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The Best Architects in Raleigh, North Carolina

8 Min Read

Last updated on May 27th, 2024 at 12:46 pm

Thanks to its unique features, Raleigh is known by several nicknames, including the “Smithsonian of the South,” “The City of Oaks,” and “The Triangle.” This well-developed metropolis is special for being able to give locals and visitors the big city feel while still offering the southern charm of a small town. Downtown Raleigh, for example, is small enough for people to explore it by bike and foot, and provides a lot of historic experiences with its Victorian mansion-filled neighborhoods and impressive museums. Visitors and residents can also take a short drive to enjoy some outdoor activities at Pullen Park and William B. Umstead State Park.

For anyone interested in moving to or starting a business in Raleigh, we have created a list of the best interior architects in the area. These firms, having been in the industry for years, understand the best ways to integrate creativity with professionalism in order to produce projects its clients are proud of.

Cline Design

125 N. Harrington St. Raleigh, NC 27603

Cline Design is a firm providing integrated design services that aim to shape communities and meet the needs of its residents. The firm’s approach to successful projects focuses on listening to clients, researching the environment, and experimenting with design solutions. Using this thorough and client-centric process allows Cline Design to produce spaces that are tailored to specific clients and communities. The firm also focuses on thoughtfully connecting interior and exterior spaces to create a seamless experience that respects and prompts appreciation for the environment.

Managing partners Michael Mesnard, a member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), and Cari Jones, an AIA and National Council of Architectural Registration Board (NCARB) member, serve at the forefront of the firm’s operations. Mesnard primarily functions as firm president, guiding Cline Design through office, retail, high-rise, mid-rise, and mixed-use projects. He is particularly interested in ensuring that designs provide functional solutions and meet client and community expectations. Jones, on the other hand, mostly takes on residential and mixed-use projects, working with clients to produce thoughtful and contextual designs. She is the principal-in-charge for multi-family projects and for overseeing the design phase of the firm’s residential work.

Szostak Design

3101/2 West Franklin St. Chapel Hill, NC 27516

Founded in 1980, Szostak Design is the oldest firm on this list. Philip Szostak, a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects (FAIA), and David Clinton, an AIA and NCARB member, as well as a Recognized Educational Facility Professional/Planner (REFP), guide the firm in creating tailored design solutions for its clients. Szostak, who is also the firm’s founder, leverages his four decades of experience to oversee the design and documentation process. In his time at the firm, he has worked on notable projects like the Durham Performing Arts Center and the Aloft Hotel in Downtown Durham, leading to local and national industry acknowledgment. Clinton also has 40 years of experience in the industry, and his expertise includes developing educational facilities and providing programming, design, and project management services.

Szostak Design is structured to provide clients with hands-on and personalized services, from the start to finish of every project. This approach comes from the philosophy that architecture should create meaningful experiences for clients and end users. The firm’s team therefore works to foster client-centric collaboration to ensure its designs can be easily integrated into a community. On top of site and community specificity, Szostak Design also observes environmental responsibility in each project. The firm treats sustainability as essential to good design, resulting in several of its projects earning Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certifications. 

310 Architecture + Interiors

302 Jefferson St. Suite 250, Raleigh, NC 27605

Based in Raleigh, 310 Architecture + Interiors provides clients with integrated services centered on three areas: architecture, interior design, and experience design. Its clients are typically from the corporate, educational, healthcare, government, retail, and commercial sectors. The firm’s skill and expertise allow it to holistically work on projects, tackling the work from various angles to make sure all bases are covered. The firm also functions as a single department, which cuts down the inefficiencies of having individual and single-discipline divisions.

Paul Fox and David Bradford work as the guiding force of 310 Architecture + Interiors’ operations. As the director of interior design, Fox combines his understanding of architecture and interior design to produce comprehensive plans and designs. Bradford, on the other hand, who is an AIA member and a LEED Accredited Professional (LEED AP), handles project management from concept to completion. His extensive experience in the field allows him to guide the team in achieving design excellence and client satisfaction.

Louis Cherry Architecture

222 North Bloodworth St. Raleigh, NC 27601

Founded on the traditions of design and construction, Louis Cherry Architecture creates functional and culture-based spaces. Founder Louis Cherry, an FAIA, built the firm’s practice on the belief that architecture and design should give people both a place to live and work and functional solutions to unique problems. He also built the firm’s philosophy: that architecture allows different human experiences to intersect. Thus, each of its projects is designed to enrich lives while providing an avenue for people to interact with the environment. 

Cherry’s designs take inspiration from different perspectives and his dedication to co-existing with nature. His projects typically feature ample amounts of natural light in areas where people congregate; electric lighting is used as a complementing detail rather than the main source of light. This approach allows Cherry to connect interior and exterior areas, so people can comfortably interact with nature and one another. The Therien Residence in Raleigh, for example, uses a layout that opens up to the surrounding forest. In particular, the balcony’s large glass doors allow natural light and cool air to come into the interior spaces. Louis Cherry Architecture also used wide glass windows in other areas of the home.

2SL Design Build

210 E Franklin St. Raleigh, NC 27604

Husband-and-wife duo John and Lina Sibert founded 2SL Design Build in 1997 to serve clients in Raleigh. Before John began his professional career, he realized the necessity of design-build services in both commercial and residential projects. He felt that this approach made it easier to bridge the gap between vision and execution. Meanwhile, Lina taught design for several years at Meredith College before working full-time at 2SL Design Build. She primarily oversees the firm’s development and creative design process.

2SL Design Build’s expertise lies in architecture and design-build that uses a value-oriented approach to ensure clients receive comprehensive and customized services, including design, estimation, construction management, interior design, and site planning. The firm’s portfolio is a mix of residential and commercial projects, many of which have been completed in collaboration with architects, designers, developers, and homeowners. In achieving its clients’ goals, 2SL Design Build adheres to the values of integrity, responsiveness, clarity, and creativity.

Ellen Cassilly Architects

600 Foster St. Durham, NC 27701

Ellen Cassilly founded Ellen Cassilly Architects (ECA) to work on community-based projects that inspire and enhance a person’s sense of space. Its projects come from collaborating with clients to create design solutions tailored to fit the site and meet specific needs. At various project stages, the firm also works with local craftspeople, artists, and consultants to ensure that its team understands how to adapt its approach to unique requirements and conditions. This approach has been applied to a wide range of project types, including for the commercial, residential, education, landscape, and public sectors.

Founder Ellen Cassilly works as ECA’s principal architect. Her focus lies in creating spaces that bring value to neighborhoods, prioritizing modernity and sustainability, while minimizing urban sprawl. Cassilly’s experience prior to establishing ECA can be traced back to Paris, where she worked with Christian de Portzamparc, and later when she moved to the Triangle. In 1994, she worked at Frank Harmon Architect and contributed to the success of notable projects like the North Carolina Museum of Art Amphitheater and Gift Shop, St. Matthew’s Parish House, and Durham Friends School.