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The Best Residential Architects and Designers in Cupertino, California

7 Min Read

One of the more affluent places in California, Cupertino is regarded as one of Silicon Valley’s founding cities. It is home to tech giants like Oracle, HP, and Apple, whose employees found homes in the city. Cupertino is also consistently ranked as one of the most educated places in America, with more than 30% of its residents holding a master’s degree. It offers an urban-suburban environment and a great public school system that is ideal for families. 

Cupertino appeals to people with aspirations to make it in Silicon Valley. Not only does it offer a healthy environment for families and young professionals, but it is also among the cities with good housing appreciation values at 4.9%. It may be expensive to build a home in this city, but it will be worth it since your home has a good chance of increasing in value over the years.

If you are looking for an architect to kickstart your home project—whether for improvements on your home or for new construction needs—check out our list of the best residential architects who service clients in Cupertino. These firms were evaluated based on their accreditations, licenses, and awards from industry organizations. We also considered client feedback and experience in designing for clients in Cupertino. 

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.

If you are thinking about building a custom home, 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.

Craig Steely Architecture

8 Beaver St., San Francisco, CA 94114

Craig Steely Architecture serves clients in California and Hawaii. Its founder and principal Craig Steely is known for designing homes that are hybrids of both states’ environments. Because of this unique expertise, the firm has received praise for its outstanding work. It has been featured in Abitare Magazine, Interiors Magazine, the New York Times and Dwell.  In 2009, Steely was named an “Emerging Talent” by the AIA California and since then many of his projects have been recognized by the American Institute of Architects (AIA). Under his leadership, the company was chosen as the top firm by the Residential Architect Magazine during its leadership awards in 2013

Among the firm’s most recent projects is the widely featured Pam & Paul’s House in Cupertino. Craig Steely Architecture designed the unique home to stand in a dense oak grove in one of Silicon Valley’s mountains. With its expertise to build in challenging topography, the firm was able to build a sleek and modern home in the area. It stands out with its expansive stretches of glass windows overlooking the Santa Cruz mountain landscape. The two sections of the home divide the home into private and public spaces. Its open-planned public area was designed masterfully, featuring a sunken living room filled with a plush purple sofa, a stunning metal staircase, and dark structural beams that contrast with the white interior walls. This project was featured on Dezeen, ArchDaily, and casalibrary.

Klopf Architecture

2180 Bryant St. Suite #203, San Francisco, CA 94110

Klopf Architecture was founded by John Klopf, a licensed architect. He is a recognized expert in Eichler home architecture, which is a type of modernist architecture that is also known as “California Modern”. His company is a reflection of his passion for this design style. The practice is known as an expert designer of warm, modern, and Eichler-style homes in California. 

Under John Klopf’s leadership, Klopf Architecture has successfully crafted over 200 architectural plans for clients in California. The firm is also award-winning — a recipient of the 2016 Silver Award for Design Excellence from Gentry Home Magazine, and the 2015 Best Remodel Award from Fine Homebuilding Magazine. Klopf Architecture has also been featured on Dwell, Architect Magazine, and The Spruce.

Among the company’s best work is the featured net-zero home in Cupertino. The firm was challenged to build a two-level home that could score high on Build it Green’s GreenPoint Rated System, a certification that verifies a home’s prioritization of health, comfort, and energy-efficiency. The resulting home has openly laid out spaces that welcome natural light through floor-to-ceiling windows. 

M Design Architects

4131 El Camino Real Suite #200, Palo Alto, CA 94306

M Design Architects is an award-winning company with 45-years of industry experience. It is led by founding principals Chris Jessup and Malika Junaid. Both principals are well-regarded in the industry, having designed homes for Silicon Valley executives from Facebook, Apple, and Google. Their invaluable experience in commercial and residential design has helped the company become one of the most recognized architecture studios in the area. 

M Design Architects specializes in sustainable design in the residential, commercial, and industrial sectors. It has garnered praise for its excellence, having been featured in Punch Magazine, World Architecture & Design, and San Francisco Chronicle. The company is also a recipient of the prestigious Architecture Master Prize in 2018, and an award from the World Architecture & Design Awards 2019’s Private House category.

The practice’s portfolio showcases its work throughout Southern California. The modern Cupertino home is among its best projects. Designed to be built in one of the city’s wooded areas, the home complements the scenery with the firm’s use of warm wood tones. It features clean and sleek rooflines, overlooking windows, and a spacious entryway. 

Studio S Squared Architecture

1000 S. Winchester Blvd., San Jose, CA 95128

Bay Area native Eugene H. Sakai heads the San Jose-based Studio S Squared Architecture. The firm focuses on designing structures with the users, environment, and community in mind. It is also a leading advocate of green construction, being mindful of its use of natural resources in its schematics. Sakai is a LEED Accredited Professional and long-time member of the AIA. He is also a former Chair of the Public Art Committee of the San Jose Arts Commission.

The firm’s portfolio is populated with diversely designed projects throughout California. Studio S Squared has helped clients work on their modern, colonial, and contemporary homes The featured project is a contemporary ranch addition to a Cupertino home. The project involved reorienting the garage to face the street, in order to zone the front yard for pedestrian and car use. A combination of hip and gabled roofs helps the home stand out in the neighborhood, while also giving it a unique curb appeal. 

How can I find an architect or home builder near me?

Read our latest articles on the best architects and home builders in and near Cupertino. If you don’t see your project type below, just let us know – we are happy to create a tailored recommendation list just for you.

Residential architects in Palo Alto

Residential architects in California

Custom home builders in Sunnyvale

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 custom home, 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.


  • Shahe Demirdjian

    Shahe is an Editor at Home Builder Digest with around four years of experience as a writer and editor in the construction space. Shahe has always had a huge interest in commercial/residential construction and real estate. On top of his experience at Home Builder Digest, he has two years of experience as a Construction Partner Specialist at BuildZoom and six years of experience as a licensed real estate agent. In his work, he takes advantage of his expertise to take complex technical jargon from those realms and transform them into accessible, engaging content, blending his business administration expertise with a degree from Arizona State University with his experiential insights. Expertise: Architecture, Home Design and Build, Home Remodeling Key Highlights: Arizona Real Estate - Licensed Salesperson Education: Arizona State University - Bachelors in Business Administration