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The Best Architectural Firms in Oakland, California

8 Min Read

Last updated on May 27th, 2024 at 12:49 pm

Nestled at the vibrant heart of the Bay Area, Oakland, California, stands as a testament to the confluence of culture, innovation, and heritage. Renowned for its diverse neighborhoods, captivating architecture, and thriving arts milieu, Oakland encapsulates the very essence of West Coast urban living.

For those embarking on architectural odysseys to redefine spaces and carve new skylines, our selection unveils Oakland’s premier architectural firms. This lifted of firms has been carefully curated—each firm was chosen for its stellar portfolio, visionary designs, community influence, and industry acclaim. Spanning from sleek contemporary edifices seamlessly melding with the urban panorama to meticulously restored historic gems, these architects transform dreams into structures that unite aesthetics and utility.


Cass Calder Smith

44 McLea Court, San Francisco, CA 94103

Established in 1992, Cass Calder Smith is an esteemed multidisciplinary firm that embodies design excellence, driven by a cohesive team of devoted professionals. The firm is led by four principals—Barbara Vickroy, Taylor Lawson, and Tim Quayle—operating harmoniously between San Francisco and New York and supported by a skilled staff of 20.

Cass Calder Smith’s creative impact extends across the national and international landscape, shaping spaces for diverse purposes such as dining, living, shopping, working, and exhibiting. Armed with extensive experience, the firm provides holistic architecture and interior design solutions, from groundbreaking constructions to transformative renovations and interior buildouts. Its diverse clientele includes individuals, businesses, and non-profits, and its philosophy is rooted in visionary leadership, innovation, and collaborative synergy.

One of the firm’s esteemed accolades is the Interiors of Latin America and the Caribbean award, bestowed by the International Interior Design Association (IIDA). The firm’s steadfast affiliations with the IIDA and the American Institute of Architects underline its unwavering commitment to industry standards. The embodiment of its artistic ethos graces the pages of respected publications such as Hospitality Snapshot and Ocean Home, mirroring its unyielding pursuit of pushing creative boundaries.,


Lowney Architecture

360 17th Street, Suite 200, Oakland, CA 94612

Founded in 2003, Lowney Architecture is a versatile multidisciplinary firm with dedicated teams in Oakland and Honolulu. Its expertise includes architectural design, interior design, and landscape architecture, and it provides those services through nurturing holistic and integrated solutions. Guided by its commitment to excellence, Lowney Architecture remains closely affiliated with the American Institute of Architects and the Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, actively participating in the city’s dynamic growth.

Featured in noteworthy publications such as the San Francisco Chronicle and Hawaii Business Magazine, the company’s work speaks to its dedication and innovation in the field. Led by CEO Ken Lowney, a distinguished alumnus of the Southern California Institute of Architecture and Occidental College, the company’s visionary leadership continues to shape environments that harmonize aesthetics, functionality, and community engagement.


Arcsine Architecture

414 Thirteenth Street, Suite 350, Oakland, CA 94612

Arcsine Architecture, an architecture and interior design firm, specializes in crafting innovative and dynamic spaces across the hospitality, restaurant, and workplace sectors. Notable accolades include the Hospitality Design Award and the HD Nightlife Award.

In the realm of press coverage, Arcsine Architecture has been featured in Alameda Magazine, California Home+Design, and Teleferic Barcelona. The firm’s founders, Daniel Scovill and Adam Winig, bring extensive expertise to their roles. Daniel Scovill holds a Bachelor of Architecture from California Polytechnic State University – San Luis Obispo, while Adam Winig possesses a Master of Architecture from the University of Michigan and a BA in Studio Arts from Brandeis University. Arcsine Architecture remains dedicated to shaping exceptional spaces that embody innovation and creativity.


Kaplan Architects

49 Zoe Street, Suite 10, San Francisco, CA 94107

Established in 1985, Kaplan Architects is a distinguished San Francisco and East Bay-based residential architecture service with a profound presence across the Bay Area and beyond. Specializing primarily in custom, high-end residential, and small commercial projects throughout San Francisco and the rest of the Bay Area, it brings a robust blend of design ingenuity and technical prowess to each endeavor. The firm’s expertise encompasses new home designs, transformative remodels, and thoughtful additions.

Kaplan Architects’ accomplishments include recognition from the National and local American Society of Interior Designers through awards granted in 2013 and 2014. The company also maintains membership with esteemed institutions such as the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards, the American Institute of Architects San Francisco, and the Custom Residential Architects Network. At the helm is Principal Edward Kaplan, a visionary graduate of UC Berkeley’s Bachelor and Master of Architecture programs—he continues to shape the team’s commitment to innovative and purposeful design.


Ecobuild Architects

363 17th Street, Suite 301, Oakland, CA 94612

Ecobuild Architects is a residential and commercial architecture firm distinguished for its adeptness in harmonizing architectural style with impeccable craftsmanship. The firm’s cornerstone lies in its dedication to ecological design practices, ensuring a seamless integration of its creations within the natural environment.

Under the leadership of Principal Courtney Miller, Ecobuild Architects boasts a cohesive team of LEED-accredited professionals who passionately advocate for sustainable building practices. The studio’s hallmark is its ability to flawlessly marry the unique characteristics of each site with the distinct aspirations of its clients, resulting in tailor-made solutions that exude authenticity and individuality.

With a solid foundation in environmental consciousness and architectural finesse, Ecobuild Architects is a committed collaborator, skillfully transforming spaces into living works of art. Every project undertaken is a testament to the firm’s unwavering commitment to timeless design principles and a sustainable future.


Klopf Architecture

2180 Bryant Street, Suite 203, San Francisco, CA 94110

Klopf Architecture is about inviting the outdoors indoors. Its designs embody a warm, modern aesthetic that embraces natural light and a seamless connection to the environment. The company is passionate about crafting spaces that resonate with people, nurturing a deep sense of comfort and belonging.

Specializing in modern net-zero energy homes, Klopf Architecture’s expertise extends to reimagining mid-century modern and Eichler residences. Its mission is to revive these iconic homes for a new generation’s admiration while also conceiving fresh, eco-friendly, modern homes that echo the same ethos.

Over two decades in the Bay Area and Hawaii, Klopf Architecture has created designs for over 300 mid-century remodels and additions, along with innovative green, net-zero energy homes. The firm was awarded the 2016 Gentry Home Magazine Design Excellence Award for its excellence,  maintains professional affiliations with the Eichler Network, and employs a Certified Passive House Design/Consultant.


Mark Brand Architecture

744 Harrison Street, San Francisco, CA 94107

Mark Brand Architecture’s distinction lies in its award-winning architecture and interior design studio, where the marriage of elevated design and pragmatic sensibility takes center stage. The studio’s hallmark over its nearly three-decade journey has been the artistry it brings to crafting exceptional new homes and orchestrating substantial residential remodels and additions.

Mark Brand Architecture’s commitment extends beyond design conceptualization. With an adept familiarity with Bay Area planning and building regulations, the firm fosters positive interactions with project neighbors—it has a strong track record of constructive engagements. The studio’s commitment to seamless execution is further underscored by its rigorous project documentation and the harmonious collaboration it nurtures with a network of dependable contractors, engineers, and estimators.

Mark Brand Architecture is affiliated with the American Institute of Architects San Francisco and has earned recognition through press features such as Architizer. The firm is led by principal and founder Mark Brand, who holds a degree in Architecture from the University of California – Berkeley. The leadership also includes principal Jacob Moyer, an alumnus of Iowa State University and the University of Newcastle.