Located in the center of Coastal Virginia, the city of Chesapeake offers an interesting mix of urban, suburban, waterfront, and inland environments. Aside from its identity as a place of great historical and cultural significance, Chesapeake is also notable for providing a relaxing place to live, complete numerous green zones and welcoming neighborhoods. Homes in Chesapeake are an eclectic mix of classic silhouettes—Georgian, Hampton, Craftsman—as well as modern contemporary styles.

This list presents the top architectural firms in the area that deliver the best designs for a home in Chesapeake. These firms take great pride in their body of work, their excellent craftsmanship, and the level of their expertise. Our team selected these firms based on their experience, the quality of their client reviews, their awards, their principal’s backgrounds, and their overall standing in the community. On the other hand, if you want to learn more about the cost of building a custom home in Chesapeake, check out our cost guide article.

Bardoun Design PC

714 Graydon Ave., Norfolk, VA 23507

Started in 1999 by Martin Bardoun, Bardoun Design PC has worked hard to provide quality architectural services to clients throughout the Mid-Atlantic Region and beyond. It has built a reputation for quality design that always exceeds client expectations. The firm is well-versed in meeting strict deadlines as well as offering services at competitive prices.

Martin leads his firm with the experience he has accumulated over the years to guide him. He has worked for a variety of architectural offices in the US and abroad, including the commercial design giant, Gensler. He is a member of the American Institute of Architects and he is a LEED Accredited Professional. He is licensed in New York, Virginia, and North Carolina. 

Bardoun Design PC provides architectural design for residential spaces as well as commercial buildings. The firm is known for its single-family, duplex, and multifamily designs. The firm has also been noted for its architectural plans for restaurants and offices.

Cox, Kliewer & Company 

2533 Virginia Beach Blvd., Virginia Beach, VA 23452

Strong teamwork orientation and dedication to design quality — these are the pillars of architectural firm Cox, Kliewer & Company. Established in 1984, the firm has designed and managed the construction of over 25 million-square-feet of enclosed space across Virginia. It has successfully addressed the challenges of every project by expanding the team approach to its clients, which makes the owner, architect, and general contractor equal partners. This emphasis on clear and constant communication facilitates critical checks and balances, reduces cost, and provides a great experience for the client. 

Founders Gerald Cox and Lawrence Kliewer Jr. manage the firm to this day. Kliewer is the principal-in-charge of design. He offers expertise in new architectural design, renovation, consultation, cost estimating, landscape planning, and interior design. Cox maintains an active role by directing company construction documentation and administration.

The firm prides itself on making each project an original. It tailors its package of services to the needs of every project. It designs projects for various markets, from mixed-use to multifamily, office to retail, hotels to manufacturing. It also designs a lot of single-family homes in Chesapeake, Norfolk, and Virginia Beach.

GARC Design

121 W. Tazewell St., Norfolk, VA 23510

Founded in Norfolk in 2015, GARC Design is a premier architectural and design firm that develops its work from strategic thinking of social contexts, human behaviors, and environmental concerns. The GARC portfolio includes local design work across the US as well as an international profile of work that spans Southeast Asia and China. This Norfolk firm incorporates holistic design solutions by integrating architecture, interior, and landscape design. The studio has designed award-winning projects like the University of South Florida School of Music and the Alice Lloyd Hall Renovation at the University of Michigan. GARC Design designed this artist’s home in Chesapeake. The firm transformed an existing Ranch Style home into an elegant Gothic Revival style residence. 

Ionic Dezign Studios

293 Independence Blvd. Building 5, Suite 308, Virginia Beach, VA 23462

When Eugene Thompson decided to open his own firm in 1999 from the comforts of his living room, his goal was to create spaces that enrich the lives of those who use them. Two decades later, Ionic Dezign Studios became an award-winning architectural and interior design firm with offices in Virginia Beach and Richmond. Its strategic location allows it to take on clients all over Virginia. Thompson’s education abroad has equipped him with the knowledge and understanding of new and historic architecture which he uses to lead his team and company effectively. 

While most firms focus only on architectural services, the firm offers turnkey solutions that encompass everything from early master planning to building the finished product. This approach has made Ionic Design a go-to firm for residential clients and commercial patrons alike. The company has completed projects in the space planning, corporate interior, retail, restaurant, and religious sectors. The firm also maintains active membership in the AIA, ASID, IIDA, and USGBC. This keeps the firm on top of innovative design trends and helps it apply those innovations to every successful project.

Livas Group Inc.

246 West Freemason St., Norfolk, VA 23510

A rich history of award-winning architecture defines local architecture firm, Livas Group Inc. Since its establishment in 1948, the firm has served Norfolk and the rest of Virginia with practical and novel architectural designs. The firm was founded by Arkansas-native Henry Livas. He is educated in engineering, architecture, and building design and possesses extensive knowledge in drafting, designing specifications, and field supervision. He is a recognized leader in the architectural industry and has served as president of the National Technical Association.

Henry’s legacy continues in every member of the Livas Group. The firm’s team is dedicated to providing individual and personalized attention, comprehensive services, and understanding the uniqueness of every challenge. Because of this, the firm’s commercial work has earned awards from the AIA over the years. The firm’s architectural prowess encompasses projects in the academic, athletic, corporate, historic, religious, and residential markets.

McNaughton Architecture

709 Kingston Dr., Virginia Beach, VA 23452

Virginia Beach architect, Steve McNaughton, uses his two decades of experience to provide tastefully designed homes to residents of Norfolk, Chesapeake, Suffolk, and Virginia Beach. A graduate of Hampton University, he holds a Bachelor of Architecture Degree and has earned the AIA School Medal from the American Institute of Architects. He is a member of the AIA and currently serves on the Board of the Virginia Beach Historic Houses Foundation and the Virginia Beach Historical Register Review Committee.

Steve has extensive experience in residential projects of varying sizes and types. That includes new construction and historic preservation projects as well as educational and institutional projects. His approach to architecture is client-centered. His acute attention to detail is directed to providing the client’s ultimate needs. He also provides the necessary direction to guide the process smoothly to a successful, finished project. Responsiveness and open, earnest communication embody his practice.

The Design Collaborative Architects

424 W 21st St., Norfolk, Virginia 23517

Architectural firm The Design Collaborative Architects has spent the last four decades providing innovative architectural solutions for homeowners and businesses in Norfolk, Chesapeake, and Virginia Beach. The firm’s sterling reputation is backed by awards for its commercial and community projects and five-star reviews for its residential projects. The firm is known for incorporating holistic design solutions — integrating architecture, interior design, and landscape design. The firm was started by partners Edward Lazaron and Richard Fitts, who are actively involved in every project from start to finish.

The firm’s residential projects include single-family homes, duplexes, condos, and apartments. For this striking modern home in Virginia Beach, the firm solved all previous problems of the owners with renovations; the firm helped this family achieve a long-awaited dream home. The firm facilitated the compromise between the owners’ competing needs and desires — a fully modern home with clean lines and cool interiors that is still warm, homey, and inviting. Outside, the home projects a striking profile with its tall structure, 90-degree angles, and slim, black-trimmed windows. Inside, you’ll find mild textures like tawny brick and dark wood accent the bright open layout.

Wermers Design & Architecture

1177 Starr Way, Virginia Beach, VA 23454

Wermers Design & Architecture is a small firm with big firm capabilities. The Virginia Beach-based design studio creates solutions for living, working, and playing. It merges strategic thinking and creative insight to produce places that are imaginative, collaborative,  and smart. 

The firm was founded by Charles Wermers in 2010. He leads his firm with more than 15 years of experience to back him. His career includes years working in New York with some of the best architecture firms in the country, including Rockwell Group and Ike, Kligerman, and Barkley. 

Wermers designed the Shingle Style House for Mid-Atlantic Builders at East Beach in Norfolk, VA. The compact, 2000 sq. ft. House has a ground-level Master Bedroom and an additional apartment over the garage. The home sold before construction was even complete.

Work Program Architects

400 Granby St., Suite 301, Norfolk, VA 23510

When architects Mel Price and Thom White started Work Program Architects in 2010, the two local architects established a premier architectural firm with a diverse set of services for a wide reach of projects. The two merged their collective backgrounds in historic preservation, adaptive reuse, cultural facilities, commercial work, higher education, advocacy, and residential properties to address the needs of businesses, residents, and organizations across Virginia. With its work rooted in true collaboration, its team operates within an open studio environment and is consistently in open communication with clients, consultants, and the community.

The firm includes an eclectic mix of professionals with a broad range of skills including architecture, industrial design, urban planning, graphic design, fabrication, modeling, and project management. It also has an in-house licensed educator that facilitates the team’s continuous learning and development in the latest trends in architecture and sustainability. 

WPA’s residential projects range from historical renovations to new construction. The firm is capable of everything from modern residences to classic carriage and brick homes. Featured here is a modern, classic home in Historic Ghent. WPA designed it to blend with the 19th-century neighborhood while infusing it with all the modern conveniences. The firm worked closely with the owners and the masons to design brick bond patterning, smooth and rock-faced limestone headers, sills, and string courses.