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The Best Architectural Firms in Virginia

6 Min Read

Virginia brims with diverse landscapes—everything from stunning Appalachian mountain trails to serene coastal beaches. Rich in history and culture, it offers a vibrant food scene, exceptional educational institutions, and a welcoming community spirit. The architectural finesse in the state is also noteworthy. We present eight of the top architectural firms in Virginia, carefully chosen for their awards, experience, and impressive portfolios.

Clark Nexsen

4525 Main Street, Suite 1400, Virginia Beach, VA 23462

Clark Nexsen has epitomized the creative fusion of architecture and engineering for over a century. Established in 1920, it has evolved into a fully integrated firm with nearly 400 employees and ten offices around the globe. The firm addresses a broad spectrum of markets from infrastructure to K-12 education. Its foundation is rooted in collaboration and a wide range of expertise, aiming to create a better world through innovative design solutions.

Led by Principal and Architectural Department Head Damian Seitz, an AIA and LEED AP BD+C, the firm continues to build on an illustrious legacy. Recognized by esteemed organizations, it has received numerous accolades including a 2021 COTE Award from AIA Hampton Roads and a place among the Top Giants of Interior Design. A recipient of LEED Platinum, Gold, and Silver certifications, it embodies a firm commitment to sustainability. As a trusted partner to U.S. and global clients, Clark Nexsen exemplifies excellence in integrated architectural and engineering solutions.

HBA Architecture & Interior Design

1 Columbus Center, Suite 1000, Virginia Beach, VA 23462

Founded in 1974 by William H. Hargrove and Dan H. Brockwell, HBA Architecture & Interior Design has steadily grown into an award-winning firm renowned for its diversity in project types and client-focused approach. At its core, the firm values are listening, designing, advocating, and delivering.

Currently helmed by Bill Hargrove, AIA, a principal with over 45 years of experience, and Mike Ross, AIA, REFP, a leader in educational facility planning and design, it continues to evolve and make a significant impact.

The firm’s credentials include LEED Gold and Silver accreditations, an indicator of its commitment to sustainable architecture. The firm has been recognized numerous times for its work, including a 2021 Southeastern Coastal Virginia Top Workplace Award and a 2018 Honor Award of Excellence in Historic Restoration. Its success is underscored by its five decades in business—a testament to its enduring dedication to architecture and interior design excellence.

Ionic DeZign Studios

293 Independence Boulevard, Building 5, Suite 308, Virginia Beach, VA 23462

Ionic DeZign Studios, established in 1999, has made its mark by providing personalized, custom architectural design across various sectors including medical, educational, financial, religious, and retail. It has leveraged its years of expertise to bring clients’ visions to life, handling everything from site and space planning to permit and construction documents, all the way to contract administration.

D. Eugene Thompson, the firm’s President, Founder, and Sr. Architect, champions the company’s commitment to high-quality design. His affiliations, including AIA, Hampton Roads Association for Commercial Real Estate, and USGBC, mirror the company’s broad industry involvement. Ionic DeZign Studios holds LEED and VHDA certifications, marking its commitment to sustainable and affordable design.

In 2017, the firm received the Planning Commission Design Awards Honors Award for Commercial Development and two awards from the National Association of Church Design Builders, highlighting its innovative and purposeful design capacity.

TS3 Architects

1228 Perimeter Parkway, Suite 101, Virginia Beach, VA 23454

TS3 Architects, a Virginia Beach-based firm established in 2011, specializes in architecture, interiors, and planning design across the corporate interiors, multi-family residential communities, medical, and retail sectors. Holding licenses across 14 states demonstrates its dedication to building lasting relationships and offering innovative, integrated, and informed design solutions.

Leading the design team is Founding Principal Thomas F. Smith III, AIA, a graduate of the New York Institute of Technology and participant in the EarthCraft Virginia Builder/Developer Training Program. With a track record of designing and renovating over 2,500 units in 16 multi-family developments throughout VA and MD, the firm balances budget, scheduling, environmental, and aesthetic considerations to create sustainable and imaginative projects. 

The firm has won awards from the Hampton Roads Association for Commercial Real Estate, Virginia Beach Planning Commission, and IIDA Virginia/West Virginia.

Carter + Burton Architecture

11 West Main Street, Berryville, VA 22611

Carter + Burton Architecture, established in 1992, is a small firm in Berryville, Virginia, dedicated to delivering a select number of impressive projects each year. Operating across a wide range of budgets, it navigates sustainable design challenges with ingenuity and expertise, keen to make a trip for the right client and project.

Over the years, the firm has accumulated impressive industry wins, including the Washingtonian / AIA DC Residential Design Award, the Northern Virginia AIA Design Awards, and the 20+10+X Architecture Awards. This robust recognition for its innovative and sustainable design work is a testament to its commitment to pushing architectural boundaries. With accreditation from AIA Virginia and NCARB, Carter + Burton Architecture has served its clientele for over three decades, marking its substantial experience and ongoing commitment to architectural excellence.

Matthew G Burton Architect LLC

109 Nat Turner Boulevard, Newport News, VA 23606

Matthew G Burton Architect LLC, established in 2010, offers architectural planning and design services for various new construction and renovation projects. Its commitment extends to all projects, regardless of size or type. The firm puts together a highly qualified project team of in-house experts and a collaborative network of preferred consultants. Sustainability forms an essential element of its work, and it actively seeks to incorporate innovative and practical sustainable design features into each project, always aiming for client benefits.

Embracing the technology shaping the future of the design and construction industry, it uses 3D modeling and visualization throughout the design process for a more holistic understanding of the design concept. Led by Principal Matthew G. Burton, a California Polytechnic State University graduate, the firm is accredited by AIA, LEED, NCARB, and it is a SWaM Certified Small Business. With 13 years of industry presence, it is proven itself to be a reliable architectural design partner.

GARC Design

500 E Main Street 16th F, Norfolk, VA 23510

GARC Design, founded in Norfolk, Virginia in 2015, remains committed to enhancing its clients’ daily life through its architectural endeavors. It takes a comprehensive approach to its work, integrating architecture, interior, and landscape design. The result is holistic solutions. Furthermore, it offers various consultancy services to cater to diverse needs.

Under the guidance of its Principal, Yang Tian—a distinguished member of the AIA, RIBA, and a LEED AP—the firm embodies a culture of expertise and excellence. Its exemplary work has been recognized with multiple awards, including the 2020 HRACRE Design Awards for ‘Best Recreation/Entertainment/Hospitality Project’ and ‘Best Interior Excellence.’

The firm’s work and insights have been featured in Design Milk and Tidewater Family Plus, indicating its influence in the architectural field. With a team certified by AIA, Assoc. AIA, RIBA, and LEED AP, GARC Design continues an industry presence spanning eight fruitful years.


4015 Fitzhugh Avenue, Richmond, VA 23230

Established in 1999, 3North stands as a unified design firm, offering a blend of architectural, interior, and landscape architectural solutions. It is based in Richmond and extends its presence to San Francisco. The firm’s skill in devising inspired answers to complex design challenges has generated a broad portfolio that includes art galleries, schools, boutique hotels, cultural spaces, private homes, and vacation residences.

Led by principals Erin Webb and Morgan Pierce—both are AIA members, and Pierce maintains ASLA and LEED AP affiliations as well—the firm fosters an environment of expertise and collaborative spirit. Its dedication to industry standards and sustainable practices is evident in the certifications held by the firm, including AIA, ASLA, and LEED EPA. Having spent 24 years in the industry, 3North continues to innovate and raise the bar in design excellence. Its unique unified approach sets it apart—this firm is redefining architectural design and practice.