Located in the picturesque Puget Sound and its surrounding mountains, and forests, Seattle is Washington’s urban gem and home to an ever-growing tech industry. We’ve listed 12 of Seattle’s best and leading architectural firms—the people behind some of its most recognizable offices and commercial spaces. These companies were chosen for their individual portfolios and unique backgrounds. Several of them are also recipients of multiple industry accolades, and each one has a unique portfolio that demonstrates each firm’s ability and skill set.
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 principals/owners whose work includes commercial and mixed-use design (including wineries and sports facilities), cultural and museum projects, exhibition design, private and multi-family residential, hospitality projects, places of worship, interior design, product design, and landscape design. The firm operates out of its headquarters in downtown Seattle, as well as a new outpost in New York City, and works with clients around the world. Unlike most firms on this list, Olson Kundig has an in-house interior studio that provides a full range of services from material and furniture selection to other customization work. The firm also has its own landscape design studio which focuses on integrating a home’s design into its respective environment. The firm works closely with some of the area’s best artists and craftspeople; the result is authentic work personalized to each client.
Showcased above is the firm’s very own Seattle office. Located in the Washington Shoe Building, the firm’s studio is an expression of its design practice and office culture. It features a hydro-powered skylight, a central atrium stair connecting three floors, and flexible common areas.
1101 Second Avenue, Suite #100 Seattle, WA 98101
MG2 is a talented and experienced team of architects, designers, and licensed professionals. The firm takes a multi-disciplinary approach to jobs throughout Seattle. The firm is highly respected for its dedication to sustainability. Clients can sleep easy, knowing that the firm’s work is environmentally friendly and highly efficient.
The project we chose to highlight is the firm’s very own Seattle office, which serves as its headquarters. The firm’s team made use of a modern design coupled with an industrial backdrop. It also designed individual workstations and enclosed meeting areas.
801 2nd Avenue, Suite #501, Seattle, WA 98104
Composed of over 150 talented and experienced design professionals, LMN Architects takes an excellent multi-disciplinary approach to its work. The firm has been in business since 1979, and the firm’s extensive portfolio presents an excellent range of cultural, education, transportation, mixed-use, and commercial projects. It has also worked on countless convention centers and light rails. In terms of design, it can take on any project regardless of size or scale. Depicted below is one of its best.
This photo showcases the firm’s work for the Midtown21 office building. Located in Seattle, this project spans over 355,000 square feet and is LEED Core and Shell Gold Certified. The project includes 21 stories and features a façade composed of a pattern of digitally fabricated and precast concrete spandrels resembling a woven net.
900 N 34th Street, Suite #200, Seattle, WA 98103
Weber Thompson offers its clients a complete and comprehensive range of architectural services. The firm has had the opportunity to work in some of the best commercial districts across Seattle and has committed itself to the highest standards. Its key services encompass architecture as well as interior design, urban space design, and landscaping.
This photo depicts the firm’s very own offices at Watershed, which spans over 9,000 square feet. All of the products and materials used for this project were LBC Red List-free or Red List-compliant. The firm also adhered to water reduction requirements.
925 Fourth Avenue, Suite #2400, Seattle, WA 98104
With over seven decades of industry experience, ZGF Architects is a leader in the commercial architecture scene. It offers its clients a highly hands-on, holistic approach. The firm has had the opportunity to work across the Pacific Northwest and operates out of six offices across North America. The firm maintains vital affiliations with organizations like the American Institute of Architects (AIA), which has recognized it with countless accolades. The firm is also notable as a leader in sustainable design and has worked on multiple LEED-certified structures.
Located in Seattle, this project was designed to provide Amazon with an optimal workplace environment. It spans over 400,000 square feet and features an open concept floorplan, a ground-floor galleria, green pathways and wall gardens, and excellent ventilation.
SHED Architecture & Design
1401 South Jackson, Seattle, WA 98144
As its name suggests, SHED is a leading expert in the architecture and design industry. The firm can take on both ground-up and extensive remodeling projects and is also highly respected for its rehabilitation and preservation work. The firm’s team assists its clients from start to finish and provides them with 3D renders, which means few to no major revisions throughout the entire process.
The project featured is a great example of the firm’s talent and expertise. This project spans over 8,375 square feet and was originally built back in 1910 as the St. George Hotel. It is now called home by Workhouse Creative. For this project, the firm’s team drew inspiration from the Seattle Jazz scene and prohibition-era style architecture. The project was featured on GRAY Magazine.
1240 Fifth Avenue, Suite #2400, Seattle, WA 98101
CallisonRTKL is a globally recognized firm that works in several offices out in California, Texas, Florida, and New York. It also has operations in Mexico, the United Kingdom, and China. The firm provides a comprehensive range of architectural services, including brand building, commercial interiors, landscaping, and master planning. Its portfolio includes an impressive gallery of various commercial headquarters, healthcare, hospitality, mixed-use, office, retail, cultural, academic, and government spaces.
Located in Seattle, this project challenged the firm with its interior architecture and design. It features an open, collaborative workplace environment. Note the communal work area and wireless-enabled lounge zones, as well as the individual workstations.
CLARK | BARNES
1401 West Garfield Street, Seattle, WA 98119
Established in 1993, CLARK | BARNES is a leading Seattle architecture practice that specializes in a wide variety of building types. It makes use of innovative site strategies and often integrates new construction with historic fabrics. The firm is composed of a talented team of professionals that includes licensed architects, interior designers, and leading historic preservationists. Depicted above is one of the firm’s best.
The CLARK | BARNES team completed this non-structural tenant improvement for this existing office space. Completed back in 2016, the firm’s team was asked to split the space between two tenants. The firm worked on a new layout, interior finishes, and documentation.
909 112th Avenue NE, Suite #206, Bellevue, WA 98004
JPC Architects has been extending its services throughout Washington since 1986 and is experienced in every aspect of the entire process. The firm has evolved into one of the largest design firms in the Pacific Northwest and has also gained a stellar reputation for its interior design work. The firm also has its very own technical staff and often infuses the best and leading sustainable design techniques into its work. Doing so assures clients of the high efficiency of its spaces.
Located in the heart of Seattle, this project spans over 95,000 square feet. The project reflects the brand’s collaborative start-up culture. It features adaptable meeting spaces and open workstations. Some other great details include its use of raw, reclaimed, and industrial materials.
71 Columbia Street, Suite #500, Seattle, WA 98104
Bassetti Architects specializes in higher education, civic, historical, and commercial projects. The firm has worked on countless tenant improvements, in addition to several cultural hubs. In terms of design, its portfolio showcases an excellent gallery of modern and contemporary inspired spaces. The firm has had the opportunity to work in some of the best areas across Seattle. It is also no stranger to acclaim and has been recognized within the industry on multiple occasions. Most recently, the firm participated in the International 2021 Legendary Bird Home Competition and received eight Honorable Mentions. Its work is best embodied in the chosen project below.
This project was designed for the BTA Grou. Located in the historic Pioneer Square, this former retail store was extensively renovated. It now features refurbished details, which include new signage and custom modern details accented with original historical brick.
Stuart Silk Architects
2400 N 45th Street, Suite #200, Seattle, WA 98103
Stuart Silk Architects is an architecture and interior design practice that operates out of its office in the heart of Seattle. The firm is known for its site-specific residences and its impressive commercial buildings. The firm has worked with clients across the Puget Sound region and draws inspiration from over three decades of industry experience. It is also highly respected for its sustainable approaches and the use of the best and latest techniques.
The chosen project above is a great example of its talent and expertise. Spanning over 34,500 square feet, this project was designed for the Salmon Bay Landing. It features a floating form and excellent commercial studios. Some other details include its custom parking lots designed with pervious surfaces and bioswale wheel stops. The project was named the Overall Best Project by Metal Construction News.
Graphite Design Group
1809 Seventh Avenue, Suite #700, Seattle, WA, 98101
The Graphite Design Group is the result of the vision of its founding principals, Martin Hill and Peter Krech. Hill has designed and completed projects both locally and internationally. He has worked with brands like Nike, Apple, Microsoft, and Amazon, in addition to holding licenses in 49 states and five Canadian provinces. Krech, on the other hand, has worked everywhere from Seattle’s South Lake Union to Shanghai’s Nanjing Road. He has also collaborated with power brands like Google and Facebook. Together, these two leaders make sure that each project that the firm takes on receives the benefit of their experience.
The chosen project showcases the firm’s work for Amazon. Spanning over 9,000 square feet, this project is located on a constrained urban site in Seattle’s Denny Triangle. It features unobstructed floorplates and a unique form.