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The Best Commercial Architects in Seattle

15 Min Read

Seattle commercial architecture combines a mastery of community integration, urban design innovation, large-scale rehabilitation, and valued linkages between landscape and design-scape. The firms mentioned below are Seattle-based companies that have managed multiple notable Seattle projects. They have shaped Seattle’s universities, highrises, tech campuses, hospitals, and civic icons. Some of these businesses have global influence, while others are significant advocates of Seattle and Bainbridge Island culture and style.

Take a peek at these top contractors before making the big decision. In addition to the style and quality of the structures erected, each builder was assessed based on several factors, including professional history, customer satisfaction, and acknowledgment from numerous professional organizations.

Olson Kundig

159 South Jackson Street, Suite 600, Seattle, WA 98104

Now in its sixth decade of practice, Olson Kundig is a collaborative design practice led by 14 principal/owners whose work includes cultural and museum projects, exhibition design, commercial and mixed-use design (including wineries and sports facilities), private and multi-family residential, hospitality projects, places of worship, interior design, product design and landscape design. With deep roots in the Pacific Northwest, the firm and its team of over 250 work with clients around the world.

Project by Olson Kundig; Photography by Rafael Soldi

The firm’s works and designers have received the AIA National Architecture Firm Award, the Seattle Medal of Honor, the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt National Design Award, and the Academy Award in Architecture from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Jim Olson and Tom Kundig were recognized by the Interior Design Hall of Fame in 2012. The business has been recognized as one of Fast Company’s Top Ten Most Innovative Companies in Architecture four times. Olson Kundig includes interior design and master planning / landscape design services, which allows the firm to carry big ideas down to the smallest details, giving coherence to the entire experience of the built environment.


1101 Second Avenue, Suite 100, Seattle, WA 98101

MG2, a global architecture and design firm, has been creating award-winning client experiences and communities for more than 50 years. The firm creates unique community environments, consumer experiences, and client programs by combining strategy and technical competence with brand strategy and program consulting. MG2 worked with some of the most recognizable companies, such as several Fortune 500 corporations and name-brand DTC retailers.

Project by MG2

MG2 CEO Mitch Smith, AIA and President Russ Hazzard, AIA have expanded the firm to include six offices is Seattle, New York, Washington D.C., Minneapolis, Irvine, and Shanghai, China which totaled to about 450 employees. MG2 has been featured in The New York Times, Development Magazine, Retail Brew, WWD, Hotel Management, The Wall Street Journal, and Restaurant Development + Design. It was also awarded the Fast Company Innovation Design Award for their work in retail design.

For more information, you can visit their website here.

LMN Architects

801 2nd Avenue, Suite 501, Seattle, WA 98104

Project by LMN Architects

George Loschky, Judsen Marquardt, and John Nesholm created LMN Architects in 1979 to shape and enhance civic and urban identity. The firm has a significant national presence and aspires to foster design that promotes community health and vitality on all levels. It employs a diverse team with high-level skills in architecture, interior design, urban design, and design research. Many of its designers are LEED-certified and AIA members and fellows as well.

Numerous accolades have been bestowed upon the firm. LMN received the AIA Institute Honor Award for Regional and Urban Design, the American Architecture Awards for Airports and Transportation Centers, and it was the 2017 Architizer’s Popular Choice Winner for Architecture + Glass.

ZGF Architects

925 Fourth Avenue, Suite 2400, Seattle, WA 98104

ZGF Architects has a diverse portfolio that includes new construction, restorations, and additions on a national and international scale. It emphasizes its capacity to grasp each client’s vision genuinely and effectively adapt to a place’s environmental, cultural, and physical realities. ZGF has played a significant role in planning and policy-making to establish the groundwork for significant worldwide public and private investments in communities.

AIA Fellow and LEED-certified architect Joe Collins—who has worked on innovative projects for numerous colleges—and AIA member Toby Hasselgren—who has established an excellent portfolio of LEED Silver, LEED Gold, and LEED Platinum buildings—are among ZGF’s many partners and principals.

Project by ZGF Architects

The Stanford Central Energy Facility received an AIA Honor Award, and the firm’s work has been highlighted in Healthcare Design Magazine and Architect Magazine. Fast Company has honored the firm for designs that link people to nature, and it maintains offices in Seattle, Portland, New York, Vancouver, Los Angeles, and Washington.


1240 Fifth Avenue, Suite 2400, Seattle, WA 98101

CallisonRTKL is an international architecture, planning, and design firm. It has developed some of the world’s most distinctive and successful environments for developers, merchants, investors, institutions, and public bodies during the last 70 years. Its work has distinguished the firm as the world’s number one retail design firm and a top-five architecture practice across numerous disciplines and sectors.

Project by CallisonRTKL

CallisonRTKL continues to broaden its range of impact and the depth and breadth of its resources under the Arcadis umbrella. With a global team of approximately 1,700 specialists led by principal Cindi Kato, the company is dedicated to promoting its clients’ businesses and improving their quality of life.


1401 West Garfield Street, Seattle, WA 98119

CLARK | BARNES produces timeless structures in urban settings. It was founded in 1993 by W. Scott Clark and Brenda Barnes. They brought their calm confidence and diverse experience in various building forms and inventive site methods to the industry.
The firm is passionate about creating community-centric and mindful locations that connect the past and future. CLARK | BARNES believes that making long-term connections with clients results in the greatest design solutions.

Project by CLARK | BARNES

With years in the business and an unparalleled commitment to excellence, the firm has received several awards and features from different organizations. It was a recipient of the 2017 Redevelopment of the Year for Publix by the NAIOP and the 2017 Best Rehabilitation Award for Publix by Historic Seattle. Some of CLARK | BARNES’ projects have also appeared on the pages of the Seattle Times and The Urbanist.

SHED Architecture & Design

1401 South Jackson, Seattle WA 98144

SHED Architecture & Design, founded in 1998, views architecture as a practical art form. Because of its assertiveness of goal and economy of means, it produces unconventional and forward-thinking design solutions. SHED handles residential and commercial projects that include selective remodels, additions, high-performance dwellings, and adaptive re-use for historic structures. It strives for honesty, creativity, and sustainability in its work.

Project by SHED Architecture & Design

The company is led by Thomas Schaer, who, aside from leading the firm, remains involved at the University of Washington College of the Built Environment as an outside critic and studio instructor. Thomas works alongside co-founder Prentis Hale who also undertakes numerous independent architectural research projects. SHED Architecture & Design has been featured in Curbed Seattle, American Luxury, The Architect’s Newspaper, and Dezeen.

Weber Thompson

900 N 34th Street, Suite 200, Seattle, WA 98103

Weber Thompson is a design firm specializing in architecture, interior design, landscape architecture, and planning. The firm achieves success by assisting its customers in achieving success. Enabling others to find success and value in their projects as the goal. Each of its clients is unique, and each project requires new ideas. Under Amanda Keating’s guidance, the firm works hard to devise solutions for every design difficulty, focusing on time and cost, efficiency, and aesthetics.

Project by Weber Thompson

Weber Thompson has a staff of over 70, with more than 40 LEED-accredited professionals. Some of its projects can also be seen in the pages of The Registry, The Puget Sound Business Journal, Northwest Asian Weekly, Seattle Business, and Dwell.

Graphite Design Group

1809 Seventh Avenue, Suite 700 Seattle, WA, 98101

Graphite Design Group is a group of architects who believe that well-designed architecture can positively impact owners, investors, builders, renters, and neighbors. That perspective impacts how the firm is structured, focusing on enriching, collaborative, and drama-free interactions with clients and coworkers, as well as a dedication to personal and business accountability. The firm’s connections with other companies have provided the team with invaluable experience across various projects and geographies.

Project by Graphite Design Group

Graphite has spent the years since its inception refining what it values in people and how to serve its clients best. It accomplishes this under the direction of founding partners Martin L. Hill and Peter Krech. Mr. Hill graduated from Washington State University with a degree in architecture. His career spans multiple continents, thousands of projects, and long-running relationships with giants such as Nike, Apple, Microsoft, and Amazon Retail. Over the past two decades, Mr. Krech has used an approach to lead projects that transform neighborhoods and span continents, from Seattle’s South Lake Union to Shanghai’s Nanjing Road.The firm’s clients include Amazon, Google, and Facebook.

Cushing Terrell

1201 Western Avenue, Suite 700, Seattle, WA 98101

Architects Ralph Cushing and Everett Terrell launched Cushing Terrell in 1938. Ralph and Everett believed combining architecture, engineering, and design would lead to deeper relationships and increased creativity. That belief founded the design practice and continues to define it now.

The firm undertakes around 1,200 projects each year, costing $800 million in construction. Schools, hospitals, clinics, housing, recreational, commercial, retail, and industrial complexes are among the projects it does. The firm’s services also include architecture, mechanical, electrical, structural, civil, environmental engineering, planning, landscape architecture, and interior design.

Project by Cushing Terrell

Cushing Terrell’s holistic strategy as well as its group of 425 professionals across 30 disciplines and seven markets enable the firm to give clients exceptional partnerships, service, and value from 13 offices operating in seven states.

SKB Architects

2333 3rd Avenue, Seattle, WA 98121

SkB Architects designs purposeful, sensory-rich settings for individuals, corporations, shops, developers, and culturally diverse communities. The firm, based in Seattle but with projects around the United States, allows ideas from various project types to cross-pollinate and affect one another, eventually leading to more extensive and educated design solutions. The company operates under the belief that smart, perceptive, and creative design has the potential to improve people’s lives.

Project by SKB Architects

SkB Architects is led by managing partner Shannon Gaffney and co-founder Kyle Gaffney. It also holds affiliations under the American Institute of Architects, the National Association for Industrial and Office Parks, and the International Interior Design Association.

Stuart Silk Architects

2400 N 45th Street, Suite 200, Seattle, WA 98103

Stuart Silk Architects is a firm known for designing customized site-specific houses and commercial buildings that survive the passage of time. It believes in the power of design to touch lives, enhance the built environment, and serve customers throughout the Puget Sound region as well as the rest of the country. For over 40 years, the firm has adhered to the fundamental ideals of usefulness, proportion, and craft. Its passion, mission, and privilege is to collaborate with its clients.

Project by Stuart Silk Architects

Stuart Silk Architects enjoys the multi-layered process of matching functionality with design and including sustainability as an intrinsic aspect of the solution. Under the direction of Partners Stuart Silk, Amanda Cavassa, and David Marchetti, the company partners with contractors and consultants who share its values and commitment to excellence, crafting thoughtfully conceived and rigorously executed buildings.

Rolluda Architects, Inc.

105 South Main Street, Suite 323, Seattle, WA 98104

Alex Rolluda founded Rolluda Architects, Inc. (RAI) in 2002 to provide architecture, interior design, and planning services to private and public-sector clients. RAI is a design firm specializing in educational, social, transit, municipal, government, retail, commercial, industrial, aviation, multi-family and residential, and mixed-use projects.

Rolluda Architects has more than 46 devoted staff members and is situated in the core of Seattle’s historic Pioneer Square. It is dedicated to providing clients with the greatest level of service and strives to surpass their expectations at all times.

Project by Rolluda Architects, Inc.

Rolluda Architects is a registered Small Business Enterprise (SBE), a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE), and a Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) by the Washington State Office of Minority and Women’s Business Enterprises (OMWBE).

Upward Architecture

815 Seattle Boulevard S, Suite 321, Seattle, WA 98134

UPWARD Architecture & Interiors, established by architect Mark Ward, is a small, Seattle-based collective of creative problem solvers who offer equal parts design, commercial savvy, and technical skills. It is well-known for its work on projects involving hotels, distilleries, wineries, manufacturing, adaptive reuse, and custom homes.

Upward Architecture is a member of the American Institute of Architects Seattle and operates under the leadership of architect and founder Mark Ward. Mark took his bachelor’s degree in interior architecture from Kansas State University and his master’s from the University of Washington as a thesis prize recipient. He has 16 years of diverse architectural and interior experience in Seattle, Portland, and San Francisco.

Ectypos Architecture

4212 W Mercer Way, Mercer Island, WA 98040

Ectypos Architecture creates modern residential and adaptive live-work environments that improve the lives of its clients. To achieve that goal, collaboration is required, so the firm begins the process by carefully listening to a client’s objectives. This is true whether the project is a new custom house design or a major home remodel. Ectypos’ design philosophy results in smaller homes that live large and larger homes that never intimidate.

Project by Ectypos Architecture

Founded in 2001 and currently under the oversight of Lucia Pirzio-Biroli and Michele Marquardi, Ectypos listens to its national and international clients’ creative visions as closely today as it did the day the studio opened. The company is also dedicated to accomplishing more with less. An energy-efficient enclosure is a primary goal in all circumstances. Ectypos strives to have as little impact on a site’s native landscape as feasible. It is also skilled at making complex construction sites work in its client’s favor.


  • Shahe Demirdjian

    Shahe is an Editor at Seattle Architects 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 Seattle Architects, 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

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