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Ohio’s state capital Columbus is known for rich historical architecture that has been preserved by the city’s architectural board. Many architects in the city have adapted the traditional style by integrating modern building principles into these new takes on old designs. The demand is high for architects who can design contemporary projects while staying true to the traditional Columbus architecture.
This list presents 15 of the best architects who can design home renovations and custom homes. These firms are led by architects who have years of experience and have a firm grasp of the architectural scene in Columbus. Most of these firms have been featured in distinguished architectural publications and received awards for their stunning designs. These architects were chosen based on their body of work, accomplishments, and range of services. Below we feature some of these firms’ best work and significant achievements to help readers determine the best fit for their needs.
This list includes both licensed architects and residential designers who can both design stunning homes but differ in other services offered. Architects are trained in design, engineering, and project management and have passed a licensing exam. Residential designers typically don’t manage projects and plans will need to be approved by a structural engineer. Whether you choose to hire an architect or a residential designer will depend on your project needs and complexity.
Behal Sampson Dietz
990 West Third Ave., Columbus, OH 43212
Behal Sampson Dietz has been in business since 1922, making it one of the oldest firms in the area. The firm specializes in both architecture and the construction of residential homes. Founders Tom Sampson and Jim Dietz lead the architectural sector and bring years of experience in design to every project. Sampson has been a residential architect since the late ‘70s; Dietz has been managing the design services of the firm since 1985. Both partners have managed to create a thorough architectural process that can be found on the firm’s website.
Behal Sampson Dietz can often be found in the pages of the local magazine Columbus Monthly Homes. The firm has also gained a number of accolades, including being part of Business First Magazine’s Fast 50 list of fastest-growing companies in Greater Columbus. They have also been included on The List of the Top Greater Columbus Residential Renovation Contractors.
Behal Sampson Dietz’s historic Upper Arlington home made it to the cover of the Columbus Monthly Homes magazine. The red brick Colonial home has a very traditional stately façade. Its symmetrical front interior has two brick wings. One opens to the kitchen and family room; the opposite end includes a private den.
Jamee Parish Architects
3636 N. High St. Suite #203, Columbus, OH 43214
Since she was a little girl, Jamee Parish always wanted to be an architect. She had her start working at RTA Studio while completing her undergraduate degree in Architecture. After years of working for RTA and obtaining her masters, she finally established Jamee Parish Architects in 2014. With her own firm, Parish was able to pursue her true passion for designing custom homes. Some of her work has landed on the pages of Columbus Monthly magazine.
Below you can see where Jamee Parish Architects transformed a 1960s suburban house into a modern craftsman home. The home always had a very rustic feel: the exterior’s wood horizontal sidings were accented with a raised stone water table. The client loved the look of the craftsman style so much that the rustic look was retained in the interior but given a modern twist. This gorgeous Dublin home was featured in Columbus Monthly’s 2017 Home & Garden Issue.
Jonathan Barnes Architecture & Design
243 N. 5th St., Suite #200, Columbus, OH 43215
Seasoned architect Jonathan Barnes has been practicing his craft since 1986, and he has worked with some of the best architects in the industry. He had his start at internationally-renowned Skidmore Owings & Merrill and, later on, moved to Italy to work with world-famous architect Michele De Lucchi. He returned to Columbus in 1993 and established Jonathan Barnes Architecture & Design (JBAD). Although JBAD can execute a number of services, he specializes in providing residential designs for the Midwest.
One of JBAD’s creations, The Sullivan House, received an American Institute of Architects (AIA) Honorable Mention and an Honor Award in 2016. The contemporary home was expanded to 3,500 square feet and on its three-acre secluded suburban lot. Inspired by its forest setting, its exterior has a gabled barn-like finish completed with dark wood. A large, overlooking window grants the rustic home a contemporary edge and ties the interior to its lush location.
Keiser Design Group
800 Cross Point Rd., Suite M, Gahanna, OH 43230
Established in 1995, Keiser Design Group is an architectural firm that focuses on residential projects but also services commercial and senior living projects. Founder Dan Keiser made residential projects a priority because he wanted the firm to create relationships through architecture. Keiser is passionate about working for the benefit of the community and he’s able to live out that passion through his firm.
Clients can learn more about the firm’s expertise through the projects and case studies found on the firm’s website. Among others is a 2010 Parade of Homes entry completed in collaboration with Weaver Custom Home. This Georgian home was designed to showcase Weaver’s historic craftsmanship. Its red brick exterior is traditional and thus Keiser designed a contemporary floor plan fit for a growing family’s modern lifestyle.
Meyers + Associates Architecture
232 North Third St., Suite #300, Columbus, OH 43215
Full-service architectural firm Meyers + Associates Architecture has a team of experienced architects certified by distinguished organizations like the AIA and the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). Founder Christopher Meyers is an AIA and LEED-certified architect who has also been honored by renowned publications. He has been part of Business First Magazine’s 40 under 40 and Architect Magazine’s Top 50 Firms list.
Meyers + Associates Architecture boasts of creating the first LEED Silver establishment when it built its headquarters. Aiming to be the perfect example of sustainable architecture, the firm uses existing space to create a modern, functional office.
Another notable project of the firm is this modern farmhouse in Delaware.
Situated in a 200-acre horse pasture, local materials were sourced for its timber framing and interior wood interiors. Different kinds of wooden accents were included in the home’s interior and exterior. The front façade has white wooden planks reminiscent of a barn and the interior’s truss construction has a polished dark wood finish.
1277 E Broad St., Columbus, OH 43205
A chance meeting between former colleagues Matt Diersen and Greg Dutton led to the inception of the award-winning architectural studio, Midland Studio. Diersen is an adaptive reuse expert while Dutton is accustomed to creating rural projects. This multi-disciplinary studio specializes in both architecture and interior design. Its sustainable projects have graced the pages of national publications like Dwell, New York Magazine, and GQ.
Featured below is one of the firm’s recent projects, one that has caught the attention of design organizations and publications around the country. Located on the founder’s family farm, Dutton designed and created the 600-square-foot cabin with his family. Dubbed The Hut, it is a secluded retreat that adapted the Scandanavian principle of hygge — which refers to creating a cozy space that brings peace of mind. Dutton’s wanted to build a contemporary cabin inspired by farm life. Nestled on a hilltop, The Hut’s elevated location is reminiscent of a treehouse with a sophisticated interior and includes a minimalist aesthetic. The end result has been featured on television and is the recipient of the 2019 AIA Ohio Architecture Honor Award.
New Avenue Architects and Engineers
232 North Third St., Suite #300, Columbus, OH 43215
New Avenue Architects and Engineers bills itself as a collaborative architectural studio that creates comprehensive design plans. The firm is established by experienced architect Michael Maistros and seasoned engineers Robert W. Miller and Greg Miller. Given their backgrounds, the firm’s foundation is taking a pragmatic approach to architectural design. This practical approach constantly hones the team’s creativity because they are able to apply creative solutions to a client’s daily problems.
The firm’s polished traditional homes have participated twice in the Parade of Homes. Farmhouse homes usually have a brighter exterior but New Avenue Architects used a darker color to give this project a more contemporary look. As a result, classic Farmhouse style themes are present in every corner, from the entryway’s wooden truss to the garage doors inspired by barn doors.
Residential Design Solutions
7844 Flint Rd., Columbus, OH 43235
Jim Wright has been designing residential projects in Ohio for more than ten years. He has also been part of several architectural organizations like the American Institute of Building Design. Residential Design Solution is Wright’s firm and provides residential services for custom homes and renovations.
Before consultation with the firm, clients can bring in design inspirations and plans that the firm can customize according to the clients’ preference or have a fully tailored architectural plan from the firm. Residential Design Solutions also offers a collection of pre-made home plans that they can tailor to your home.
The firm has participated in the 2013 Parade of Homes and, in 2014, won three awards from the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) and the American Residential Design Awards.
Residential Design Solutions has a great grasp of classical architecture. This Georgia-style home has the traditional brick exterior and its sophisticated design stays true to the traditional Georgian style. Despite being very traditional, there is nothing intimidating about the home as the classic elements create familiarity.
Rogers Krajnak Architects
264 South Third St., Columbus, OH 43215
Rogers Krajnak Architects is the product of Darryl Rogers and Peter Krajnak’s merged architectural practices. These expert partners collaborate in different architectural sectors and combine their expertise in leading a firm with a wide range of services. Rogers focuses on design and consultant management; Krajnak handles master planning and marketing services.
The firm offers its architectural services to commercial and residential projects. RKA works with different contractors to complete these projects and these collaborations have earned the firm awards from respective organizations like the Associated Builders and Contractors and the National Association of the Remodeling Industry.
House Trends featured a Worthington home restored by RKA. Originally built in 1967, the firm transformed the Mid-Century home into a contemporary space with a more open design. The home is located in a wooded hillside and the firm wanted the homeowners to feel more connected to their surroundings through a free-flowing layout. Outdoor terraces were also incorporated into the home’s new design.
48 South High St. Ste. B, Dublin, OH 43017
Richard Taylor is one of Dublin’s most seasoned architects and his contributions to the community can be seen and felt throughout the city. He has lent his expertise to the city’s public sector like the Planning and Zoning Commission and the Historic District’s Architectural Review Board. Taylor has designed establishments all over Ohio, Arizona, and Colorado but his passion is in residential architecture. Taylor’s firm, RTA Studio specializes in designing custom homes and renovation projects. The firm’s portfolio has tasteful homes designed with traditional styles including Colonial, craftsman, and Prairie-style. These designs evoke a nostalgic feel because every homeowner is familiar with these traditional façades and RTA Studio tailors these styles to every client.
But RTA Studio is not limited to classic designs, and this modern home in Olentangy Boulevard proves that. The home stands out in a neighborhood filled with traditional homes. It has a simple, beige linear façade and the oak finish gives it a contemporary look. The clean polished look is maintained in the interior. It has a sleek, gray color palette paired with monochromatic furnishing.
Sullivan Bruck Architects
8 S Grant Ave., Columbus, OH 43215
For more than 30 years, Sullivan Bruck Architects has been providing residential architectural services to Columbus. Founders Joseph Sullivan and Gary Bruck have been practicing architects since the 1980’s, and they have invested in a team of experts capable of designing award-winning homes. The team uses classic architectural principles to create a familiar space that is functional for the modern family.
The firm’s entry for the AIA People’s Choice Award is a modern riverfront residence. Linear architecture was used to adapt the home to the fabric of the 1950’s neighborhood. Its exterior has horizontal lines that are only interrupted by strategically placed stone pillars. Expansive windows were also installed so homeowners can enjoy a view of the river. There is also a waterfall fountain concealed by the stone entry column.
The Jones Studio
503 City Park Avenue, Columbus, OH 43215.
Established by Brian Jones, The Jones Studio is a multidisciplinary firm that practices a range of services that focus on residential projects. The design studio’s wide range of services includes interior, landscape, and urban design. The Jones Studio advocates for new urbanism, a practical design principle that uses underdeveloped building types and eco-friendly materials.
During the firm’s first years, it focused on creating residential projects that have a diverse range of styles. Some of these homes can be classical, neo-traditional, or contemporary. The firm bases its aesthetic on a home’s location and the homeowner’s character. The same goes for its interior design, as the overall tone is inspired by the homeowner’s aesthetic.
Tim Lai ArchitecT
400 W Rich St. Studio #301, Columbus, OH 43215
Design-oriented Tim Lai ArchitecT was established because its founder wanted to focus on small-scale projects with cultural relevance to the community. The firm offers its commercial and residential projects to the Columbus neighborhood. Founder Tim Lai manages the firm with his wife, Eliza Ho, an art historian who oversees the creative side of the business. The couple makes sure that every project is unique and functional for the community.
The couple worked with Hanlin Rainaldi Construction during the construction of the Oats and Barley Market. Both firms had a great working relationship and worked on more commercial projects together. Soon after, the architectural firm hired Hanlin Rainaldi Construction for residential projects. The shortage of contemporary custom home builders in Central Ohio encouraged the two firms to establish Stella Home, a design company that will combine the expertise of both firms for the residential clients in Ohio.
This Delaware home is an example of Tim Lai’s contemporary work. The contrast between black and light wood accentuates the home’s irregular façade. This kind of architecture is very common among contemporary homes as it permits more sunlight into the home and, in every corner of the Delaware project, these large windows are found.
Urban Order Architecture
797 Summit St., Columbus, OH 43215
Urban Order architecture is known for providing historic preservation and reuse designs tailored for a homeowner’s modern lifestyle. Founders Dean Berlon and Steven Hurt are skilled in historic preservation projects. Berlon was the Chair of the Italian Village Society’s Historic Preservation Committee while Hurtt specialized in historic building rehabilitation for eight years. The firm has surrounded itself with historical architecture, and its main studio can be found in the National Historic District North of Downtown Columbus.
The award-winning Prescott Place is a great example of how Urban Order can transform an outdated establishment into a contemporary bohemian home. This home was originally a workshop built in the 1900s and its vintage interiors were restored because the architects loved the exposed brick and wood trusses. Repurposing the old interiors granted a shabby chic look to the firm’s modern renovations. But the unit’s focal point is its stunning courtyard inspired by the central gardens of Italian and Spanish homes. The courtyard invited light into the home and its garden also gave fresh air to the space. This stunning remodel won the 2016 Chrysalis Award for Best Whole House Remodel.
YR Architecture + Design
49 S Huron Ave., Columbus, OH 43204
Yvonne Riggie founded YR Architecture + Design in 2013, combining her interests and knowledge in design, construction, business, volunteerism, and social responsibility. Through her diverse experiences living, working, and volunteering in some of the poorest and wealthiest places around the world, she has a keen understanding, empathy, and appreciation for the human condition. The firm’s mission is to help ordinary people create extraordinary lives with simple, modern, and affordable architecture. The firm provides not only full design services but also concept design packages, design reviews, and consultations making good residential design and architecture more accessible to everyday people.
Photo © Ed Massery
The Open Door project is a new initiative overseen by YR Architecture + Design to empower, educate, and support future and aspiring homebuilders to take action and make their dream homes a reality. The goal of the project is to provide a comprehensive resource for people who want to build their first home. It will include project roadmaps, blog articles on residential design, case study interviews, and a community that will support and guide homeowners through every step of the home building journey and give them confidence along the way.
YR Architecture + Design’s strength lies in bringing a sense of warmth, comfort, and connection to its modern work. The Fombell Addition and Renovation shows the firm’s grasp in blending old and new and paying homage to the local vernacular and surrounding context. YR Architecture + Design, together with Mary Barensfeld Architecture, built new modern additions to an existing Dutch Colonial home. The additions incorporate salvaged timber framing – a nod to traditional barn framing – and elements of modern design like floor to ceiling glass and exposed structural steel while matching roof pitches and cladding materials of the existing house to tie the new with old.
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