Torrance is home to one of the largest malls in the United States, which is Del Amo Fashion Center, a 2.5 million-square-foot retail space. Within the shopping center are known retailers such as Kate Spade, Michael Kors, Uniqlo, and Hugo Boss.
To make a retail experience more unique for customers, companies need an architectural firm that can work closely with them from conceptualization to completion. In this list are some of the best retail architects in Torrance with many years of experience, awards, and publications.
245 East Third St. Long Beach, CA 90802
Established in 1979, RDC is a reputable architectural firm that’s worked for clients like Whole Foods, Rhone, and Jenni Kayne Home. With 40 years of experience in the industry, it’s developed strong client relationships and a holistic approach to designing for retail stores. The President and CEO of RDC, Brad Williams, American Institute of Architects (AIA), joined the firm in 1999 and has since worked on high-density retail development projects. Along with Williams are principals Mitra Esfandiari, AIA, and Branko Prebanda.
RDC is a WELL GOLD-accredited firm with Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) accredited projects. The firm has received several awards, including the 2022 Merit Award for Interior Architecture, the 2021 “Best of Year” Award, and the 2021 Interior Design Best of Year Award. RDC was also featured in different publications like Del Mar Times, Architect Magazine, and The Business Journals.
Other than the Del Amo Fashion Center, a known project of RDC is the Erewhon branch in Santa Monica. The 12,000-square-foot grocery store was a renovation project from the original tenant in 1993. Now, the space features a contemporary theme with an outdoor terrace, large open windows, and skylights. The entire store has beautiful lighting cast from Santa Monica’s well-known sunny location.
6330 San Vicente Blvd. Suite #200, Los Angeles, CA 90048
With 76 years of experience, Gruen Associates is known as one of the legacy architectural firms in Los Angeles. As seen in its impressive portfolio, the firm has worked on several landmark projects since it was founded by the legendary Victor Gruen. Gruen was an Austrian architect who spearheaded the designs of shopping malls in the United States. Now, the firm is led by Michael A. Enomoto, a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects (FAIA) who joined the firm in 1973 and then was appointed as Managing Partner in 2009.
Gruen Associates provides creative solutions through retail architecture, superior planning, retail architecture, urban design, and more. Gruen Associates has won over 250 awards, including the 2021 Design Award for Adaptive Reuse/Renovation/Historic Preservation from the Southern California Development Forum for its work on the Tower Theatre. It has also received the 2021 Award of Merit for Interiors from Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) SoCal Illumination Awards for its project on John Reed Fitness. The firm was also featured in Bloomberg, Archinect, and Architectural Record.
One of Gruen Associates’ notable projects is the luxury men’s boutique, Brioni, located in Beverly Hills. It is a 2,750-square-foot space featuring a vibrant Verde Alpi marble and a black powder-coated facade. The interior walls are lined with fabric panels and wood boiserie. At the back wall of the space is a custom-woven tapestry by MITA, a renowned Genoese textile manufacturer. The lounge area of the boutique has vintage furniture from the 1950s and 1960s by Achille Castiglione and Carlo Scarpa.
1990 S Bundy Dr. Suite #400, Los Angeles, CA 90025
Founded in 1973, Nadel Architects has become one of the well-respected firms in the country. After being in the industry for over 49 years, the firm has built lasting relationships with clients through strategic planning and effective consulting services.
The president, Patrick Winters, AIA, LEED AP, has 35 years of industry experience, mostly on mixed-use and urban development, with a focus on sustainability. Winters has extensive experience in historic preservation, enabling him to provide innovative solutions for community needs in every project. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts and Studio Art and a master’s degree in Architecture from the University of California, Berkeley.
The firm received the 2021 Los Angeles Business Council’s (LABC) Architecture Design Award for its work on Freedom Plaza. In 2017, it was given the Preservation Award for the Kinross Cornerstone, a preserved dining and shipping center. Its projects have been featured in Los Angeles Business Journal, Archinect, and Curbed LA.
Azalea is one of its retail projects, located in South Gate, California and completed in 2014. The 32-acre open-air development includes retail tenants such as Walmart, Ulta, Marshall’s, and Ross Dress for Less. Besides retail stores, it also includes fresco dining, landscaping, and water features in Azalea. The parking lot can accommodate over 1,900 vehicles.
Studio One Eleven
245 E 3rd St. Long Beach, CA 90802
Dedicated to building vibrant communities, Studio One Eleven is focused on architecture, landscaping, and urban design services. Since 2000, the firm has made each project more sustainable for the community. For design planning, the firm gives a careful assessment of the history behind the location and how to cultivate the space while preserving its past.
Led by the founder, Alan Pullman, AIA, the firm is focused on mixed-use, urban infill, and adaptive reuse projects. Pullman is a member of both AIA and ULI, where he serves for the Urban Revitalization Council. He’s also a board member of the Downtown Long Beach Associated and a partner in East Village Associates. Pullman obtained his bachelor’s degree in Architecture from Syracuse University and an MSc in Cities from The London School of Economics.
Studio One Eleven received numerous awards for its work on The Bloc. In 2016, it was awarded the LABC Chairman’s Award and the LABC Architectural Design Award – Under Construction. In 2017, it received the Los Angeles Business Journal (LABJ) Commercial Real Estate Awards – Silver Award for Retail. The firm was also mentioned in publications such as Long Beach Post, Los Angeles Business Journal, and ArchDaily for its impressive projects.
The Bloc is one of its well-known projects. It’s a 450,000-square-foot urban redevelopment focused on city street life and the diversity in Los Angeles. The development features outdoor promenades, plazas, and terraces with flexible furnishings for programmed events. This promotes the idea of community in a city that’s lively and full of people. The Bloc is a Transit Oriented Development (TOD) site located in the middle of rail lines, bus networks, and bike sharing.
392 Camino de Estrella, San Clemente, CA 92672
Foxlin Architects was founded in 2005, after its co-founders Juintow Lin and Michael Fox met a second time, 20 years after meeting at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The firm started on a few residential projects, and after relocating to Southern Orange County, it expanded into a full-service architectural office catering to the greater LA area.
Michael Fox, AIA, National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARDB) is a full-time professor at California Polytechnic State University Pomona. Fox was also twice elected as President of the Association of Computer Aided Design in Architecture (ACADIA). Meanwhile, Juintow Lin is a registered architect and LEED-accredited professional. Lin was a Research Fellow at MIT for Sustainable Urban Housing in China. In the same institution, she received her undergraduate and graduate degrees.
Foxlin Architects is a recipient of the 2019 Best of San Clemente Award. It was featured in Archinect and San Clemente Times.
One of the firm’s remarkable retail projects is the Morning Lavender Retail and Tea House, completed in 2017. The 2,689-square-feet development is a flagship store of the online boutique founded in San Francisco. The retail store offers a bright and airy location that speaks to its brand identity, which is focused on wedding-related products and clothing. The store offers an in-house tea shop for guests to enjoy pastries and sandwiches. The outdoor space is decorated with tables for events and showers.
Satoh Brothers International, Inc.
19750 S. Vermont Ave. Suite #100, Torrance, CA 90502
A multigenerational family-owned firm, Satoh Brothers International, Inc. has been in the industry for over 109 years. The firm originated in Japan before offering construction and architectural services in the country 30 years ago. The start of the firm can be traced to Mr. Koichi Satoh, a founding member of early modern Japanese Architecture. Satoh received his education in Europe and was inspired by Gothic architecture. Satoh is recognized for introducing Western architectural influences to Japan.
Satoh Brothers International, Inc. has worked with different clients including Toyota Motor Sales, Citizen Watch Company, and The Carson Companies. One of its well-known projects is the Muji store in Santa Monica. It’s an 8,500-square-foot retail store with renovations including electrical, structural, and plumbing. The previous structure was added with a second-floor mezzanine, wall paneling with vintage wood planks, and industrial-style decorative steel beams.