Known for its stunning beaches, temperate climate, and for being the home of Disney World, the Sunshine State is a highly regarded place to live in and is also noted for its diversity. It houses some of the country’s best and leading universities and offers its residents countless tourist destinations and theme parks.
This list is a showcase of its twenty most outstanding residential architects who have had the opportunity to work in some of the area’s most sought after communities. Our editorial team chose these architects based on their outstanding portfolios, backgrounds, and histories. Several of these companies are also recipients of countless industry accolades.
330 N Andrews Ave. Ste. 102, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
With over two decades of experience, Strang Design is composed of a team of nearly 40 professionals who have brought home nearly the same number of industry distinctions for the firm. The firm primarily works on regional modernist designs and operates out of three offices in Florida. It also has various projects across the Caribbean Sea and beyond and has had the privilege of working on a variety of noteworthy homes. One of its three offices is located in Sarasota, the birthplace of the modernist movement in Florida.
Showcased above is one the firm’s most stunning projects. For this home, the firm employed a blend of a variety of popular architectural vernaculars. It also worked on immense stone walls, pitched metal roofs, wood porches, a vast kitchen, and plenty of lounge areas.
Phil Kean Design Group
912 West Fairbanks Ave., Winter Park, FL 32789
Phil Kean Design Group offers its clients a complete and comprehensive range of services and operates out of its office in Winter Park. The firm specializes in one-of-a-kind luxury custom home projects and since its establishment, has been decorated with a multitude of various industry distinctions. Its team draws inspiration from renowned minds like Frank Lloyd Wright, Neutra, and Schindler, and is also noted for its expertise for a variety of architectural vernaculars. These include California modernism and Miami modern architecture.
The photo above won the project the Best of the Show distincion in the 2020 American Residential Design Awards. The firm implemented a recurring theme of straight lines and contemporary finishes, incorporating sleek fixtures to complement the home’s neutral color palette.
Choeff Levy Fischman Architects
8425 Biscayne Blvd. Ste. 201, Miami, FL 33138
Headquartered in Miami, Choeff Levy Fischman Architecture + Design is an award-winning firm that offers a full range of design and architectural services. The firm specializes in high-end custom Tropical Modern single-family homes. At its helm are principals Ralph Choeff, Raphael Levy, and Paul Fischman, three experienced and seasoned architects. Under their leadership, the firm has been able to expand its clientele to include numerous noteworthy clients. Some of these prestigious homeowners include global C-suite executives, professional athletes and celebrities. The leadership team has inspired the firm to become a trailblazer in terms of modern and tropical architecture: its designs are a fusion of indoor and outdoor spaces.
Choeff Levy Fischman has built a solid reputation for itself across Florida and has recently opened an office in the Tampa Bay area to serve Florida’s ever-growing west coast. The firm has also had the privilege of working on several interesting and complex projects in California and the Caribbean. It comes as no surprise, then, that the firm has been featured in publications such as Architectural Digest, Dwell, Interior Design, The Wall Street Journal, and Forbes. The firm’s affinity for modern and contemporary spaces, open concept floor plans, unique fixtures, and clean finishes allow it to create elegant spaces such as these.
2281 Main St., Fort Myers, FL 33901
Established in 2007, Architecture Joyce Owens LLC | Studio AJO is a Florida-based architectural, interior, and design firm that is known for its exceptional work and distinguished, modern designs with immaculately tailored interiors. Studio AJO extends its services throughout Florida and specializes in a wide variety of architectural solutions. The firm is committed to being an advocate for superb design.
Studio AJO focuses on coastal tropical homes and commercial community projects that result in creative and functional building designs and interiors that serve the needs of their clients and are always dedicated to cutting-edge, environmentally sound solutions sympathetic to their sites and responsive to climate and energy conservation.
The firm is led by its founder, Joyce Owens. She is a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), the highest distinction that the organization bestows upon its members. In 2020 she received the AIA Florida Honor Award for Design. Joyce personally ensures that each project receives the benefit of her talents and expertise.
The featured project depicts a home found in the firm’s portfolio. Located in a shaded oasis in Naples, this home is reminiscent of the classic cabin in the woods that yearns for a time of tranquility, family, and simple pleasure. However, AJO’s re-think on this traditional design breathes modern life into the concept of living in the forest, showcasing excellent modern design and minimalist finishes.
3470 E Coast Ave. H201, Miami, FL 33137
KZ Architecture was established in 2003 and has since secured a strong reputation for its excellent services and projects, some of which have earned the firm several distinctions from the American Institute of Architects (AIA). The firm was founded by its president, Jaya Kader, an experienced professional who earned a Master of Architecture at the Harvard Graduate School of Design in 1988. She has had the privilege to have been under the tutelage of world-renowned mentors and has worked on numerous projects including public libraries, schools, municipal centers, houses of worship, residences, and resorts. She is also a green advocate and typically incorporates various sustainable elements into the firm’s designs. Under her leadership, the firm utilizes a highly holistic approach and has had the honor of being featured in various publications. These include The Modern Residence, LUXE Magazine, and Ocean Drive Magazine.
Showcased above is the company’s West Broadview project, an outstanding build in the firm’s portfolio. This home won the firm various distinctions from the AIA including the Excellence in Architecture Design Award. For this project, the firm made use of a highly sustainable design and achieved Silver Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Certification.
SDH_STUDIO Architecture + Design
18200 NE 19th Ave. Ste. 100 North, Miami Beach, FL 33162
Established in 2012, SDH Architecture is regarded all across Miami and offers its clients a comprehensive array of architecture and design services. Since its inception, the firm has been the recipient of a multitude of awards and has developed and designed luxury custom homes for both developers and homeowners across the Miami and the Caribbean. On top of its residential work, it has also taken on several commercial spaces, which include office buildings, restaurants, and retail projects. The firm makes use of only the best and latest innovative techniques and is composed of a dynamic and experienced team of architects and interior designers. With strong leadership at the helm and dedicated team members, the firm has been lauded with distinctions such as features in publications like Miami Architect and Ocean Home Magazine.
The project above is located in Biscayne Point and overlooks the water in Miami Beach. The site itself spans over 11,000 square feet while the main home is 6,180 square feet. The home features elegant floor-to-ceiling glass paneled windows, taking in the surrounding area’s breathtaking views and contemporary finishes.
1600 S. Federal Hwy. Ste. 970, Pompano Beach, FL 33062
Regarded as among the Top 50 coastal architects by Ocean Home Magazine, Studio KHORA operates out of its office in Pompano Beach and Miami Beach. Studio KHORA is the proud recipient of a multitude of industry distinctions through the years. The firm primarily focuses on contemporary designs and has secured a solid reputation for both its architecture and interior design. Some of its best work can be seen in the most sought-after communities in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton, Palm Beach, New York, Palm Springs, Los Angeles, Cape Cod, Bahamas, and Dubai. The firm was formerly known as Rex Nichols Architects, whose background includes eleven distinctions from the AIA.
Showcased above is a recent AIA awarded winning project for 2021. Spanning over 10,000 square feet, this home was completed in Boca Raton located at 2633 Spanish River Road. It features two stories and an elegant, modern design which transitions to contemporary. Learn more about it here
Guy Peterson | OFA, Inc.
1234 1st St., Sarasota, FL 34236
Operating out of its office in Sarasota, Guy Peterson Office for Architecture has committed itself to crafting designs of the highest quality. Recognized for its efforts, Guy Peterson is the proud recipient of a multitude of awards including the AIA Gold Medal from AIA Florida and more than 60 AIA awards — many of which are the Award for Excellence in Architecture. Peterson also won the Medal for Design from AIA Florida and the AIA Florida Firm of the Year in 2013. The firm has also been the subject of numerous magazine spreads and other media. Led by founder and namesake Guy Peterson, a fellow of the AIA and highly distinguished architect, the firm often bases its designs on the regional modernism of the “Sarasota School of Architecture.” Overall, it makes for easily recognizable work for its use of tropical and traditional South Florida themes coupled with indigenous materials.
Showcased above is one of the firm’s best builds. Located on the southern end of Longboat Key, this house is located on the waterway which connects the Gulf of Mexico to Sarasota Bay. The home is made of two shifted horizontal bars and two stories. The home fosters great views of the surrounding areas, and helps the homeowners to relax with its custom swimming pool and entertainment spaces.
CMSA – Scholz, Oswald & Shaffer
2724 Fruitville Rd, Ste. 102, Sarasota, FL 34237
CMSA has been in business since 1992 and is the firm behind some of Florida’s premier communities. Its portfolio depicts a great gallery of custom designed luxury homes and elegant renovations in addition to golf course developments and commercial spaces. It is composed of only the most qualified architects and designers, who together have had the opportunity to work across southwest Florida. The firm begins its process with hand drawn sketches before using the best and latest CAD technology. This assures clients of its attention to detail and allows for little to almost no revisions throughout the entire process.
The photo above depicts its Little Sarasota Bay project. Located on a nearly private island, this dream home is an oasis for booth anglers and ecological enthusiasts. Its technology is impressive while its design is exquisite and exudes only the best of island living.
Nasrallah Architectural Group
3920 Edgewater Dr. Ste. 101, Orlando, FL 32804
With over four decades of industry experience, the Nasrallah Architectural Group offers an award-winning range of design and architectural services. It utilizes a highly disciplined approach and oversees everything throughout the entire process. The firm’s services include bidding, interior architectural detailing, and project management. It also infuses various green design practices into its work, ensuring homeowners of the sustainability and efficiency of its spaces. Nasrallah is also noted for its construction administration and master planning. It has also taken on various commercial projects.
The firm is personally led by its principal and namesake, Mark Nasrallah. He is an active member of the AIA and under his supervision, the firm has been able to curate a stellar portfolio for itself. This featured build is an example of its talent for modern architecture.
Michael Wenrich Architects
1800 N. Orange Ave. Ste. A, Orlando, FL 32804
With features in vital publications like Dwell, Michael Wenrich Architects specializes in both commercial and residential projects. Founded in 2010, it is the brainchild of its founder and namesake, Michael Wenrich. He draws inspiration from over two decades of industry experience working in and around Florida, Virginia, Vermont, and South Carolina. He is also a LEED AP, which assures clients that the firm can infuse various green building and sustainability practices into its designs. Wenrich holds a Bachelor of Architecture Degree from Virginia Tech and a Master of Architecture Degree from the University of Virginia.
The photo above best embodies the firm’s talent and expertise. It features an excellent contemporary design coupled with an open concept floor plan inside. It is a lakeside home located in Central Florida and offers its residents excellent views of the area surrounding it.
Stofft Cooney Architects
Naples Office: 111 10th Street South Ste. 308, Naples, FL 34102
Stofft Cooney Architects operates out of three offices in Delray, Naples, and a satellite office in Sarasota and provides its clients a great range of architectural services. The firm is the product of the vision of its clients, Randall Stofft and John Cooney. Stofft was born in Chicago and draws inspiration from the classic work of renowned architect, Frank Lloyd Wright. Cooney, on the other hand, is known for his sophisticated blend of form and style. He is a New York Native and is experienced in a wide range of architectural themes.
The firm’s portfolio depicts a wide variety of residential, commercial, and resort projects. It has had the opportunity to complete work both across Florida and internationally. Our editorial team was highly impressed by its expertise for the most modern and cutting-edge designs.
Bender & Associates Architects PA
410 Angela St., Key West, FL 33040
Bender & Associates is the product of the vision of its namesake Bert Bender. He first started his practice in 1975 and has since been recognized for his multitude of architectural contributions and numerous project awards. His work has been featured in the Preservation News and has also been the recipient of accolades such as the Legacy Award, Florida Trust for Historic Preservation and the Sustainability Legend Award from the US Green Building Council (USGBC). Under his leadership, the firm itself has also been the winner of countless industry distinctions.
Since its establishment, the firm has been especially known for its historic projects and affinity for traditional designs. Showcased above is the Fleming Street residence, one of the firm’s projects. This project features a great paneled exterior, shuttered windows, a front porch, and custom finishes.
STA Architectural Group
3526 N. Miami Ave., Miami, FL 33127
Headquartered in Miami, STA Architectural Group is composed of a talented and experienced team of architects and interior designers, who together offer innovative design solutions. At its helm are its founders Todd and Isabel Tragash, who established the practice back in 1985 in Miami Beach. Under their leadership, the company has become a leading expert in residential, commercial, and hospitality projects. Additionally, the firm makes use of a highly responsive approach that emphasizes the importance of infusing its clients’ visions into their projects, which better assures that their needs are met.
The company has a long history of working in and around the city of Miami, making it experienced in some of its most popular and up and coming home styles. It is also known for its great historic preservations, and is the recipient of various industry awards such as distinctions from the International Interior Design Association (IIDA).
Portuondo Perotti Architects
5717 SW 8th St. #200, West Miami, FL 33144
Portuondo Perotti Architects showcases talent for residential, commercial, and civic spaces. It is led by its founders, Rafael Portuondo and Jose Luis Gonzales-Perotti. Portuondo is one of the country’s best and leading designers of classical architecture. He completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Miami and is particularly known for his skill for Old World European architecture. Gonzales-Perotti, on the other hand, oversees the company’s talented team of designers, draftsmen, and artists. In terms of design, he specializes in European and Mediterranean classic design.
The photo above depicts the firm’s St. Andrews project. It features a great Mediterranean theme, utilizing terracotta roofs and textured finishes. This home showcases the firm’s attention to detail and creativity.
4990 SW 72nd Ave. Ste. 101, Miami, FL 33155
Founded in 1985, Pacheco-Martinez & Associates specializes in luxury homes, commercial environments, and urban developments. It extends its services throughout the Miami-Dade and Broward Counties and has had the opportunity to work on roughly 80 residences in Coco Plum and Tahiti Beach. These include over a dozen residences in Gables Estates, which won the firm several Platinum Awards. The firm is also regarded for its impressive multi-family residences, in addition to its urban planning and religious institution work. The firm operates out of its office in Miami and has had the privilege of being featured in various publications, including Luxe Interiors + Design Magazine and several editions of Florida Architecture. At the firm’s helm are Ramon Pacheco and Hector Martinez. Pacheco draws inspiration from over four decades of industry experience and is an award-winning member of the AIA. Martinez, on the other hand, has over 15 years of experience and received his Bachelor of Architecture degree from the Pontificia Universidad Catolica Madre y Maestra in 2000.
The project above sits in the heart of Coral Gables and features a great transitional design. For this home, the firm credits its inspiration to the British West Indies and tropical elements. It features wodo brackets, siding, plantation-style louvres, and a white-washed front entry door.
1500 South Douglas Rd. Ste. 200, Coral Gables, FL 33134
Forbes Architects utilizes a comprehensive design-build approach, which allows it to keep the entire process in-house and lessens the challenge for homeowners to look for additional subcontractors. This allows it to offer a comprehensive range of general contracting services and can assist clients with everything, including new development or renovations of existing properties. Likewise, it oversees everything from start to finish and has had the opportunity to work on a variety of award-winning spaces.
Aside from its residential work, the firm’s portfolio also showcases hospitality, industrial, office, healthcare, government, and educational projects. Forbes was founded in 1985 by John R. Forbes, a former design lecturer at the University of Miami.
3801 Flagler Ave., Key West, FL 33040
Operating out of its office in Key West, m.stratton.architecture offers distinctive and insightful architectural and interior design solutions. It is led by its founder Matthew Stratton, a natuive of Joplin, Missouri. He received his Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Kansas and started his career in Kansas City back in 1992. In 2009, he founded the firm, still leading it today to specialize in residential design, historic preservation, restoration, and renovation for commercial, office, and hospitality designs.
Several of the firm’s work has also been featured in publications like Architectural Digest and Coastal Living. It is also the recipient of multiple design awards. Stratton himself also served as vice-chairperson of the City’s Historic Architectural Review Commission, and in 2009 he became a LEED Accredited Professional.
11 E Flagler St., Miami, FL 33131
NC-office is a Miami-based practice and has since become an award-winning firm based on the partnership of its founders, Peter Nedev, Elizabeth Cardona, Cristina Canton, and Nikolay Nedev. Through their leadership, the firm has won distinctions like the 2015 Knight Foundation Knight Arts Challenge grant. Most notably, it has also been regarded by a multitude of publications for its outstanding services. Architect Magazine named the firm one of the top 50 U.S. architecture firms in two categories: sustainability and design. Some of its other great features are in publications like The Miami Herald, Archdaily, and World Architecture News.
Featured above is the firm’s work on the Longview residence. This project entailed an extensive renovation and home addition to an already existing 1980s Florida modern house. The firm had to work on additional bedrooms and bathrooms as well as its small courtyard garden.
One D+B / H2 Architecture
Miami Studio – 31 NE 17th St., Miami, FL 33132
Founded in 2007, One D+B / H2 Architecture extends its services throughout Miami and offers a complete and comprehensive range of architectural services. It is regarded for its innovative solutions and dynamic techniques, which it achieves through program-driven build solutions. The firm describes itself as a boutique mutlidisciplinary firm, which assures its clients that it designs no two homes alike. It is led by its principal Hugo Mijares and Andrés Hollmann, who makes sure that each of the firm’s projects receives the benefit of his experience. His specialties include sustainable architecture, innovative techniques, and world-class designs.
Showcased above is one of the firm’s projects located in Gables Estates, Florida. It features a sleek modern and contemporary feel, utilizing large paneled windows, open spaces, and a strategic floor plan.