County and licensed to practice architecture in 22 states. Although focused on retail, restaurant, hospitality, they are inspired to create public spaces that can provide enriching experiences. They search for a unique project base to sustain their well-versed and creative staff. Their service-first business model is applied at all levels to every project. The design process is site and team specific without pre-conceived concepts, making each project dynamic and unique. This collaborative approach involves all team members, ensuring the best ideas are brought forth to enrich each project.

RHA has 36 years of commercial experience with a portfolio of local, regional, and international projects diverse in scale. Their growing success can be attributed to a passion for architecture and their investment in continuing client relationships.

SMS Architects

18004 Sky Park Circle, #200, Irvine, CA 92614

Headquartered in Irvine, SMS Architects specializes in retail, mixed-use, entertainment, restaurant, and hospitality projects. It is a full-service firm that assists its clients with everything, from conceptual design all the way through to construction administration. The firm is also well-known for its innovative techniques and routinely delivers spectacular spaces. SMS is licensed to operate in all 50 states and is led by its principals, Greg Simonoff and Joseph Smart. They have a decade of experience working together and providing services throughout Southern California. Under their leadership, the company emphasizes the importance of principal involvement throughout the entire process, assuring clients that all of the firm’s projects receive the benefit of their experience. 

The project featured here is an excellent embodiment of the firm’s talent and expertise. Located in Newport Beach, it was designed for the Lido Marina Village. It spans over 116,000 square feet and showcases pedestrian-friendly boutique retail, restaurant, and office space. The firm also designed several Farmer’s markets. 

Westberg White Architecture

14471 West Chambers Road, Suite 210, Tustin, CA 92780

With over three decades of industry experience, Westberg White Architecture operates out of its office in Tustin and extends its services throughout the area surrounding it. These services include comprehensive architectural and interior design in addition to master planning and repurposing services. Its team makes use of a highly collaborative approach and assures clients that it oversees each of its projects from start to finish. It also maintains affiliations with vital organizations like the US Green Building Council (USGBC) and the AIA Orange County. 

Completed for Brooks Brothers, this project spans nearly 14,000 square feet. It entailed having to work on both its architecture, planning, and interiors as well as converting a portion of an existing clothing store. 

Lampert Dias Architects

San Clemente, CA 92672

Based out of San Clemente, Lampert Dias Architects services the entirety of Southern California and works on both commercial and residential work. Its portfolio consists of various single-family residences, historic remodels and renovations, multi-family and affordable housing work, and several other retail and senior projects. Its designs are distinct and noted for their excellent sustainable elements and holistic processes. The firm’s homes are also energy-efficient. When it comes to design, Lampert Dias builds country cottages, Spanish revivals, farmhouses, and several other traditional home styles.

Depicted here is one of the firm’s best retail spaces. Designed for Jack’s Surf Shop in Huntington Beach, this project was originally a single story brick building that was destroyed in an earthquake. The new multi-story structure now features a combination of both retail and office spaces. This project won a PCBC award for the best commercial building under 100,000 square feet.

Carlile Coatsworth Architects

18600 MacArthur Boulevard, Suite 300, Irvine, CA 92612

Operating out of its office in Irvine, Carlile Coatsworth Architects provides its clients a complete and comprehensive range of commercial architectural services. It draws inspiration from over 150 years of combined industry experience and showcases talent for various markets, including the industrial automotive and retail niches. The firm’s portfolio also includes several specialty spaces, food service stations, and tenant improvements. The project below is one of our editorial team’s favorites from its retail portfolio.

For this brand, the firm’s team employed an excellent sleek modern design. It opted for clean paneled flooring and overhead lighting. They further coupled this with excellent pillars and open shelving. 

Bundy-Finkel Architects

1120 Bristol Street, Suite 120, Costa Mesa, CA 92626

Founded in 1991, Bundy-Finkel Architects extends its services throughout Costa Mesa and the areas surrounding it. The firm is the product of the vision of its principals and namesakes, Timothy Bundy and Richard Finkel. Both first gained experience working in large firms across Orange County: they had the opportunity to experience every aspect of the entire architectural process. Under their leadership, the firm makes use of a comprehensive and open approach, which assures clients of its transparency and hands-on vision. Showcased below is one of the firm’s best. 

Located in Newport Beach, this project was designed for the city of Newport Beach and serves as its new Marina Park. It houses a multi-purpose community and sailing center. The firm closely collaborated with the experts over at Rabben Herman Design on this project.


  • 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