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Considered the cultural and arts center of Oklahoma, Tulsa is a bustling city that boasts a beautiful history and a continuously growing economy. Forbes has named it one of America’s most livable large cities because of its potential for income growth and affordable cost of living. Businesses have been setting up shop in Tulsa to accommodate its growing population. These businesses trust local and nationally acclaimed architects to help further their brand identity through thoughtfully-designed stores, markets, and structures.
This list features the top ten architects in Tulsa that are capable of providing high-quality architectural services for retail businesses. Our team selected them based on their portfolio, awards, press recognition, years in business, and principals, among others.
1400 S Trenton Ave., Tulsa, OK 74120
James Boswell came into the Tulsa retail architectural scene in 1996 when he established his firm, Boswell Architect. Boswell was already a practicing architect with three decades of experience and a diverse portfolio of projects. He has worked on residential and commercial projects, including restaurants, offices, mixed-use buildings, and entertainment venues. His philosophy is ‘keep it simple’ — letting form, function, and style shape the uniqueness of each end product. His boutique design firm and its projects have been recognized by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) – Oklahoma.
Boswell designed the remodel of this iconic Tulsa business — Reeder’s Auto & Tire. The firm planned a new layout that enlarges and elevates the current convenience store. Donned in its iconic red and white palette, the more modern version of this family-owned business is more accessible and functional for customers. The addition of a new tower also gives the center a presence from the street.
CJC Architects, Inc.
1401 South Denver Ave., Suite B, Tulsa, OK 74119
CJC Architects Inc. is an architecture and construction-oriented firm that specializes in innovative practices conducted by a highly qualified staff of design professionals. Over its 60 years in the business, it has amassed an extensive list of repeat clientele that includes municipal, county, and state governments; colleges and universities; school districts; major corporations; church boards; hospitals; and private citizens. The firm is led by Tim Boeckman whose more than 20 years of experience has rendered him an authority in architectural design, project management, and construction administration.
CJC Architects is known for its use of the latest technology in design and architecture. It has a full range of computer capabilities and experience including the latest in Building Information Management (BIM) software, 3-D building modeling, CAD database extraction, and more.
In the featured project, the firm collaborated with Red Dog Construction in the design-build of Fiesta Pools’ new retail center. As the prime design consultant, CJC worked closely with the owner and builder to design the exterior and exterior building to suit the project’s financial and functional requirements. It features additional lease space for other tenants as well.
201 W 5th St., Suite #302, Tulsa, OK 74103
Since 1963, premier architecture studio, Crafton Tull, has been contributing tailored architectural work to the built environment across Oklahoma. It has eight locations across the state and in Arkansas, allowing it to strategically answer every client’s need in civil engineering, surveying, architecture, landscape architecture, and planning. From roads and highways to commercial buildings and institutions, Crafton Tull has had success in various projects. It has earned Arkansan Engineering Excellence Awards and Oklahoma Engineering Excellence Awards.
The company began with the partnership of Bob Crafton and Lem Tull — former employees of the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department who set out to build their own firm. Decades later, Bob’s son, Matt Crafton, joined the company after serving as a civil engineer in the U.S. Air Force. Matt would eventually rise up the ranks and now serves as President and CEO of the firm. Matt is a LEED Accredited Professional and a past president of the American Council of Engineering Companies of Arkansas.
Hahn, one of Tulsa’s oldest appliance dealers and one of the largest in the nation, sought Crafton Tull’s architectural expertise for its new retail center and warehouse complex. The firm provided full design services for the new facility and flagship location.
810 S Cincinnati Ave., Suite #200, Tulsa, OK 74119
With eight disciplines under one roof and more than 2,500 projects completed across 48 states, Cyntergy has established itself as one of the leaders in the design industry. It started as a three-man, one-phone business with founder Ken Hirshey at the helm. Over the years, the firm has expanded into a multidisciplinary firm offering full-services in architecture, engineering, and construction administration.
With all major design services done in-house, the firm offers a vital connection between team, owner, and contractor. Its talented project managers, estimators, and support staff collaborate with the finest architects and engineers to provide superior quality work. Notably, these are also multiple LEED-certified architects and engineers that focus on the latest sustainable and creative design practices.
Cyntergy serves the local community as well as national clients in a variety of projects: retail, restaurant, commercial, education, government, and religious. It is relied on by many retail businesses, including marketplaces and big-box supermarkets for their design and construction needs. Some of its repeat clients are Walmart, Dollar General, and Best Buy.
1820 S Boulder Ave., Suite 400, Tulsa, OK 74119
Buck Davies founded Davies Architects in 1985 after 10 years of working for his father’s firm. As a second-generation architect, he possesses the technical skills and creative know-how in a variety of facility types and possesses a broad resume of successful projects. He leads Davis Architects in providing smart design solutions that produce facilities that are easily maintained, adaptable, and functional.
Versatility is one attribute that draws in clients for Davies Architects. While the firm is mostly known for its architectural work for healthcare facilities and hospitals, it is also adept at retail design. It has designed more than 20 Car Max Superstores throughout the U.S. as well as stores for Walmart, Old Navy, and Tanger Outlet Malls. Featured here is one of its works for Borders Books and Music.
8801 South Yale Ave., Suite #100, Tulsa OK, 74137
As one of the oldest firms on this list, JCJ Architecture holds a wealth of experience and a fine-tuned design process that has made it an authority in commercial architecture. The firm has evolved over the years but remains the trusted firm it has been since its founding in Hartford in 1936. This 100% employee-owned company currently has offices located in Boston, Hartford, New York City, Las Vegas, Phoenix, San Diego, and Tulsa. Its areas of expertise include adaptive re-use, retail, commercial, corporate, hospitality, and education.
Most of the firm’s retail projects can be found in various airports across the country. It focuses on providing outstanding retail and food experiences for travelers. Its clients praise the firm for maintaining a high degree of budget and schedule certainty and for implementing projects efficiently within tightly regulated environments.
2200 South Utica Place, Suite #200, Tulsa, OK 74114
Arkansas-native Andy Kinslow started Integrated Space Design in 1989 after working as an architect in Florida for two years. A decade later, he merged his firm with Keith and Todd Architects to form a full-service architect and interior design firm. As the company grew, it rebranded as KKT Architects and is now under the leadership of Kinslow and Sarah Gould. The firm contributed greatly to the built environment of Tulsa, with notable projects including the Unit Corp. headquarters, the Woody Guthrie Center, Tulsa Historical Society, the Zarrow Center for Art and Education, and the Tulsa Children’s Museum Discovery Lab. Its projects have been featured on TulsaPeople and Oklahoma Magazine.
Rustic Cuff came to KKT for their retail design expertise. KKT studied the online accessories brand and interpreted its identity within its first brick-and-mortar space. The firm took Rustic Cuff motifs and incorporated them into the design, color palette, and materials. Brick and reclaimed wood serve as the backdrop for modern elements, including glossy surfaces and frosted acrylics. KKT also worked closely with Rustic Cuff to create custom-designed branded display fixtures.
Selser Schaefer Architects
2002 East 6th St., Tulsa, OK 74104
Guided by its ‘people-first’ philosophy, Selser Schaefer Architects has a reputation as a personable architecture firm capable of providing technical and creative expertise in design and construction. This multi-awarded firm touts specialties in retail, office, commercial, restaurant, and historic preservation design. Founded by Janet Selser and Robert Schaefer in 1993, it is now populated by multi-accredited architects and design professionals efficient in diverse bodies of work. It has earned local, regional, and national awards from the AIA, American Public Works Association, Associated General Contractors of America, and Associated Builders and Contractors. It was also hailed by Oklahoma Magazine readers as Best Architect/Commercial Firm.
As one of Oklahoma’s leaders in retail design, many businesses come to Selser Schaefer Architects to save millions of dollars on successful projects. From site-adapting a proven prototypical machine to designing a unique concept, its vast retail architecture knowledge allows it to create a wide array of retail projects: grocery stores, quick-serve restaurants, retail developments, and box retailers. One of the firm’s retail projects, The Boxyard, earned a 2018 Merit Award for Urban Design Excellence from the AIA Eastern Oklahoma. This small-scale development made from repurposed shipping containers brings a communal space to small local retailers in Downtown Tulsa.
SGA Design Group
1437 S. Boulder Ave., Suite #550, Tulsa, OK 74119
A pioneer in retail design and architecture, SGA Design Group has spent more than two decades contributing groundbreaking and innovative design services to a wide variety of companies across the U.S. It is one of the pioneers of the ‘prototype’ for retail rollouts, convenience stores, supermarkets, marketplaces, and automotive showrooms. The firm has completed more than 5000 projects coast to coast — most of them are volume programs built on continuous trust with the client.
The company’s success is carried out by its highly-trained technical staff of over 95 people, including 30 licensed architects, and more than 15 LEED Accredited Professionals. SGA Design Group operates from its headquarters in Tulsa as well as an additional office in Arkansas.
The firm has long been the preferred design studio of many national retailers for their prototypes, brick-and-mortar stores, and other design-build projects. Its impressive list of clients includes Best Buy, Cabela’s, Walmart, Kohl’s, Lowe’s, Target, AKIN’s, and Texaco, to name a few.