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The Best Beach House Architects in the US

46 Min Read

Beaches bring a sense of peace, calm, and relaxation. Not surprisingly, they are premium land: beaches house some of the most wonderful luxury resorts and some of the most beautiful, breathtaking homes. Designing and crafting such homes, however, comes with a number of challenges. Such obstacles demand skill and expertise from contractors and architects alike. Not everyone is well-versed with what these landscapes demand of homeowners and homebuilders.

Our editorial team loves beach homes, and we’ve compiled 50 of the best architects across the country who have worked on some of the most beautiful waterfront homes. These excellent contractors were chosen based on experience, merit, and their portfolios. As you go through this list, you may notice the varying designs in the chosen projects because—contrary to popular belief—beach homes are more than classic villas with a lot of open space. The beach scene is as eternally dynamic as the sea itself; this article showcases the work of architects breathing new life into old architectural clichés.

If you are thinking about building a beach house, we recommend checking each builder’s license with the local licensing board, speaking to past clients, and using our bidding system to get competitive quotes from at least 3 contractors. Getting multiple bids is the best way to ensure you get a fair price and that bids include the complete scope of work.

Alexander Gorlin Architects

1133 Broadway Suite #1107, New York, NY 10010

Alexander Gorlin opened his practice after receiving a Rome Prize in architecture. Since then he has consistently been named among Architectural Digest’s Top 100 Architects since the year 2000 and has had the privilege of his work being exhibited at the MoMA and the Chicago Athenaeum. He is also the proud recipient of a multitude of distinctions from the AIA and has had his work featured in The New York Times and the Architectural Record. Adhering to his modernist principles, Gorlin has led his practice into becoming a known name for its high-end residential work and apartment buildings. He and his team have also taken on several educational and religious projects which have involved master planning skills. The firm is noted for its excellent use of space, light, and natural materials.

Photo by Michael Moran

Photo by Michael Moran

Gorlin and his team creatively divide the firm’s portfolio according to a home’s design, terrain, and inspiration. Completed in Southampton, this striking beach home was built with European limestone and African hardwood. It spans over 12,000 square feet and consists of two stories. Designed with the firm’s signature modern touch, this home features three master bedrooms, three guest suites, staff quarters, and an outdoor pool. To top it all off—so to speak—it also sports a rooftop terrace. You can view more of their work here or call them at (212) 229-1199.

Allan Greenberg Architect

1217 King St., Alexandria, VA 22314

Completed in South Carolina, the wonderful coastal home below faces the Atlantic and features splendid custom finishes and details. It is patterned after classic Mediterranean homes, as you’ll notice in the firm’s choice of stucco exteriors coupled with smooth columns and warm mahogany windows and doors. Inside, the home features elegantly crafted wood details coupled with marble, a large spiral staircase, and large but romantic entertainment areas fit for both family and intimate gatherings with guests. The firm behind this extravagant home—Allan Greenberg Architect—has been in the industry since 1972 and operates out of offices in New York and Virginia. The firm has made itself known for its combination of the latest construction and design techniques with timeless architectural themes. The firm’s specialties include master plans, feasibility studies, new construction, renovations, restorations, and interior and furniture design for a large array of markets.

The firm has completed projects across the country and abroad; some of its best work has popped up in various parts of Europe and the Middle East. The firm is composed of eight architects: two LEED-credentialed professionals, a credentialed preservationist, and an architectural historian. At its helm is its namesake Allan Greenberg, the first American to be lauded with the Richard H. Driehaus Prize for Classical Architecture.

Austin Patterson Disston Architecture & Design

376 Pequot Ave., Southport, CT 06890

With offices in Southport, Connecticut, and Quogue, New York, Austin Patterson Disston Architecture and Design has been in business since 1982. It is a full-service architectural firm and is composed of 24 professionals, five of whom are experienced and licensed architects. The firm primarily specializes and focuses on highly customized work and has worked on numerous residential, hospitality, and private club projects. It is capable of taking on not only new construction work but also renovations, restorations, additions, and apartments. The firm’s approach is anchored in the consideration of the natural contexts of each building site. The firm’s work has graced the pages of publications such as Connecticut Cottages & Gardens and Hamptons Cottages & Gardens. It is also the proud recipient of various distinctions from the AIA.

Featured above is the firm’s work for its Scott’s Cove Waterfront project. Located in Darien, this home sits on rocky outcroppings predominant along the waterfront of the Tokeneke residential community. It spans 6,435 square feet and thanks to the firm’s designs, it fits naturally into its settings. It features a gambrel roof and several other classic New England style elements. Inside, the home provides several elegant spaces with wonderful views of the nearby sea and its own double-height library and gallery.

Barnes Coy Architects

1936 Montauk Hwy., Bridgehampton, NY 11932

Barnes Coy Architects is committed to innovative techniques, crafting homes that celebrate light, space, and modern lifestyles. The firm has been in business since 1993 and has been the recipient of a multitude of awards and distinctions. The firm is led by Christopher Coy and Robert Barnes, who have expanded the company to operate out of offices in Bridgehampton and Manhattan. The firm has completed over 250 projects in some of New York’s most sought after communities and neighborhoods, including the much-coveted Hamptons. The firm’s spectacular work may also be spotted in the Caribbean’s St. Bart’s or the Pacific’s Costa Rica.

The firm collaborates with its clients throughout the entire process. The process begins with analyzing a particular site, whether it be a waterfront in the Hamptons or a desert mesa in the Southwest. The firm draws inspiration from the landscape and environment and works from there.

The firm is often noted for its love for minimalist elements. The Barnes Coy team is found of using floor-to-ceiling transparency to capture natural light and rugged textures to create shadows and depth. We fell in love with this elliptical beachside home. It was featured by Architectural Digest and rightfully so: it is a harbor-side retreat inspired by the golden mean. The home spans over 7,000 square feet: it is easily capable of hosting 60 people for a cocktail party.

Bates Masi + Architects

132 N Main St. 2nd Floor, East Hampton, NY 11937

Bates Masi and Architects is a full-service architectural firm that offers potential clients five decades of industry experience. It operates out of its headquarters in East Hampton and extends its services throughout New York City and the eastern end of Long Island. The firm approaches each of its projects with extensive research and provides unique solutions to address challenges posed by a wide range of architectural designs, always with the use of excellent materials. The firm’s expansive portfolio encompasses single-family residences, suburban residences, schools, offices, and hotels. The firm has also worked on several retail projects and builds its own custom furniture. The firm has received over 183 design awards and has had the privilege of being featured in various publications. Some of these noteworthy periodicals include The New York Times, New York Magazine, Architectural Digest, and Dwell.

The featured project above won the firm numerous distinctions from the AIA including the 2020 AIA Peconic Award of Merit and the 2019 American Architecture Award, to name just a few.

Blaze Makoid Architecture

7 Tradesman Path Suite #4, Bridgehampton, NY 11932

Spanning 3,600 square feet, the elegantly designed project below is situated in a small cove in Sag Harbor. The home was crafted and conceptualized with its owners—a family of four with a very active lifestyle—in mind. The home is the perfect platform for sailing, surfing, paddleboarding, swimming, and biking. Smooth transitions between its indoor and outdoor spaces make all of these activities easier and more enjoyable. The home resembles the letter “C;” two of the legs are parallel to the water’s edge. The home is divided into three sections linked together by one common glass gallery. The second-floor master suite appears to float over the ground floor living room and the dining room and kitchen are wrapped in floor to ceiling, telescoping glass. The spacious courtyard has an inviting fire pit, allowing for cozy gatherings and magnificent views of the water and sunset.

This is just one of Blaze Makoid Architecture’s breathtaking designs. The firm’s work has graced the pages of publications like Ocean Home and Architectural Digest. And it’s no stranger to the AIA’s prestigious Award of Merit.

Brillhart Architecture

1278 NW 29th St., Miami, FL 33142

Based in Miami, Brillhart Architecture is an expert in vernacular building principles, the anchor of its work. The firm focuses on using natural materials and taking cues from a residence’s surrounding landscape. The firm consistently strives to craft innovative techniques with each of its projects, seeking a personalized and tailored approach for every home it designs and builds. The firm’s mission: create livable spaces that are sustainable, efficient, and environment-friendly. For its efforts, the firm has been honored with numerous national and international design awards, including the 2015 House of Year from Architect’s Newspaper and various distinctions from the AIA. The firm was once chosen as a finalist for MoMA PS1’s Young Architects Program.

The firm’s furniture designs and watercolor paintings have been exhibited throughout Miami. A prime example of its expertise for beach homes can be seen in the project above. Featured in Architect, this home is a great example of the firm’s expertise for tropical modernism. The home is elevated five feet above the ground; it’s most striking detail is 100 feet of uninterrupted glass that spans the full length of both the front and back sides of the house. The home also features over 800 square feet of outdoor living space.

Brion Jeannette Architecture

470 Old Newport Blvd. Newport Beach, CA 92663

Recognized nationally and internationally, Brion Jeannette Architecture has secured a solid reputation for itself through its world-famous, award-winning residences. The Brian Jeannette portfolio showcases a variety of sprawling estates, with designs ranging from contemporary and Cape Cod themes to classic European designs, including ornate Italian villas and Mediterranean mansions. The firm has also worked on several mid-century modern homes and Asian-inspired retreats. Brian Jeannette is manned by a group of skilled craftsmen who work closely on each of the firm’s projects, taking handmade drawings into 3D rendered plans, then turning those plans into reality.

The firm’s work has been featured in publications such as Coast, California Homes, and Design OC. This gorgeous beach home, pictured above, makes use of a variety of European and Mediterranean themes. Located in Beacon Bay, this home features shingled roofs, a warm and inviting color palette, and a large exterior terrace overlooking the ocean.

Bromley Caldari

307 W 38th St. Rm. #1116 New York, NY 10018

Founded in 1991, Bromley Caldari is known for inviting, crisp, and dynamic spaces accentuated by warm palettes and natural materials. The team adapts a home’s design to its natural surroundings and environments, rendering it more than qualified to handle a coastal project or even designing an apartment in the middle of town. As a matter of fact, the firm has revitalized industrial buildings in Brooklyn and Queens and has also worked on the preservation of a number of historic structures. The firm is led by R. Scott Bromley and Jerry Caldari, two architects known for their creative solutions and innovative techniques. Bromley has been working in and around New York City for the greater part of five decades and gained critical acclaim for being the architect of the legendary Studio 54. Caldari, on the other hand, specializes in residential, commercial, and industrial endeavors as well as adaptive reuse and historic preservations.

The firm’s craftsmanship can be best observed in the chosen project above. It is a two-story retreat custom made for a client in the fashion industry. This home faces the bay in Fire Island Pines. The residence features large panes of glass, an extravagant skylight, and an open staircase which provides a focal point for the interior. The home’s upper floor features the master suite and a loft study that overlooks the living area.

Burdge Architects

24911 Pacific Coast Hwy., Malibu, CA 90265

Based in Malibu, Burdge Architects offers a full range of architectural, planning, and consulting services. It specializes in both residential and commercial designs and has completed projects abroad. The firm is manned by a team of professional and talented architects and craftsmen who have been recognized for their expertise in a diverse set of architectural disciplines. Including elegant Spanish Mediterranean, Traditional, rustic, modern, and the latest cutting-edge contemporary designs, the firm’s projects in North America can be found in Malibu, Sun Valley, and Los Cabos, Mexico. Principal Douglas W. Burdge has established a name for himself as well, having designed and built over 300 projects throughout the region for some of the most famous Fortune 500 billionaires. The firm is a pillar and pioneer in the Malibu architectural scene and has built some of its most beautiful homes.

This expansive Malibu estate is priced at $57.5 million and was once called home by TV hit Friends sitcom producer Marta Kauffman. It spans 4,400 square feet and is reached via a long, sloping drive that cuts through a gatehouse and a swimming pool. The firm’s team borrowed various elements from classic Cape Cod homes. Inside, it features white-painted ceilings, a recurring coastal theme, an open-plan living room, a chef’s kitchen with a marble-topped island, and an office. Some of its luxurious amenities also include a sunken lounge, an open-air pavilion, steps leading to a nearby beach, and a guesthouse.

Cardello Architects

60 Post Rd., Westport, CT 06880

Cardello Architects specializes in both residential and commercial architecture and offers a full range of services. The firm works in the counties of Fairfield and Westchester and offers potential clients over two decades of industry experience. Its team of architects and professionals has worked on numerous luxury house plans and they continue to make use of a highly comprehensive and efficient process. The firm is capable of working on any challenge or specific need a client may have regarding a particular project. The firm was founded by its namesake Robert Cardello, a skilled architect who, prior to his establishment of the firm, gained experience through working within high-end residential firms. He founded the firm in 1999 and proceeded to secure a name for himself and his team as one of the New England area’s best and award-winning architects.

Showcased above is a luxury waterfront home completed in 2002. It sits on an acre of land that stretched along the coast. This new home, although sharing a similar footprint with its former deconstructed and existing house, features higher elevations which allow for terrific views of the water from every room. It also features several wonderful living spaces as you can see in its outdoor terraces and beautiful interiors.

Charles Hilton Architects

170 Mason St., Greenwich, CT 06830

Based in Greenwich, Connecticut, Charles Hilton Architects specializes in designing only the finest homes, sustainable designs, and waterfront projects. It has been in the industry for over three decades and has earned a reputation for its expertise in classical architecture, landscape features, and exceptionally crafted architectural interiors. The firm’s work can be seen in Fairfield County, Connecticut and Westchester County, New York. The firm is happy to take on any project, regardless of scale. Charles Hilton Architects’ process focuses on three aspects of the design and build process: encapsulating a client’s vision, research, and a thorough understanding of the project’s setting. The Charles Hilton is committed to incorporating green building strategies in its work: high-efficiency windows and doors, geothermal heating and cooling, co-generation of electricity and heat, and LED lighting are all key building elements.

Several of its projects, coastal and otherwise, have home automation systems, solar panels, and green roofs. The firm is manned by a group of 17 talented and experienced professionals, and its leadership has decades of experience practicing as a group. They each come equipped with backgrounds in specialty areas such as historic preservation, building science, and architectural illustration. Given their solid and long history, the Charles Hilton team has also secured relationships with some of the area’s best and leading interior, landscape, and engineering consultants rendering the firm’s already smooth process even more efficient.

Choeff Levy Fischman

8425 Biscayne Blvd. Suite #201, Miami, FL 33138

Headquartered in Miami, Choeff Levy Fischman is an award-winning firm that offers a full range of design and architectural services. The firm specializes in high-end custom residential homes and multi-family developments, as well as hotels. 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 NFL players and Hollywood celebrities. And the leadership team has provoked the firm into becoming a trailblazer in terms of modern and tropical architecture: its designs are often a fusion of indoor and outdoor spaces. That’s not uncommon for beach homes, of course, but their vision also includes a seamless blending of a home with its particular environment.

Choeff Levy Fischman has secured a solid reputation for itself across Southern Florida. The firm has also had the privilege of working on several interesting and complex projects in California and the mid-Atlantic region. 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.

Christopher Rose Architects

3509 Meeks Farm Rd., Johns Island, SC 29455

Christopher Rose Architects works on both new home construction and renovation projects. It is a small and collaborative design firm that offers a full range of comprehensive services. The Christopher Rose team is a group of professionals who have years of experience working together, a team that believes in both tradition and innovation. The firm’s design philosophy is based on South Carolina’s architectural history and its dynamic landscape. Christopher Rose, a native South Carolinian who likes to take into account a home relative to the amount of light it can allow in, leads the firm. It also incorporates a client’s lifestyles and needs into its designs, adding several sustainability features that keep its projects green and energy-efficient. The firm designs no two homes alike.

Take a look at this 5,000 square foot custom vacation residence located on Ocean Course Drive at Kiawah Island. The firm named this project the “Millenium Plantation Home.” The elliptical shape extends its living space taking advantage of prevailing sea breezes. The living areas are enclosed in glass; private spaces are kept tucked away in a more traditional fashion.

Cutler Anderson Architects

135 Parfitt Way SW, Bainbridge Island, WA 98110

Founded in 1977, Cutler Anderson Architects has completed projects across three continents and has worked on countless custom cabins, residences, libraries, resorts, churches, and government buildings. It is noted for making use of sustainable materials and processes and its homes have highly efficient elements and green details. The firm has worked on several LEED platinum and certified projects. The firm has also been recognized with six National Honor Awards from the AIA. And it has been published in a variety of magazines such as The New York Times, Architectural Record, Elle Décor Italy, Hauser, Dwell Magazine, and Seattle Magazine. The firm is led by its namesakes James L. Cutler and Bruce Anderson, two experienced architects who oversee each of the firm’s projects throughout the entire process.

Located on the Sonoma coast, the featured residential compound sits between sunny, open fields of grapevines and a lush forest. The gorgeous home features an open floor plan, glass-paneled walls, and wonderful views of the nearby waterfront.

de Reus Architects

65-1291 Kawaihae Rd. Suite #105, Kamuela, HI 96743

de Reus Architects describes its process as an infusion of architecture with interior design. The firm has the edge of having worked on numerous luxury resorts in Hawaii and has thus honed its craft for unique coastal homes that adapt perfectly into their environments. Several of its luxury resorts and hotels have been recognized with awards throughout its years in the industry. The firm has also been included in Architectural Digest’s “Top 100 Architects and Designers” and Ocean Home Magazine’s leading 50 coastal architects. The firm is personally led by its founding partners, all of whom bring to the table different experiences and particular focuses in the field. This multi-disciplinary approach has enabled the firm to become multi-faceted. From incorporating sustainable practices and materials to modernizing classic Hawaiian designs, the firm is capable of taking on any specific requests or challenges that may arise throughout the process.

The firm’s skill and craftsmanship are best showcased by the project above. Labeled in its portfolio as the “Kaupulehu Residence,” this home draws inspiration from minimalist Japanese design. The firm’s team made use of pavilion-like hipped roofs as well as a couple of inviting lanais. Note the coarse texture of the lava stone site walls: upon entering the home, these details transition to elegant, smooth sandstone.

Douglas VanderHorn Architects

41 W Elm St., Greenwich, CT 06830

Specializing in residential designs, Douglas VanderHorn Architects has worked on over 150 projects since its inception. The firm’s career spans three decades and it has become an expert in a number of complex architectural styles. The Douglas VanderHorn team makes use of innovative techniques and the industry’s latest technology. They are also noted for their excellent planning work—which minimizes overspending—and their highly personalized custom details. The firm is especially known for its Classical architecture and historic preservation projects. The firm has several vital partnerships with some of the area’s leading landscape architects, interior decorators, engineers, and specialized consultants. It has also completed projects with most talented builders and can point to numerous projects spread across Connecticut and New York as the gorgeous end results of these collaborations.

The firm is the proud recipient of a multitude of awards, most of which come from the AIA. The firm’s work has also been published in magazines such as Ocean Home Magazine and New Old House. Depicted above is some of the firm’s best. For this waterfront home, the Douglas VanderHorn team drew inspiration from French eclectic elements.

Fairfax & Sammons

2 Sniffen Court, New York, NY 10016

Fairfax & Sammons specializes in traditional architecture customized to fit into the ever-progressing modern landscape. The firm operates out of two offices in New York and Florida, and it provides comprehensive design services for residential renovations and new construction. It is an internationally-recognized firm that is best known for its command of classic architecture. Composed of a team of 15-plus professionals the firm offers a complete and comprehensive array of architectural services. The firm is led by founders Anne Fairfax and Richard Sammons, two experienced professionals will be present throughout your entire building process, including for on-site construction administration.

They are both members of the International Network for Traditional Building, Architecture, and Urbanism College of Traditional Practitioners, a prestigious organization for practitioners of classic and traditional architecture under the direct supervision and sponsorship of the Prince of Wales. The firm is also a proud recipient of a long list of industry distinctions. The firm’s work has graced the pages of several publications including The New York Times, Country Life, Architectural Digest, Southern Accents, and Old House Journal.

Guy Peterson Office for Architecture

1234 1st St. Sarasota, FL 34236

Operating out of its office in Sarasota, Guy Peterson, FAIA has committed himself to craft designs of the highest quality and he has been recognized for his efforts. Guy Peterson, FAIA is the proud recipient of over 90 design awards including over 70 from the American Institute of Architecture, and from the AIA Florida Caribbean Chapter, he has received the AIA Gold Medal, The AIA Firm of the Year and the AIA Medal of Honor for Design. 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.” On a more pedestrian level, the firm’s work is easily recognizable for its use of tropical and traditional South Florida themes coupled with indigenous materials.

The firm adheres to Bauhaus philosophy, rendering its designs clean, simple, and sustainable: you’ll notice this approach in the featured project. Featured on HGTV, this beautiful home makes use of a combination of lines and a neutral color palette, granting it plenty of coastal appeal.

hughes umbanhowar architects

11894 SE Dixie Hwy., Hobe Sound, FL 33455

hughes umbanhowar architects handles the entire process from start to finish. The firm begins by examining the future home’s site. Then it comes up with designs that best fit the prospective home’s situation, taking into account all of its vulnerabilities to ensure that the firm makes the most of its environment. Then the firm works closely with its clients throughout the entire project. It explores a variety of options and consults to ensure that their future home complements their lifestyles and needs. The firm is noted for keeping the entire design process seamless and stress-free. The firm is led by its namesakes Scott Hughes and John Umbanhowar, two experienced architects who make sure that each project receives the benefit of their experience.

The firm’s best work can be seen in the project pictured here. This beach home was recognized in 2012 as one of the 100 most important Florida Buildings of the last century. It features a modern theme: straight lines, concrete, and large glass-paneled walls that frame stunning views of the ocean.

Hutker Architects

79 Beach Rd., Vineyard Haven, MA 02568

For the past three decades, Hutker Architects has been servicing the entirety of New England with its distinctive style. The firm’s projects have had the privilege of being featured in a variety of publications, some of which include Boston Home Magazine, Coastal Living, and Cape Cod Home. The firm’s designs are often noted for their excellent use of layered textures, fine attention to detail, and custom furnishings. Its team works closely with each of its clients throughout the entire process and takes care of even the tiniest details from material selection all the way to assisting with finishing touches. Hutker spaces are known to be friendly to their environment. The firm is able to achieve remarkable results by going the extra mile of understanding an area’s vernacular. That research comes in handy when it comes to beach and coastal home projects, as seaside homes often come with specific needs and challenges.

The project featured here is a large-scale renovation project. The firm drew inspiration from its owners’ childhood memories vacationing on a Cape Cod enclave, tucked safely away from city bustle and traffic. The firm took cues from the home’s original cottage designs, as you can see in its angled hip dormers, turrets, and the shingled rake board. Inside, a family-sized kitchen and several entertainment areas provide excellent hospitality.

Ike Kligerman Barkley

330 W 42nd St., New York, NY 10036

Ike Kligerman Barkley has two major departments: architecture and interior design. These two departments work closely with one another and the firm’s clients and as a result, have crafted some of the area’s most distinctive, exquisite homes. In over 30 years of business, the firm’s team has designed highly personalized home environments both locally and abroad. It operates out of two offices: one in New York and another in San Francisco Bay, rendering it well-versed in the most popular designs and architectural themes on both coasts. The firm makes use of a cutting edge process and uses only the latest industry techniques. For all of these, it has been rewarded with multiple distinctions from the AIA and, like a few firms on this list, is proud to have published its own monograph entitled Ike Kligerman Barkley: Houses and The New Shingled House. Its work has also had the opportunity of being published in a wide variety of magazines. Some of these include Ocean Home Magazine, LUXE Interiors + Design, and Elle Decor.

The beach home above is an example of some of the firm’s best work. It was featured in Revista Living and Architectural Digest Mexico. It features multi-pane windows, peaked tile roofs, and close-set volumes. For this project, the firm primarily drew inspiration from the home’s site and Mexico’s rich artistic heritage.

Jacobsen Architecture

2529 P St., NW Washington, DC, 20007

Although headquartered in DC, Jacobsen Architecture is in a position to show potential clients a rich portfolio of homes completed in a variety of states and abroad. The firm is led by father and sone and celebrated architects, Simon and Hugh Newell Jacobsen. Both are successful practitioners: Simon Jacobsen has had his work featured on HGTV and Casa VOGUE as well as in publications like The Wall Street Journal and Architectural Digest. Hugh Newell Jacobsen, on the other hand, is distinguished as the longest-running inductee of Architectural Digest’s AD100 program under editor Paige Rense. This is, of course, only a brief overview of two outstanding careers that have helped shape the firm into the sought-after company that it is today. Together, they have crafted a portfolio filled with some of the finest, sophisticated, and complex homes in the world.

A great example of their work is the Bray House. Located at 100 Pepperell Road in Kittery Point, Maine, the home is one of the oldest in the state. The firm had to work carefully to keep the historic home intact while working on a new compound of pavilions. The result was a definite success, with the pavilions being shorter and smaller to emphasize and highlight the older manse. For its efforts, the firm won “The Architecture Award” from the AIA Washington Chapter earlier this year.

KAA Design Group

12921 West Washington Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90066

The KAA Design Group has over three decades of experience on the contemporary Californian architecture scene. The firm’s work has been featured in national publications like People Magazine; most recently People published an article about one of its projects for renowned tennis player Maria Sharapova. The firm’s work is often distinguished by its seamless blend of interiors with its outdoor areas. Rather than making use of unique windows to complement its walls, the KAA team often opts for walls as windows, and the same goes for its doors. This skilled team is capable of working on custom features and handmade elements, ensuring the high personalization that comes with each of its projects.

Showcased above is one of the firm’s best beach homes. A rare lot-and-a-half property, the project is located on the Hermosa Beach Strand. It features an innovative private outdoor space as well as an exterior courtyard garden that connects the public areas on the ground floor.

Landry Design Group

1818 S Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90025

The Landry Design Group makes use of innovative designs and techniques that effortlessly fit regardless of specific aesthetics, scale, or location. The firm offers potential clients over three decades of experience and the expertise of having designed and worked on homes all over the world. It is led by Richard Landry, an architect who is no stranger to Architectural Digest’s prestigious list of the world’s best 100 architects and designers on a global scale. He is also a proud member of the AIA and is licensed in only California as well as 13 other states. Under his leadership, the firm has had the privilege of being lauded 78 times (and counting) for the prestigious Gold Nugget Awards over the past two decades. The firm has also secured a name for itself for its attention to detail and its expertise in a wide range of designs.

As you’ll see in the stunning project pictured here, the firm often draws inspiration from a specific style and then incorporates coastal elements. In the case of the project pictured here, the Landry design team made use of a Spanish Colonial theme and introduced a variety of large stucco arches, columns, and classic terracotta roofs.

Martin Architects

2913 Montauk Hwy., Sagaponack, NY 11962

Affiliated with organizations like the AIA and the US Green Building Council, Martin Architects is widely published with features in Dwell, Luxe, and Architectural Digest. The firm specializes in high-end residential and commercial designs and has been in business since 1998. It offers a full range of architectural services which also includes interior design and furniture design, as well as house and site evaluating and master planning. The firm services the entirety of New York, including the city and the Hamptons, but has also taken on projects in Connecticut, New Jersey, Baltimore, Costa Rica, Portugal, and the Caribbean. Martin Architects is capable of taking on projects regardless of scale and does not limit itself to one particular project type. As a matter of fact, the firm prefers customizing its proposals and processes to cater to the needs of each individual homeowner.

The firm does not limit itself to one style. The Marin Architects portfolio showcases a rich variety of modernist and historic homes, as well as elegant coastal and beach homes. Our editorial team was captivated by the Harbor View residence. Located on a sloping wooded site overlooking Three Mile Harbor, this home was significantly extended with split cedar, recycled woods, stucco, anodized aluminum, glass, and concrete. The home now features a solar design and several modern elements.

Michael G. Imber, Architects

111 W El Prado, San Antonio, TX 78212

Completed in Beachtown, this gorgeous coastal project draws inspiration from Galveston’s rich architectural heritage. Similar to most of the houses located along the gulf, this project was crafted with simple wood. Its interiors feature elaborate and finely crafted sheathing made of a variety of wood types. Its floors are clean, simple, and painted. A central light monitor introduces natural lighting and a ventilation chimney allows air movement to keep the home cool. To ensure the home’s framing could withstand the climate and environment that comes with coastal living, the firm worked in collaboration with BluWood, a specially treated lumber which works against a variety of harsh elements including mold and fungus.

The firm behind this wonderful home, Michael G. Imber, Architects, is headquartered in San Antonio. The firm specializes in modern classical designs and promotes timeless American architecture reminiscent of the country’s history and popular lifestyles in its work. The company does not limit itself to single-family residences. The firm has an extensive background—both local and abroad— assessing and analyzing local culture and building traditions. The firm has also worked on several multi-family residences and landmark projects.

Morehouse MacDonald and Associates

3 Bow St., Lexington, MA 02420

In business since 1958, Morehouse MacDonald and Associates is committed to providing excellent full architectural and interior design services. The firm also offers estate master planning for clients in both the private and public sectors. Its focus, however, primarily lies in custom single-family homes and often works with residential and interior architecture. Although operating out of its office in Massachusetts, the firm has taken numerous projects both out of state and abroad. As a result the firm also brings a unique flair to local and regional issues. Since its inception, the firm has built a distinguished, highly regarded portfolio and reputation, making it one of the Boston area’s most respected residential design firms. The firm has had the privilege of collaborating with some of the country’s best interior designers and decorators. Its work has been featured in a variety of publications, including Architectural Digest, Metropolitan Home, Trends Magazine, and Better Homes & Gardens.

The firm is also a proud recipient of multiple industry accolades, the most recent a PRISM Award. You’ll find some of the firm’s best work in the photo above. For this project, the firm worked on a sloped site on a pristine mid-Cape beach. It features a house-wide veranda for both shade and summer entertaining, as well as new upper decks. Mahogany windows and walnut floors can also be observed along with several custom millwork finishes. Inside, the home has several family spaces including a spa and a TV room.

Nicholaeff Architecture + Design

891 Main St. Osterville, MA 02655

Led by founder Doreve Nicholaeff, Nicholaeff Architecture and Design adheres to a contextual approach when it comes to its projects. The firm begins by getting to know a client and learning their lifestyles and needs, which significantly influences its design. Then the firm performs a close analysis of the potential site, taking into account topography, geology, indigenous vegetation, wind direction, orientation, and surrounding houses. The firm’s team also takes extra measures to study an area’s popular architectural themes. Ms. Nicholaeff is the company’s guiding light in terms of making use of the most innovative techniques. Prior to her establishment of the firm, she gained experience renovating some of Boston’s most historic buildings and homes.+

Photo by Benjamin Benschneider

Photo by Benjamin Benschneider

Ms. Nicholaeff is licensed in Massachusetts, New York, Florida, and Rhode Island. She is also a proud member of several vital industry organizations like the AIA, the National Council of Architectural Registration Board, the Boston Society of Architects, and the Royal Institute of British Architects.

Olson Kundig

159 S Jackson St. Suite #600, Seattle, WA 98104

Under the collective supervision of five talented owners, Olson Kundig consists of 12 principals, 20 associates, and a staff of 175 people. It operates out of its headquarters in downtown Seattle and also maintains a workspace in New York. The firm has gone beyond extending to the East Coast; the firm’s resume includes a long list of international projects. Unlike most firms on this list, Olson Kundig has its very own in-house interiors studio that provides a full range of services from material and furniture selection to other customization work. The firm also has its own landscape design studio which focuses on integrating a home’s design into its respective environment. The firm works closely with some of the area’s best artists and craftspeople, resulting in highly authentic, personalized design.

The firm adheres to a philosophy of world-class design and sustainability: Olson Kundig infuses green elements into its projects. The firm approaches design with energy use, thermal comfort, and the impact of materials in mind. And the firm has LEED-certified professionals on its team who closely monitor projects throughout the entire process to ensure performance and efficiency. The firm is also a member of the AIA 2030 Commitment.

Peter Cadoux Architects

35 Post Rd., W Westport, CT 06880

Regarded as one of New England’s most prestigious and talented architectural firms, Peter Cadoux Architects has been in business since the early 1990s. The firm is led by architect Peter Cadoux, a talented professional known for both his architecture and interior designs. The son of a builder, Mr. Cadoux was exposed to the industry at an early age. His work has been featured both locally and internationally, in addition to being published in a variety of magazines. He is a member of the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards, the National Chapter of the AIA, and the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Mr. Cadoux is also licensed in New York, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. He personally oversees each of the firm’s projects, seeing to it that the firm’s processes are tailor-made to cater to each individual home. The firm’s homes are distinguished by Cadoux’s excellent aesthetics, which you can see for yourself in the company’s beautifully curated portfolio.

Given the ever-changing and fast-paced nature of the home design and building industry, Cadoux and his team also recognize the importance of making use of the latest industry technology. The firm offers a full range of services and are proud to call themselves a boutique firm: they craft no two homes alike.

Peter Pennoyer Architects

136 Madison Ave. 11th Floor, New York, NY 10016

Nestled somewhere in Eastern Long Island, the featured project below was once a tennis club for a beach-side community in the early 1900s. Today, it is the center and heart of a luxurious family beach cottage. It features a low-slung hipped roof coupled with several tucked-in dormer windows in the main house. Inside, some original details were retained: beams and a screened porch that now works as a summer dining room. Several changes were also made: the upper bedrooms all feature an ensuite bathroom. An inviting and relaxed atmosphere pervades the home, further enhanced by the home’s warm and cozy color palette.

The firm behind this home, Peter Pennoyer Architects, is a 50-person team composed of only the most talented and experienced professionals based in Manhattan. The firm also has an office in Miami and has been in business since 1990. Having worked on over 200 projects since its inception, the firm has completed renovations to important landmarked structures and condominium towers. The firm has an established reputation as a leader in the new construction, design, and historic preservation scene. Architect Peter Pennoyer—who has had the distinction of being listed regularly in Architectural Digest’s Top 100 World’s Architects List—leads the firm.

Polhemus Savery DaSilva Architects Builders

157 Route 137, East Harwich, MA 02645

Polhemus Savery DaSilva Architects Builders (PSD) makes use of a highly integrated approach and offers its clients a full range of services to support the design and construction requirements of every project. The firm has over two decades of experience and has secured a solid reputation for itself, having designed and built some of Cape Cod and coastal southeastern New England’s most recognizable and beautiful homes. The PSD team makes use of a single-source approach, which encourages seamless communication between its team and its clients. That approach enables it to meet deadlines, stay on budget, and deliver quality workmanship. The firm has been in business since 1996, and has had the privilege of winning several notable awards and being featured locally, regionally and nationally.

Spanning almost seven thousand square feet, this palatial seaside home encapsulates the firm’s skill for beach and coastal homes. Located on the largest saltwater estuary on Cape Cod, this home features a main house connected to a garage via a porte-cochere. For this project, the firm opted for two classic shingle style gambrel roofs that run across the main body of the house and sit on an entry porch with two stout, robust columns. Various lines that come together and separate further articulate the home’s details. The back porch serves as a transition point into its landscape and provides a stunning view of the sea.

RAMSA Houses

One Park Avenue, New York, NY 10016

Composed of four residential studios, each spearheaded by an individual RAMSA partner, RAMSA Houses focuses on the design, construction, and creation of diverse and innovative homes. It makes use of the latest architectural themes and techniques and divides its projects into three aesthetics: city, country, and coast. The firm always performs thorough research which it couples with the use of hand-drawing and hand-modeling alongside state-of-the-art design software. RAMSA has published its work; its most recent iteration is Designs for Living which showcases its expertise for connecting timeless and classic work with the latest contemporary themes. The firm has been in business since 1969 and has secured a solid reputation for itself for its award-winning services as well as its commercial, institutional, and planning work on top of its residential projects.

We fell in love with this family compound on a bluff overlooking a spectacular stretch of Pacific coastline. The home includes a group of semi-independent structures in addition to a variety of courtyards that is reminiscent of classic Mediterranean hill towns. All of the buildings are interconnected by half-hidden pathways and have their own quaint and private gardens. Outdoor stairways and broad shaded terraces complete the wonderful effect.

Resolution: 4 Architecture

150 W 28th St. Suite #1902, New York, NY 10001

Otherwise known as RES4, Resolution: 4 Architecture is an internationally published and highly acclaimed company that is composed of ten talented professionals. The firm specializes in the residential market as well as the commercial and public architecture scene. The firm was founded in 1990 by Joseph Tanney and Robert Luntz under whose leadership the firm addresses modern and complex conditions with the latest technology and industry practices. The firm also takes extra measures to incorporate sustainable practices that address efficiency and other elements that now come with new homes. The firm is a small practice; it first started by taking on only small scale projects such as kitchen and bathroom renovations before moving onto apartments, lofts, and large single-family residences. Since then, it has established a systematic process for itself which emphasizes the importance of efficiency and sustainability. The firm has also been able to explore other facets of design and construction, including working on prefab projects.

The firm has been featured in a variety of publications, namely Architecture, Architectural Record, Architectural Digest, Architectural Review, and Residential Architect. It is also the recipient of numerous distinctions from the AIA and is the designer of over 120 prefab homes from Maine to Hawaii. This gorgeous seaside residence features four bedrooms and its own home office. It sits atop a dune with walls of floor to ceiling glass, giving it wonderful views of the nearby beach.

Rex Nichols Architects​​​​

1600 S Federal Hwy. Suite #970, Pompano Beach, FL 33062

Named by Ocean Magazine as one of the top 50 coastal architects for five consecutive years, Rex Nichols Architects is an award-winning firm with a legacy spanning three decades. The firm has completed projects in some of the most exclusive areas in Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Boca Raton, Palm Beach, New York, and Palm Springs. It has also worked on several projects abroad, particularly in the Bahamas and Dubai. The firm maintains affiliations with prestigious organizations like the AIA and LEED, which has lauded the firm through numerous awards throughout the years. These include Awards in Excellence for Historic Preservation for several important landmark sites. Aside from its single-family residences, the firm has also expanded its services to accommodate multifamily residential properties, restaurants, and hotels, and it has also designed several galleries and retail spaces.

The firm primarily focuses on luxury waterfront properties and contemporary architecture, making it the perfect fit for this list. Its craftsmanship is best showcased in the project pictured here. Spanning over 10,000 square feet with a 2,000 square foot guest house, the firm calls this luxury beach house the “House for Retreat”. It is located on a private island in the Bahamas and was completed for a development composed of over 300 other homes in addition to a world-class hotel and marina, fine restaurants, a destination spa, and several other facilities.

Richard Meier & Partners Architects

475 10th Ave., New York, NY 10018

With over 130 projects spread across North America, South America, Europe, and Asia, Richard Meier and Partners Architects offers clients over five decades of experience. The firm has secured a solid reputation for itself locally and abroad for its expertise and intuition in the field of modern architecture. It operates out of two offices: New York and Los Angeles, offering a full range of comprehensive services. The firm has been in business since 1963 and is led by its founder, Pritzker Prize laureate Richard Meier. Under his leadership, the firm has established a distinct set of skills, often distinguished by the clarity of its solutions. The firm’s work is often anchored in classic elements such as site, order, and natural light. The firm specializes in modern architecture and is well-versed in the latest contemporary designs and techniques; it is, in other words, equipped for any challenging or unique requests a client may have. Its core values also emphasize the importance of sustainability and collaboration, ensuring a high degree of efficiency.

The firm has been celebrated by quite a number of awards throughout its years in business. It has also had the honor of being featured in an extensive array of publications. The beach home above is located in Malibu. Completed on an exceptionally large and pristine oceanfront lot, the home is clad in teak. That look extends inside with floor and ceiling finishes and completed by cast-in-place concrete walls. Details in bronze metal copings and finish hardware are just the first of several other custom finishes.

Roger Ferris + Partners

11 Wilton Rd., Westport, CT 06880

Roger Ferris + Partners is a critically acclaimed architecture firm providing architectural and interior design services to private, corporate, and public-sector clients. The firm’s portfolio includes private homes, estates, and multi-family residences. RF+P is headquartered in Westport, Connecticut with offices in New York City and Bridgehampton, New York.

The firm’s practice consciously pursues a diverse selection of projects across a broad spectrum of typologies and scales, whose design exploration ranges from modest homes to substantial estates, small offices to high rises, in contexts from rural towns to suburban campuses to dense urban centers, pursuing design around the world from our New England home to Great Britain and Beijing. This diversity of building types, geographies, and scales continually stimulates cross-pollination of ideas and the discovery of novel solutions.

Roger Ferris + Partners has earned critical acclaim from numerous highly respected regional, national, and international design and architecture organizations. The firm has won more than 80 regional and national awards and international citations. It has been recognized as a world leader in both commercial and residential architecture as well as being featured in leading industry and lifestyle publications. The firm takes great pride in seeing a significant contribution to firm growth resulting from client recommendations and repeat commissions from existing clients as they pursue new work.

SDH Studio Architecture + Design

18200 NE 19th Av. Suite #100, N Miami Beach, FL 33162

Established in 2012, SDH Studio provides a full and comprehensive list of architecture and design services. The firm has been celebrated for its award-winning projects and techniques. It has also been featured in numerous magazines, including Luxe Interiors + Design, Ocean Home, and Modern Luxury Interiors. Founder Stephanie Halfen is the driving force behind SDH becoming one of the leading firms servicing Miami and the Caribbean. Ms. Halfen draws inspiration from years of experience and holds a certification from the National Council of Architecture Board. She also serves on several Architectural Review Boards and is an active member of the AIA. Under her tutelage, the firm has expanded its practice to include office buildings, restaurants, retail, and office spaces. The firm has also received acclaim and was consistently recognized as one of Miami’s best architects by Expertise from 2017 to 2019.

Nestled on a beautiful lot overlooking Sky Lake in Miami, the featured project above was designed to integrate its interior and exterior spaces. Wonderfully angled windows provide stunning views of the sea. You can view more of their work here.

Shope Reno Wharton

18 Marshall St. Suite #114, S Norwalk, CT 06854

Nationally acclaimed for its fine designs and architecture, Shope Reno Wharton’s designs are classy, functional, and sophisticated. Aside from its residential projects, the firm has also taken on commercial and hospitality work which has influenced its sense of style. The firm’s projects are noted for the energy efficiency provided by a variety of green elements. The firm’s work is also often noted for its versatility regardless of style, location, or scale. The firm was established in 1981 and is currently led by five talented partners. Together, they oversee a staff of talented architects and administrators. Under their leadership, the firm has worked on a variety of homes, estates, equestrian facilities, and hospitality projects. The firm works closely with its clients on each of its homes, ensuring all of them receive the benefit of their experience.

The firm’s pristine reputation has enabled it to become a regular recipient of Architectural Digest’s AD100 Award. It has also been featured in a variety of other famous publications such as Luxe Interiors + Design, New England Home, and Mountain Living. The firm is affiliated with some of the area’s best and leading interior design, landscape architecture, and construction firms.

Specht Architects

5306 Middle Fiskville Rd. Austin, TX 78751

Located on the Atlantic coast in New Jersey, the beach haven pictured below is a small beachfront home tucked away from its nearby street rendering it a private escape for its owners. The firm has been featured in numerous publications: The Wall Street Journal, Ocean Home Magazine, and Dwell. For this project, Specht Architects had to work with stringent policies regarding code-regulated square-footage and height restrictions. The team was, nevertheless, able to come up with this modern home which—thanks to its very open floor plan—allows in an abundant amount of light and wonderful views of the ocean. It was custom-designed for a family of five and features a beachfront master suite coupled with each of the children having their very own uniquely styled “ship’s cabin” style room. The lower level includes a guest room, a home office, a lounge, an elevated hot tub area, and a combined living, dining, and kitchen area.

All these elements were put together on only 2,500 square feet of space. Specht Architects made use of techniques often used in boat building. The home is a testament to the firm’s craft, and this is not the first time it has used an innovative approach. The firm has been featured in over a hundred publications worldwide and has received a number of awards.

Stelle Lomont Rouhani

48 Foster Ave., Bridgehampton, NY 11932

Stelle Lomont Rouhani is a widely publicized award-winning firm. It is the proud recipient of a multitude of distinctions from the AIA and has had its work featured in magazines such as Vogue UK and the New York Times. The firm is led by its three namesakes: Frederick Stelle, Michael Lomont, and Viola Rouhani. Located on the east end of Long Island, the firm was founded by Fred Stelle in 1985. The combined experience of the partners spans over 40 years, with most of the work in the coastal residential market. Stelle Lomont Rouhani approaches architecture from a sustainable perspective always looking to reinforce the natural context and taking cues from the environment. A strong belief in collaboration with clients and consultants alike results in a considered and timeless outcome for each occasion. An impressive team of designers and architects make up the firm including specialization in Interior Design led by Eleanor Donnelly. This combined effort has secured the firm’s reputation for its signature modern touches on several projects.

This gorgeous seaside residence is a great example. It sits on a crest of dunes that serve as a bridge between the tidal bay and the ocean. The firm’s materials were chosen with this environment in mind. These environmental factors were also taken into consideration with the home’s open floor plan and inviting interiors.

Steven Harris Architects LLP

50 Warren St., New York, NY 10007

With features in publications like Esquire, Luxe Interiors + Design, and Elle Decor, Steven Harris Architects is an award-winning firm with extensive experience in both public and private commissions. The firm’s process highlights the importance of openness and collaboration not only with its clients but also within its team; the result is a seamless, comprehensive approach. The esteemed Steven Harris portfolio is composed of the most unique and breathtaking homes with no two projects alike over nearly three decades of residential work. The firm has worked on a variety of quaint retreats in New York and Connecticut as well as townhouses in West Village and Greenwich Village. Sifting through its portfolio, you will also notice excellent renovation work including a historic estate in Dubrovnik, Croatia, high-rise work, and an art gallery.

The project above was completed in Montauk. It is located along a waterfront, but hidden amongst trees and shrubbery, rendering it the perfect private oasis. To complete this process, the firm primarily made use of modern elements, as seen in its excessive use of glass-paneled walls and doors. Inside, the firm chose a minimalist art deco theme, keeping the home’s palette neutral in predominantly black and white.

Strang Architecture

3326 Mary St. Suite #301, Miami, FL 33133

With over two decades of experience, Strang Architecture 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.

You’ll see the firm’s preoccupation with modernism in the home pictured here. Located in Miami, this beach residence was crafted with natural materials, which highlight the home’s gorgeous geometry. The firm’s team made use of locally-sourced coral stone and combined those colors with hardwood accents. Interlocking horizontal and vertical forms spreading across the central courtyard complete the home’s symmetry.

Tichenor & Thorp

10506 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90025

Tichenor & Thorp is the brainchild of husband and wife duo M. Brian Tichenor and Raun Thorp. It is a multi-discipline firm that operates out of its offices in Los Angeles and has been in practice since 1990. The firm is manned by a group of talented and skilled architects; many are active members of the AIA. Together they continuously highlight the importance of craftsmanship and are fluent in every facet of a project. From building arts and history to classic American architecture, the firm’s team is well-equipped to work on a wide range of original residential and commercial projects. The firm’s portfolio provides insight into the firm’s ability to realize traditional Mediterranean and American vernaculars as well as the latest and most modern architectural themes. The firm has secured a solid reputation for itself and completed countless important projects throughout its long run in the business. Some of its most noteworthy projects include the Cecil B. DeMille residence—recently purchased by Angelina Jolie— the former William Powell Estate, Hollywood’s landmark Capitol Records building and grounds, and the new headquarters for the Los Angeles Times.

Photo by Tim Street-Porter

Photo by Tim Street-Porter

The firm’s founders are native Californian architects, which explains the team’s excellent command of modern forms in the California Tradition. This attention to California aesthetics can be observed in almost every residential project the firm takes on, regardless of where a home is situated. The firm is capable of integrating the most intricate terraces and garden structures into the landscape ensuring optimization of a lot’s views, as you’ll see in the project pictured here.


39 W 38th St. 7th Floor, New York, NY 10018

Workshop/APD is a vertically integrated design and architecture firm specializing in high end single-family residential homes, luxury apartments, and hospitality and development projects. The firm also collaborates with best-in-class manufacturers to create chic, luxurious designs from rugs and hardware to furniture and accessories, and offers a curated collection of bespoke furnishings for designers and discerning homeowners. These highly personalized collections marry modern design and a reverence for high tech and hand craftsmanship, adding uniquewarmth, beautify and character to each piece.

The company has completed homes and designs from New York City to Miami and Nantucket to Aspen, with its themes always inspired by a home’s surroundings: its work blends in with its environment, providing harmony. The firm’s talented designers, architects and paroduct designer all bring to the table a unique set of skills, collaborating to offer a complete and comprehensive service, from ground up Architecture to interiors and custom furnishings. The Workshop/APD team is present throughout the entire process and is there to assist with every detail.

The firm is no stranger to acclaim. Some of its most recent press features include articles in Florida Design Magazine, Modern Luxury Interiors and Elle Décor Germany. The firm’s talent for beach homes and coastal work is manifest in the waterfront project above. This Nantucket retreat was completed in just two years and features clean, minimalist, modern spaces.

ZeroEnergy Design

156 Milk St. Suite #3, Boston, MA 02109

ZeroEnergy Design offers a full range of architectural services and specializes in the new construction and major renovations of modern green homes and buildings. As a result, all ZeroEnergy projects are highly efficient and sustainable. For clients looking solely for its energy services, the firm’s mechanical design practices aid professional building partners throughout the entire construction process, ensuring that maximum energy performance levels are achieved and maintained. These targets, not surprisingly, can meet and adhere to performance standards set by vital organizations such as Passive House, Net Zero Energy, Net Positive Energy, and Zero Fossil Fuel Consumption. Given all of these, the firm describes its approach as an infusion of high design and high performance. The firm has  committed itself to innovative and eco-friendly design. The firm has been profiled numerous times by important publications such as Forbes and Dwell, mostly for its excellent green efforts. It has also been
recognized with several industry distinctions.

The featured project is an example of one of its award-winning homes. Having been distinguished with a PRISM Award and a Sustainable Design Citation from the AIA, the beach home pictured spans 6,700 square feet and has seven bedrooms and eight bathrooms. It features its very own chef’s kitchen, radiant flooring, and extensive beachfront decking. The home also has an indoor gym and a home theater.

About Our Rankings

This list takes a range of ranking criteria into consideration, including but not limited to: work history, customer satisfaction, awards and recognition, geographic area of work, cost, building permits, and clientele. We spent over 40 hours researching local contractors before calculating the final ranking for this post. If there is additional information about your business that could affect these rankings, please fill out this form and we will take it into consideration.

Get Bids For Your Build

If you are thinking about building a beach house, we recommend checking each builder’s license with the local licensing board, speaking to past clients, and using our bidding system to get competitive quotes from at least 3 contractors. Getting multiple bids is the best way to ensure you get a fair price and that bids include the complete scope of work.