A loft is defined as a space above ground accessible by stairs or an attic. This home space has become a popular trend in interior design and architecture as home design has taken on an increasingly practical turn in the past decade. Lofts are popular options for modern and contemporary homes that demand larger spaces and increased functionality.
Thus, loft conversions have become popular. Strict local codes and policies must be observed in the conversion process: there are specifications for the dimensions, floor space, and access. Thus, enlisting architects and professionals is necessary for hassle-free loft conversions.
You’re about to read about ten of the country’s best loft conversion architects. These firms have been decorated with industry awards and have been repeatedly recognized by prominent industry publications. Hiring these architects means hiring seasoned experts in residential and loft conversions. To come up with this list, our editorial team compiled a list of architects around the country. Then, we assessed each on a specific set of criteria that considers the firm’s work history, background, familiarity with lofts, and overall work quality.
151 Kalmus Dr., Ste. G-1, Costa Mesa, CA 92626
Brandon Architects, a youthful and dynamic architectural firm, was founded in 2009. The Newport Beach-based firm has a knack for high-end custom homes and boutique hotels. The firm’s President, Christopher Brandon, has been fascinated by architecture since he was a child. He followed his natural curiosity about interior space and art and studied architecture at California Polytechnic University in San Luis Obispo. His wife, Kaley Brandon, joined the company after pursuing a career in sales and sales management. The husband-and-wife tandem is central to the firm’s boutique appeal, and the firm has a close-knit relationship with local communities and nearby neighborhoods.
The firm’s energetic and forward-thinking design philosophy has earned the firm several awards, including the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Orange County Award and multiple Gold Nugget Awards. The firm is also a darling of publications such as Traditional Home, LUXE Interiors + Design, Modern Luxury Interiors, The Wall Street Journal, and more.
The firm’s community-centric focus is reflected in the firm’s custom home portfolio. The Fernleaf II, a contemporary home located a block away from the ocean, is a testament to the firm’s ability to handle intricate design with good taste. The home has a beach home appeal and a relaxed atmosphere. The Fernleaf II’s loft is spacious, well-lit, and functional.
Christopher Architecture & Interiors
2601 Highland Ave. S., Birmingham, AL 35205
High-end design specialists Christopher Architecture & Interiors is an award-winning construction company serving all states from California to New York. Christopher Reebals takes charge of a team of designers, consultants, and craftspeople. He graduated from Auburn University and now serves as a board member of the AIA Alabama chapter. And he has driven the firm to success in the luxury market. The firm is a finalist of the ADAC Southern Architect of the Year awards. The firm is also a fixture in prominent publications including Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, ArchDaily, Ocean Home, and Birmingham Magazine.
The Tudor Revival Cottage, an example of the firm’s construction prowess, sports an elegant loft. The cottage has an off-white paint job and posh detailings. The firm added chandeliers, French windows, and shingles.
Desai Chia Architecture
115 W 27th St., Ste. #901, New York, NY 10001
AIA Institute Honor Award-winning firm Desai Chia Architecture has been designing residential and commercial projects since 1996. The firm is the product of the combined efforts of Arjun Desai and Katherine Chia. Desai studied at Bennington College and MIT. Chia studied at Amherst College and MIT. She worked under the famous designer Maya Lin and current serves on the boards of the AIA New York Chapter and the Center for Architecture.
The firm is often in the pages of ArchDaily, Interior Design, Dezeen, New York Times, Dwell, Architectural Digest, and New York Magazine. Desai Chia has also amassed major industry awards, including Chicago Athenaeum’s American Architecture Awards, AIA Design Awards, Interior Design Best of Year Awards, the IDEA Award, and several Good Design Awards.
Desai Chia’s works have been exhibited at the Center of Architecture, Istanbul Biennial, and Salone del Mobile Milan. These projects show the firm’s understanding of luxury and chic home design. The Photographer Loft featured in the photo is a home with ultra-defined lines and high-end appeal.
Leroy Street Studio
65 Allen St., New York, NY 10002
Leroy Street Studio is a multi-faceted architectural studio that combines architectural design, construction, and interior design. The firm’s interdisciplinary approach has earned the firm prestigious awards including the AIA New York State Architecture Award and the International Award from Chicago Athenaeum. The firm is defined by its partnerships, collaborations, and masterclass workmanship. The triad of Morgan Hare, Marc Turkel, and Shawn Watts are in charge of the firm’s business operations. The three architects have all been educated in top architectural institutions: Hare studied at Amherst College and Yale, Turkel went to Yale, and Watts held the Takenaka fellowship in Osaka, Japan. Shawn Watts also earned the Architecture Award for Excellence in Design.
The firm’s portfolio displays an excellent array of residential homes. The featured work in the photo is the Triple Townhouse, a contemporary home that emphasizes access and mobility through stairs and an exposed five-story atrium. The home is a cozy home to an impressive art collection as well as a family of five.
21 Columbus Ave., Ste. #227, San Francisco, CA 94111
Gretchen Murdock is an experienced interior designer fluent in Modern architectural styles. Murdock takes inspiration from her travels and unique perceptions of colors, patterns, and styles. She follows a design process that ensures sophisticated and functional spaces. The firm was established by Murdock in 2011 to provide tailor-fitted works and artisanal projects. The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Dwell, and Architectural Digest have all taken a liking to the firm’s workmanship.
The featured project is the Dogpatch Residence, a modern home with bold colors and patterns. Prior to the firm’s involvement with the project, the home lacked in originality. The firm gave the space a character that mimics the homeowner’s lifestyle and design preferences. The loft conversion serves as the highlight of the project. It made the home more functional and elegant.
SHED Architecture & Design
1401 S Jackson, Seattle, WA 98144
SHED Architecture & Design is a design-build firm built on the values of collaboration and innovation. SHED operates through high-level collaborations and modern architectural technology and techniques. The firm uses 3D rendering technology and time-tested design practices to achieve the best possible results. The firm also uses the most up-to-date materials and lighting features. Thomas Schaer and Prentis Hale both have a Master of Architecture degree from the University of Washington.
The firm treats architecture as a form of practical art. SHED marries pragmatism and idealism and unparalleled results are the yield. Publications including Design Milk, Curbed, and Contemporist have taken notice of the firm’s top-quality works. The firm’s portfolio ranges from $250 thousand to $25 million. The 800-square-foot loft residence in the photo is one of the firm’s most documented works. This project has been featured by Lonny, Dezeen, and Curbed. The home has a sleek combination of wooden and deep black tones that produces an ultra-modern charm, and it makes maximal use of the compact space.
Space 4 Architecture
45 W 21st St., Ste. #5A, New York, NY 10010
Since 1999, the New York-based Space 4 Architecture has been designing award-winning projects all over the state of New York. Founded by current principal Michele Busiri-Vici, an alumnus of La Sapienza University in Rome, the firm brings a global outlook to its work. This design perspective was developed further together with new principal Clementina Ruggieri. She graduated from the Bartlett School of Architecture at the University of London before going on to earn her master’s at Columbia University. The firm’s international status has been solidified by design competition awards including the first prize for a competition in Latvia for a new auditorium. The firm is also featured on national and international circulations including Abitare, Designboom, Dezeen, Architectural Digest, Architetti Roma, and Maisons Coté Ouest.
The firm has a heterogeneous portfolio that includes custom homes, interiors, retail shops, and hospitality spaces. This Duplex Penthouse in Tribeca is one of the firm’s finest loft conversion projects. This 3,700 square-foot estate was designed with the intent to maintain the original openness of the property while enhancing the privacy of its tenants. The penthouse was thoughtfully laid out to take full advantage of the New York view, utilizing a lower and upper level. This stylish home has a panoramic view of the Downtown Manhattan skyline and the Hudson River. This layout complements the New York lifestyle of a family of four with two young children.
YR Architecture + Design
49 S Huron Ave., Columbus, OH 43204
Yvonne Riggie believes that architecture should be simple, modern, and affordable. So she founded YR Architecture + Design in 2013. Riggie previously worked at the famed Bohlin Cywinski Jackson. She has an MBA and a Master’s Degree in Architecture from Kent State University, which allowed her to push her advocacy of affordable designs. The firm offers full architectural design, conceptual design, and design review.
The firm is one of the most recently-established firms in this list, even so, it has already received coveted industry awards such as the AIA Honor Award for Interior Architecture.
The firm has experience in both commercial and residential projects. The attic conversion of an Ohio home is one of the firm’s boldest projects. The firm converted the third-story attic into a master bedroom suite.
194 Olympic Mt. Loop Rd., Unit 3, Girdwood, AK 99587
Alaskan neighborhoods have been the beneficiary of Z Architects for over 15 years: the firm has embraced its Alaskan roots. The firm understands the unique Northern landscape of Alaska and what works best in doing design and planning works in this challenging region. The firm offers master planning, commercial design, residential work, and interior design, as well as sustainable building practices in keeping with LEED standards.
Marco Zaccaro has lived in Alaska for over 30 years. He graduated from the University of Alaska Fairbanks and worked for a local architectural firm for six years prior to starting Z Architects. The Hostetler Residence is an excellent example of the firm’s distinctively northern work. The home features excellent timberwork and ingenious layout. The home has a loft that takes advantage of the high-ceiling stature of the home.