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The Best Residential Architects and Designers in Torrance, California

18 Min Read

With the Pacific Ocean at its neighbor, Torrance offers year-round beach living to its nearly 150,000 residents. The city is an ideal place to live in, with an urban-suburban environment, high employment rates, and high salaries. The town also features great schools, walkable spaces, parks, and beach activities. This great environment comes at a predictable cost: any city that borders the ocean comes with its premium.

The expensive home building process in Torrance will make you want to ensure that your plans are in order. If you’re a homeowner who needs changes to your home or a new resident about to build your first home, check out our list of the best residential architects that serve Torrance. This list of 15 architects can help you realize your dream home and build the functional, beautiful space your lifestyle requires. These firms were evaluated based on their capability to work with clients in Torrance, their awards, industry memberships, and media features.

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.

Colega Architects

4334 Sepulveda Blvd., Culver City, CA 90230

Colega Architects is a modern architecture firm that specializes in designing high-quality custom homes through innovative design solutions. It also offers its services to clients in the multifamily and mixed-use sectors. The company is a licensed general contractor, allowing it to offer design-build services to clients looking for a streamlined building experience.

The company is currently led by Bogdan Tomalevski, a California-licensed architect and Tarek Abdel Ghaffar both with degrees in architecture from the University of Southern California. Under their leadership, the company is an active member of the American Institute of Architects. The practice has also won a Silver and Bronze award from the A’Design Award & Competition. Its work has also appeared in Dwell Magazine and the A’Design Publication

In Torrance, Colega Architects designed and built a home that will be the lifetime home of a retired couple. The lot posed a challenge, which required the firm to design something that will stand on top of an irregular shaped hillside lot. The result is a home with two zones: public and private spaces that were separated between two wings covered by a single shed roof. Its modern design stands out in a neighborhood filled with traditional homes.

David Watson Architects

920 Manhattan Beach Blvd. Suite #6, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266

David Watson brings his many years of architectural experience in Los Angeles to his own practice in Manhattan Beach. His firm’s work is distinguished for its respect for both traditional and contemporary architectural detailing. Its designs complement and take advantage of their environments. As the firm’s principal, Watson promotes a client-centric approach, which demands working with clients one-on-one. Those tête-à-têtes allow him to get to know clients’ lifestyles and personal tastes, and he uses this information as he designs these projects.

The company’s portfolio showcases its ability to work on a diverse range of projects. The common theme is timelessness; the firm wants to ensure that projects will not go out of style during clients’ residence in their homes. An example of their work is the featured ‘lighthouse,’ which stands just a few steps away from the beach. It was designed to fit a homeowner with an active beach lifestyle. The project includes a subdued gray, white, and dark brown color palette, and features an elegantly designed ‘lamp room.’

Douglas J. Leach, Architects,Inc.

119 West Torrance Blvd. Suite #24, Redondo Beach, CA 90277

Douglas J. Leach, Architects, Inc. has been providing superior custom architectural design for luxury residences in Southern California for more than a quarter of a century. It is headed by Cal Poly graduate Doug Leach, who has successfully realized more than $300 million worth of new construction projects. He is the sole architect of the boutique firm, which is why he is able to give clients his personal attention.

The featured project from the company follows the beach plantation style as you can see in the low pitched roof and large overhangs. This project is just a sample of Leach’s diverse portfolio, which features Italianates, Craftsman, and contemporary homes, among others. Douglas J. Leach, Architects, Inc.’s work has been featured in several magazines, including Dream Homes Los Angeles, Southbay Magazine, and Country Living.

Edward Ogosta Architecture

8800 Venice Blvd. Suite #312, Los Angeles, CA 90034

Founded by its namesake in 2011, Edward Ogosta Architecture is an award-winning practice based in Los Angeles. Ogosta is a California-licensed architect who brings over 19 years of experience as a practicing architect, educator, and lecturer. He has worked for some of the most respected firms in LA, including Clive Wilkinson Architects, and Michael Maltzan Architecture. With his experience, he sits on the Board of Directors of the Los Angeles Forum for Architecture and Design and is also Acting Chair of the Culver City Planning Commission.

Under Ogosta’s leadership, Edward Ogosta Architecture received several distinctions, including the 1st Place Award from the Sub-Zero Wolf Design Contest. The company was also chosen as a jury member for the AIA California Residential Design Awards, and the AIA National Small Projects Award.

Among the firm’s best work is the featured corner pocket house, which received several accolades. It received two AIA awards in 2017, and the highly-coveted and prestigious Chicago Athenaeum American Architecture Award in 2018. The home is a renovation of an old bungalow in Manhattan Beach into a contemporary masterpiece. The project, which will house a five-person family, sits on the corner of a busy intersection. That geography required the firm to design the house with noise reduction in mind. Edward Ogosta Architecture’s strategic design allowed the home to have both an acoustic buffer and expansive entryways.

Interstices Architecture

1322 Coronado Ave. Suite C, Long Beach, CA 90804

Established in 1990, Interstices Architecture has been offering architectural, planning, and interior design services for nearly three decades. It has catered to clients in the residential and commercial sectors in Illinois and California. Its founder Jonathan Glasgow became a registered architect in 1986. He is also AIA accredited and has designed award-winning projects.

Since its founding date, the firm has designed over 100 custom homes across the country. It is a strong advocate of both historic preservation and adaptive reuse of old buildings. As a result of this focus, the firm has been involved in transforming a number of old buildings into new thriving structures. Interstices Architecture is a recipient of a Long Beach Heritage award and merit awards from the AIA.

In Belmont Park, Interstices Architecture designed a modern luxury home. Its stucco white exterior serves as a canvass for the tropical plants surrounding the property. The sleek roofing choice is clad with warm wood on the undersides as exterior ceilings. Overall, the project is a great representation of the firm’s expertise in designing modern and contemporary projects for clients across California.

Jeannette Architects, Inc.

296 Redondo Ave., Long Beach CA 90803

Jeannette Architects is an award-winning practice with memberships in AIA, Build it Green, and USGBC. It is led by husband and wife Jeff and Roberta Jeanette, both licensed architects in California. With 19 years of experience, the company has built several homes in communities in reach of its Long Beach-based studio. It has designed homes across a wide spectrum of architectural styles — from Spanish and Craftsman styles to Victorian and Mid-Century Modern styles.

The company is known for its ability to design green homes that take advantage of passive home concepts and active solar technology. With Jeff Jeanette as a Board Member of The Reuse People, the firm is also dedicated to reducing solid waste during construction. Jeannette Architects is ideal for clients who wish to transition to a greener lifestyle. Its work has been featured in The LA Times, Modern Bungalow, and Inspired House.

Among the practice’s best work is the featured LEED Platinum home in Newport Beach. The firm worked with home builder John Steed Homes to craft the 4,712 square foot home with a green design informing every aspect of the home.

Joseph Spierer Architects, Inc.

707 Torrance Blvd. Suite #100, Redondo Beach, CA 90277

Joseph Spierer Architects is involved in the design of residential and commercial projects. It was founded in 2011 by Joe Spierer, AIA, who has extensive experience in designing high-end homes, multi-family apartments, and commercial structures. Spierer leads in green design thinking and is LEED accredited. He and his team of licensed architects help clients build energy-saving, sustainable homes.

The practice has crafted homes that follow varying aesthetics; its portfolio showcases its expertise in the modern, French, and coastal styles. An example of its work is the Beverly Hills residence featured below. The home has elegant curb appeal thanks to the French windows. Joseph Spierer combined traditional and contemporary design techniques to give the home a naturally sophisticated look, and it stands out beautifully in its neighborhood.

LMDesign & Associates, Inc.

4616 Manhattan Beach Blvd., Lawndale, CA 90260 

LMDesign & Associates is a full-service Architecture Studio committed to guide homeowners through the process of designing and building their new home. Principal Luis Murillo believes in prioritizing client enjoyment and comfort. The firm also takes property values into consideration before providing architectural solutions. It specializes in designing high-end custom homes and home remodels and offers these services to clients in the south bay cities.

Among the firm’s best work in their portfolio is the renovation of a 7,500-square-foot property in Santa Monica. LMDesign & Associates designed the home with a new pool, hardscaping. The actual house was updated with a more contemporary look and feel, with the firm refitting all the exterior and interior finishes. It also required the relocation of the garage and the addition of  600-square-feet for a new Guest Room and enlarged Great Room.

Narita Architects

3465 Torrance Blvd. Suite E, Torrance CA 90503

Narita Architects was founded in 2001 by principal Risa Narita. Risa is a graduate of the University of Southern California’s Bachelor of Architecture program and a graduate of Harvard University’s Masters of Architecture in Urban Design program as well. She is a registered architect in California and Texas, and is also an AIA member and LEED Green Associate. Her 20 years of experience has helped solidify Narita Architects’s reputation as one of the best firms in Torrance.

The firm’s projects range from custom homes to commercial structures. Its portfolio showcases its expertise in coming up with schematics for contemporary and modern spaces. Among its best design work is the Via Castilla Residence in Lunada Bay’s Palos Verdes Estates. Narita Architects was asked to add square footage to an existing home to accommodate new bedrooms for the homeowner’s children. The firm also transformed the home’s façade by adding custom details that will help harmonize the new and old elements.

Novum Architecture

116 S Catalina Ave., Ste. #122, Redondo Beach, CA 90277

Specializing in contemporary design, Novum Architecture offers its expertise in modern and traditional style to clients in the residential, commercial, and retail industries. It has obtained its success by maintaining its relationships with clients who happily refer them to people with architectural needs. The firm also provides one of the best lines of services, with emphasis on cost efficiency and practicality. It was founded and led by partners Alberto Juarez and Darian Radac, who share nearly three decades of experience in the industry.

The featured project is only one of the many projects it has finished in California. The residence has features typically found in contemporary homes: natural materials and as much natural lighting as possible. Its exterior features a streamlined design, minus the elaborate architectural detailing found in classical designs.

Obelisk Architects

3800 Pacific Coast Hwy, Torrance, CA 90505

Obelisk Architects has been in the business of architectural design since 1997. It was founded by Nagy Bakhoum, who is a licensed architect in California, and a professor of Architecture in the LA Community College District. His work has also been published in the Los Angeles Times, and he was also co-author of a number of architecture books. His leadership emphasizes collaboration with clients to come up with a combined vision that will be unique and timeless. The firm works with clients who need high-end commercial and residential architectural work.

Since its opening in 1997, Obelisk Architecture has finished over 300 residential projects — from home remodels to luxury multi-million estates.

Pritzkat & Johnson Architects

306 Vista Del Mar Suite A, Redondo Beach, CA 90277

Miles E. Pritzkat and Keith B. Johnson work together in leading Pritzkat & Johnson Architects, and architectural firm with more than 45 years of experience in the industry. The company specializes in designing creative and functional spaces with regard to the natural and built environments around the projects. It caters to clients throughout Southern California, with the majority of clients in the coastal areas. It has won a Gold Award from Professional Remodeler Magazine’s Whole House over 750k category, and has also been featured in South Bay Digs Magazine, and Beach Magazine.

Among the firm’s best work is the tropical-themed home in the luxe Hollywood Riviera community in the south of Torrance. Pritzkat & Johnson Architects was tasked by the clients to transform the old property into a home that exudes island elegance. The firm updated the house by changing the red brick and beige exterior to a cool and modern ‘greige’ and blue combination. Inside, the company created a warm space with beautiful wooden beams on the ceilings, warm lighting, and a palette of brown, white, and beige.

Sennikoff Architects

5500 East 2nd St. Suite #2, Naples Island, Long Beach, CA 90803

Sennikoff Architects is the fulfillment of Steven Stennikoff’s lifelong dream to open his own architectural studio. Opened in 2009, the practice specializes in custom homes, home remodels, and ADU design among others. Sennikoff’s careful attention to client’s programs has helped the company garner high reviews on online review sites. Its projects have also received some industry awards, including the prestigious Aging in Place Gold Award from the Best in American Living Awards for an accessible kitchen it designed in 2018.

In Newport Beach, Sennikoff Architects built this beach style home with great curb appeal thanks to the mix of materials used on the exterior walls and roofing. Inside, the home takes its cue from coastal styles. The firm used an open layout plan for the public spaces on the ground floor, with the living room and kitchen sharing one space. The living area blends seamlessly with the outdoors through an expansive doorway.

Ultra-Unit Architectural Studio

1327 Loma Avenue, Long Beach, CA 90804

Ultra-Unit Architectural Studio is a boutique architectural and design firm based in Long Beach, California. Its team is lead by Cameron Crockett, an AIA and LEED accredited licensed architect and contractor. He brings more than 25 years of experience in building and designing custom residential, multifamily, and commercial properties. Under his leadership, the company has won some awards from the AIA and has also been featured in the Long Beach Post.

Among the Ultra-Unit Architectural Studio’s best work is the Moraytis Whaley Residence. The 2,408-square-foot build posed unique challenges to the firm since it is situated on a narrow lot. The clients wanted to make the space seem bigger than it is, and make the home more functional for their family. It features operable windows that provided entry to natural sunlight, while also giving the homeowners a sense of privacy through semi-opaque materials. The home also has a skylight complemented by shafts that diffuse the light entering the home.

W3 Architects

1337 Palms Blvd., Venice, CA 90291 

W3 Architects was founded in 1993 to help clients build sustainable homes with high aesthetic standards. It is led by Warren Wolff Wagner, AIA, who is a well-accomplished and award-winning architect. He is also regarded as an expert in sustainable design, having been interviewed by publications like The LA Times, Los Angeles Business Journal, and Elle Decoration. He has also appeared on HGTV’s “Living with Ed”, an environmental TV show that featured one of its projects.

W3 Architects caters to clients in the residential and commercial sectors. Among its best work is the Monokuro House, a two-story residential project in Southern California. It was designed for a family who wanted an extremely simple Japanese home. To fulfill the needs of the client, W3 Architects used the minimalist approach to effectively structure the home. It features simple rooflines, polished concrete flooring, and white interiors that contrast with the warm medium grey exterior cladding. The cladding was used on both the exterior walls and the roof itself to create a monolithic volume.

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.