Concord is known for its jazz festivals, its food culture, and its fresh farmer’s markets. It is the biggest city in Contra Costa County and the 8th largest within the San Francisco Bay Area. The California town is also home to the Academy Award-winning actor Tom Hanks, arguably the city’s greatest export. The area’s landscape is covered with a mix of nature and concrete: tall trees are as prominent as commercial buildings. Historic parks and modern landmarks aplenty fill its tourist attractions. Other innovative institutions provide entertainment to locals and outsiders alike.
On the residential front, traditional designs are prevalent in existing homes, though contemporary elements are also seeping into the city’s overall aesthetic. Readers who require architectural and interior design services should find the following list useful. This collection of Concord’s top residential architects was collated after an extensive research process that factored in key variables such as each company’s history, portfolio quality, client reviews, accreditations, and principal backgrounds.
710 E McGlincy Lane, Suite 109, Campbell, CA 95008
GKW Architects is a California design powerhouse renowned for its multifaceted operations in residential and commercial markets. Its expertise is not limited to architecture work; the firm also veers into construction with planning and development services.
The studio’s CEO and principal Gordon Wong is a well-decorated expert with a deep resume that includes projects in New York, California, and China. He carries many industry accreditations—the American Institute of Architects (AIA), the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB), and the Building Research Establishment (BRE). Wong is also an advocate of eco-friendly designs and serves as a Green Associate of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED GA) and he is an active member of Build It Green.
The upscale house pictured is the Martha Residence, a new construction project completed by the GKW staff. Located in Saratoga, the single-family unit was built and designed in partnership with general contractor Ryan Oakley. The project’s team used a dynamic selection of building materials to craft the 3,369-square-foot property, which includes wood sidings, stuccos, and solar Tesla tiles for the roof. The square-shaped estate features high windows, panoramic doors, tall ceilings, and a layout that provides spacious interiors and a bright set-up. It has four bedrooms and four baths as well as an open courtyard in the middle of the home.
18029 Riverside Dr., Sonoma, CA 95476
GLB Architects is a Sonoma-based practice that strives to create high-performance spaces with strong functionality and aesthetics. The studio serves Northern California and has a focus on projects in residential, commercial, and retail markets. It is headed by Garry L. Baker, the AIA-accredited principal of the company. Prior to working on his locally-operated firm, he worked for some of the country’s top architecture outfits such as Gensler and Associates, HOK, and Fisher Friedman Architects + Planners. His diverse background formed the foundation of GLB and his skill catapulted the firm to prominence, all the while earning numerous repeat clients for the firm’s exemplary work.
The in-house team operates with a collaborative spirit that flows seamlessly through constant field communication. Client coordination is integral to the firm’s work, as the crew guides the owners from inception to completion to keep them in the loop and apply any of their inputs to the project. In addition to this streamlined process, dream projects are personalized with strict compliance to the set timeline and budget to meet the customer’s expectations and provide overall satisfaction. The featured Sonoma Hill Craftsman infuses the classic residential style with a modern flair that shines through its muted exterior palette, a notable design that pops amidst the suburban scenery.
2363 Boulevard Circle, Suite 2, Walnut Creek, CA 94595
Ruffin Architecture has been a consistent player in the Bay Area’s architecture and interior design arena since 1986. The Walnut Creek firm’s core philosophy is centered around the idea that every project deserves innovative and personal attention, no matter the scale. This discipline is bolstered by top-notch craftsmanship, smooth project management, and prompt service, making the company one of the most trusted names in its design domain.
Operations are helmed by AIA East Bay associate Dave Ruffin, a veteran architect committed to high caliber projects that meet client’s standards. Under his leadership, the firm’s in-house roster of experienced craftspeople has completed residential, commercial, and interior design projects for clients both local and domestic. The service scope in residential markets covers new residential, kitchens, bathrooms, living spaces, and additions.
The El Cerrito Hills residence is designed in the suburbs of Contra Costa County. Looking at its façade, the structure may seem like a typical abode, but a closer look at the rear reveals an interesting design. Situated on top of the slope of a curved valley, the builder took advantage of the unconventional site by building the lower levels along the sides of the hill. The innovative home has an exterior aesthetic that uses rustic colors to complement the locale’s lush green scenery.
US Accurate Construction
1307 Plumleigh Lane, Concord, CA 94521
Established in 2005, US Accurate Construction is a company that specializes in general contracting, home improvements, and architecture services. Led by owner Fred Seraj, the firm’s forte lies in servicing residential and commercial projects around the Concord region. To date, the multipronged business has completed hundreds of custom projects in the Bay Area, a testament to its name recognition and highly efficient work.
The practice runs a customer-focused process that prioritizes client demands and satisfaction, each project personalized to fit the owner’s budget and vision. Building Information Modeling (BIM) software is used on-site for a smoother project flow and to produce accurate results. The Concord addition project is a showcase of the firm’s grasp of modern design. It features an asymmetric roof layout and exterior design that blends crisp wood panels, tall glass windows, and a striking gray palette—an aesthetic combination that works.
Rave reviews from California property owners praise the studio’s quality work in building, design, management, and service. The in-house staff earned commendations not only for their construction and design prowess but also for the prompt service and pleasant environment they’ve provided in the field. High ratings on third-party sites reflect this well-rounded expertise, as well as coveted spots in Remodeling Magazine’s Remodeling 550, Qualified Remodeler’s Top 500 Remodelers, and the annual Inc 500.
WaArchitecture + Design
Concord, CA 94520
WaArchitecture + Design is a Concord practice committed to quality designs delivered through environmentally-responsible methods. Central to the studio’s process is a mission to provide comfortable, uplifting spaces that enhance people’s wellness and way of living as well as their innate connection to nature.
The studio is fronted by Wafaa Almahamid; he established the firm in 2012 as its lead architect. As an alumnus of Damascus University in Syria, making her name as an architectural designer in Northern California is an impressive feat on its own. The cosmopolitan designer is an acclaimed expert for her leadership skills and creative savvy, as well as a LEED AP dedicated to green building and energy-efficient projects. Another key personnel is Hajar Alfirai, a proponent of eco-friendly architecture who is passionate about sustainable design. Hajar is the founder of the Future Architects of the Middle East and has a solid background in visual arts, graphic design, and illustration.
The firm’s project types include housing and Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs), commercial and office facilities, retail establishments, and tenant improvements. Its full range of services includes programming and conceptual design, sustainable design, BIM and 3D rendering, construction documents, bidding and permits, and construction administration.