Crisp air and stunning sights decorate Virginia, which is between the Atlantic Coast and the scenic Appalachian Mountains. It is known for its forests, which blanket over half of its landscape that’s lined with flora and fauna. The homes in its skyline prove noteworthy, with their mix of contemporary and classic styles. Virginia is a state that proves rich with history.
Here is a list of the best residential architects in Virginia, in case you would like to settle down here. This list was curated based on the architects’ experience, design process, quality of their projects, and their recognition in the field.
Purple Cherry Architects
646 W. Main Street, White Sulphur Springs, WV 24986
For twenty-five years now, Purple Cherry Architects has designed incredible luxury residences across the U.S. Utilizing advanced technologies and new materials, the firm builds elaborate custom homes of differing shapes and sizes, in a wide variety of styles, from traditional to contemporary.
The founder, Cathy, is joined by a team of highly competent industry professionals, accredited in many fields, including AIA, LEED AP, NCIDQ, LEED Green Associate, and NCARB. Together, the firm celebrates an interdisciplinary approach to design, with consideration to the lifestyle of the people residing in the homes they design.
One example of this is this Family Retreat project that the Purple Cherry Architects designed. This agrarian-inspired home is in a thirteen-acre parcel in the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests, surrounded by lush greenery and views of the mountain from the home’s covered porch. Purple Cherry Architects designed the home with three distinct buildings, conjoined by a flat-roofed glass connector that serves as an art gallery, to accommodate visiting family and friends. The retreat home also has five bedrooms, a large, gorgeous kitchen, and a three-car garage, built with elements like reclaimed wood flooring, a standing seam metal room, and West Virginia stone to give its distinct rural Virginia atmosphere a tinge of luxury.
Moore Architects, PC
105 N Maple Avenue, Suite 100, Falls Church, VA 22046
Moor Architects, PC is a full service architectural firm that specializes in residential practice. This includes designing new homes, renovations/additions, adaptive reuse, and historic preservation projects. Having completed over 300 residential projects across the country, Moore Architects is well equipped and experienced in all types of residential architecture.
Although the firm is skilled in designing a diverse array of homes, it specializes in building cozy bungalows, distinct contemporary homes, and welcoming cottages. These homes can be seen in publications like Home Magazine, Luxe Magazine, Spaces Magazine, Cottage Living Magazine, Fine Homebuilding Magazine, and Architectural Digest.
Featured below is Moore Architects’ stunning work on The Pond House. It is lined with large windows that offer panoramic views of the surrounding greenery. At the back of the house is a large covered porch with access to a boardwalk that extends over the calm waters of the pond, leading up to a small shed at the back. This gives the family access to their peaceful surroundings, resulting in a light, airy home that blends seamlessly with the area.
WC Ralston Architects
3684 Centerview Dr., Suite 110A, Chantilly, VA 20151
Headquartered in Northern Virginia, WC Ralston Architects is a custom residential architecture firm focused on creating contemporary homes that feel intimate and inviting. From Florida to New York, WCRA has designed homes that enrich its residents’ lives, earning the company awards for its functional, striking residential projects.
The McLean Contemporary project featured below is a testament to WC Ralston Architects’ award-winning work on contemporary homes. Outside, the facade features a low brick front that contrasts with the twelve-foot-tall first floor ceilings, giving it a distinct look on the exterior. Inside the house, there is subtle brickwork and clean lines framing the distinct spaces of the house. Expansive windows, an elevated front terrace, and a backyard patio open up this home to the tree-lined horizon beyond. With its sleek facade and elegant interiors, this home was recognized for its design and architecture in the 2018 Gala Awards.
Moser Architects, PLLC
Moser Architects is a residential architecture firm that offers homeowners a comprehensive package for custom home design and construction administration. It was founded by Sarah Riddlemoster, AIA in 2009, to implement the innovative ways that she designs and layers spaces. Now, the company specializes in custom new homes and large multi story residential additions.
Pictured below is a custom home on North Trinidad Street that Moser Architects designed. This contemporary haven is packed with a large kitchen, expansive living areas, and a lovely screened in porch, perfect for raising a family in the suburbs of Virginia. Throughout the house, you can find subtle light wash wooden details that contrast with the clean white walls and keep this home’s spaces bright and airy.
Work Program Architects
400 Granby St., Suite 301, Norfolk, VA 23510
Work Program Architects is a Virginia DMBE SWaM Certified Small and Women-owned architecture firm that creates exceptional designs for the site’s physical and historical context. Since its establishment in 2010, WPA has continuously exceeded its clients’ expectations with its open collaboration and community-focused practices.
The firm was founded by Mel Price and Thom White in the historic Monticello Arcade. Mel is DEB-certified and is a member of the State of Virginia Board for Architects, Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, Certified Interior Designers and Landscape Architects. She was also the former chair of the AIA National Small Firm Exchange. She is joined by Thom, who is a VA, NC, and MD licensed architect, and a member of various organizations like the Mid-Atlantic Association of Museums and the Association for Learning Environments. He is a founding member and the former director of Re:Vision Norfolk. Today, they are joined by a team of professionals with a diverse skill set and a multidisciplinary approach to design.
Picture below is a product of that approach—the head-turning Mowbray Arch Residence, a residential project in beautiful Norfolk, Virginia. This 2951 square foot home was built on the last vacant buildable lot on the Hague waterway in Historic Ghent. With its intricate masonry and narrow, telescoping plan, it was designed to blend in with the nineteenth century neighborhood. WPA collaborated with the owners and masons to design the brick bond patterning, limestone headers, sills, and string courses, to ensure each detail of the structure was in line with the concept.
James McDonald Associate Architects
10135 Colvin Run Road, Suite 200, Great Falls, VA 22066
With nearly twenty years of experience, James McDonald Associate Architects designs award-winning and best-selling homes throughout Washington DC, Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. Its president, James McDonald, has experience designing custom homes of differing shapes and sizes, from charming, intricate jewel boxes to elegant grand manor homes. Each project he designs is striking in its balance of proportion, scale, and livability.
One example of this is the award-winning Beach Mill project that James McDonald Associate Architects designed on a narrow two-acre wooded lot. This custom home was designed with the intention of adding an entertainment area for the family in the rear yard. The team worked diligently to make this place a cozy home, creating a warm, inviting exterior with a large front porch containing chairs, a swing, and an oversized front door. Inside, the private rooms are tucked away with various open areas for entertaining guests or having fun with the family. This project was the 2020 GALA Winner of the Brookmont Homes at Deepwoods Drive, in the Lots from 3,000 to 5,000 s.f. category.
4015 Fitzhugh Avenue, Richmond, VA 23230
3North is a full-service design firm that delivers inspired solutions. For twenty-two years, its thirty-member team of architects, landscape architects, interior designers, and graphic designers has created a clear, collaborative design process for its clients. Whether it’s spearheading historic restorations or expanding contemporary design, clients can expect a well-rounded result that positively impacts the community. Headquartered in Richmond, with local design values, 3North maintains a presence beyond the U.S., extending to the Mid-Atlantic throughout Nova Scotia, the Caribbean, and the United Kingdom.
One of its best projects in Virginia is this expansive Grand Provencal project featured below. This majestic estate house overlooking the James River was designed in the classic French Renaissance style, with modern energy-efficient amenities like geothermal heat pumps, sophisticated lighting controls, automated shading, and photovoltaics. This sprawling home also features multiple outbuildings, a pool and tennis court, formal gardens, and breathtaking fountains.
5206-B Rolling Road, Burke, VA 22015
Kohlmark Group has fifty-eight years of industry experience, which it utilizes to provide design excellence and quality craftsmanship in each project. The team ensures its clients receive distinctive homes that enhance their lives. This architecture-focused, design-build company strictly adheres to a team approach where they prioritize the needs, desires, functionality, and budget of its clients to create a home that proves unique to their needs.
Its founder, Mark Kohler, AIA, was introduced to the world of design and building at an early age, since his father worked as an architect, builder, and developer. He has practiced architecture since 1984 and has served on the Board of Directors of the Metro DC Chapter of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry and co-chaired its CotY Awards Committee. He is also an active member of his community, having served on the Board of Directors of Habitat for Humanity and Rebuilding Together Alexandria. With grounded, experienced leadership, Kohlmark Group exceeds expectations as it builds spaces worth living in.
One example of Kohlmark Group’s craftsmanship is the French Provencal Estate featured below. Found in a thirteen-acre heavily wooded site in Clifton, this turn-of-the-century French Country style home was designed by Kohlmark Group, with the intention of mimicking the atmosphere of the manor houses and chateaux in the French countryside. To capture the French Provencal atmosphere, the home features steeply pitched slate roofs, dormers with gabled windows, and stone and stucco masonry around the house. Smart technology has been applied to the home and carefully hidden from sight, giving this home its classic look with the modern amenities a family needs.
Sabina Weitzman – Architect
913 Marye St, Fredericksburg, VA 22401
Sabina Weitzman’s design practice is rooted in the needs of the twenty-first century. A licensed architect in Virginia and a member of the AIA and is a Safety Assessment Program Evaluator, Sabina employs energy-efficient structures and sustainable materials and methods to build homes that are attractive environmentally conscious. Her practice is backed with decades of experience and a Master’s in Architecture from MIT in 1990.
Featured below is an example of her residential work, the Family Traditions project. The owners adore historic Virginia houses and wanted something inspired by Colonial Williamsburg. Since the homeowners treasure their time with family and friends, Sabina Weitzman designed their home with ample living spaces for entertaining, complete with formal living and dining rooms, a lower level lodge with bar and game room, and wide porches for guests. It’s also designed with two fully appointed guest suites and room for grandparents or other family members to live in the house while maintaining everyone’s privacy, so there’s room for the entire family during the holidays.
108 South First Street, Charlottesville, VA 22902
Headquartered in Charlottesville, Virginia, up-and-coming Thrive Architecture is an architecture firm that designs sustainable projects that promote the wellness of its users. Thrive Architecture’s portfolio is diverse and reflects immense passion and experience, united by the company’s love of open and interconnected spaces, modern expression, authentic materials, and crisp detailing.
Featured below is the Hickory House, a staunch example of Thrive Architecture’s commitment to people-friendly design. This forest retreat home was once a well-loved existing house found in the woods of Albemarle County. Thrive Architecture redesigned it with the intention of aging in place. This 675 square foot home has interiors lined with locally sourced, salvaged hardwood, including the native Hickory lining the forest that surrounds the project. It has a master suite addition that connects their interior space to the rolling landscape outside, as well as a large sitting area where they can enjoy the view beyond. Additional features of the project include air-tight spray foam insulation, energy-efficient LED lighting, and low-flow plumbing fixtures, all designed for living in the woods.
Balzer and Associates
1208 Corporate Circle, Roanoke, VA 24018
Balzer and Associates is an experienced architecture firm with fifty-three years of experience serving Virginia and its surrounding communities. In each project, it assists clients from initial site selection to design development and construction of the property. It is considered among the best in the field in Land Development Planning and Design, and its service is best known for its professionalism, enjoyable collaboration, and innovative approach to design.
Featured below is a product of that approach, the Private Residence project in Madison County, VA. For this project, Balzer and Associates designed a three-story, 5500 square foot vacation home located halfway up a tree-lined hillside. This grand vacation house boasts spacious and open living areas, individual office spaces, bedrooms, and a play area for the kids, with windows that provide an incredible view of the woods and the mountain beyond.