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The Best Residential Architects in Washington, DC

9 Min Read

Last updated on May 27th, 2024 at 12:32 pm

Living in Washington, DC offers a unique blend of cultural richness, historical significance, and political excitement. The city is vibrant and multifaceted, offering peaceful strolls along the National Mall as well as a diverse culinary scene. What truly sets it apart is its blend of modernity and timeless tradition. The list below contains eight of the best residential architects working in Washington, DC. These firms were carefully selected by our editorial team for their awards, experience, and portfolios.

Robert M. Gurney, FAIA Architect

5110 1/2, 5110 MacArthur Boulevard NW, Washington, D.C. 20016

Founded in 1991, Robert M. Gurney, FAIA Architect operates out of Washington, D.C., focusing on the design of high-end, single-family houses with a modern aesthetic. The firm has a dedicated team of six employees, several of whom have been with the company for an extended period. The business has intentionally maintained a smaller team size to encourage close involvement on all projects.

Robert M. Gurney, the founder and principal of the firm, was elevated to the College of Fellows of the AIA in 2002 and is currently a member of the VSAIA Honors Committee. Recognized in the 2019 Marvin Hall of Fame, he has an approach that emphasizes hands-on engagement in all projects, and he fosters long-term relationships with both staff and clients.

The firm has received numerous awards for its projects, including honors from AIA National, Residential Design Magazine, and Washingtonian Magazine. Press features include multiple appearances in Global Design News, Dezeen, and Architectural Digest.

Landis Architects/Builders

7059 Blair Road, NW Suite 300, Washington, D.C. 20012

Established in 1990, Landis Architects/Builders is a top design/build firm working in Washington, DC. Over the past three decades, the firm has successfully completed intricate projects across three jurisdictions. The firm employs in-house team leaders, project managers, lead carpenters, and dedicated plumbing and electrical departments.

The company is led by two principals who are brothers, each overseeing a specific aspect of the business—design and construction. Chris Landis, one of the co-owners, holds an MA in Architecture from Columbia University and is a licensed architect and contractor in multiple states. Before founding the company, he worked on complex projects for Fortune 500 companies. The other co-owner, Ethan Landis, holds an MBA from George Washington University. He leads the firm’s production team and is also involved in various boards and councils related to green building and construction codes in DC.

The firm has amassed a plethora of awards, including the 2019 Chrysalis Award for Whole-House Remodels and multiple NARI Metro DC Capitol CotY Awards. The firm is accredited by AIA, NARI, and Remodelers Advantage, and team members hold credentials like AIA membership, ASID membership, and LEED AP.

WAK TOK Architects

509 Albany Avenue, Takoma Park, MD 20912

Founded in 2007, WAK TOK Architects is a licensed full-service architecture studio based on innovative and authentic design solutions tailored to each client’s unique needs and values. With a 16-year track record, the company specializes in overseeing all project phases, ensuring a seamless transition from inception to completion. It focuses on a collaborative approach, beginning each project by thoroughly understanding client aspirations and site potentials, thereby fostering solutions unconstrained by conventional norms.

Wakako Tokunaga, the principal architect, has over 25 years of experience executing international award-winning projects. Before founding WAK TOK Architects, she worked with globally recognized firms such as Shigeru Ban Architects, Suzane Reatig Architecture, and RTKL Associates, Inc. She is affiliated with AIA and the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA) and holds a LEED AP certification.

The firm received the 2020 AIA Washingtonian Residential Design Award for its project, Re-Rowhouse. WAK TOK Architects has garnered press coverage in Architecture DC and The Washingtonian, adding to its credibility as a design leader in the architecture industry.

Wouter Boer Architects

1739 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, D.C. 20009

Established in 2020, Wouter Boer Architects operates from its base in the Dupont Circle neighborhood of Washington, DC. The firm specializes in modern custom homes and focuses intensely on creativity, inventiveness, and attention to detail. Staffed by a team of architects, it navigates clients through the phases of early decision-making, design, documentation, and construction administration. Not limited to architecture, the firm also delves into interior design.

Wouter Boer, the principal architect, holds a Master of Architecture from the University of Notre Dame. He is affiliated with the American Institute of Architects (AIA), underscoring his credibility and professional standing in the architectural community.

Wouter Boer Architects has amassed an impressive collection of accolades, including the 2023 AIA Washingtonian Residential Design Award and the 2021 AIA Northern Virginia Residential Design Award of Excellence. The team maintains AIA certification, adding an extra layer of professional credibility.


740 7th Street SE, Washington, D.C. 20003

demian\wilbur\architects, founded in 2005, is a Washington, DC-based architectural studio that believes in the transformative power of design. With a broad project range that includes urban planning, mixed-use developments, educational facilities, workplaces, restaurants, retail, and residential projects, the firm is deeply committed to creating places that impact people’s lives for the better.

Ziad Elias Demian, AIA-APA, and Eric Wilbur, RA, LEED AP, are the founding partners—each has over 28 years of international experience. Ziad Elias Demian has an expansive portfolio and previously held architectural roles at renowned firms like Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, and Cooper Carry Associates. Eric Wilbur was a Senior Associate for Gensler and has extensive experience working on corporate headquarters facilities, campus plans, and build-to-suit offices in the US and overseas.

The firm has received recognition in the form of the 2018 AIA DC Award for Alley Dwelling, a testament to its commitment to excellence in design. Holding accreditations such as AIA DC, and NOMA.

Lawlor Architects

120 Fourth Street SE, Washington, D.C. 20003

Established in 2003 and located in the historic district of Capitol Hill, Washington, DC, Lawlor Architects is a full-service architectural firm specializing in single-family residential work. Operating with a distinct collaborative and enjoyable design process, the firm walks clients through every stage—from schematic design to the completion of construction.

Stephen Lawlor, AIA, the firm’s principal, has an extensive academic background that includes Hobart College and the Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies in NYC and an M.A. in Architecture from the University of Maryland. Before establishing Lawlor Architects, Stephen was a principal and senior project architect at McInturff Architects for 16 years.

Lawlor Architects has been recognized with several awards, including multiple Chrysalis Awards for Honor and Merit and a Silver Custom Builder Award. The firm is accredited by AIA DC and is a member of the AIA Custom Residential Architects Network.

MPR Architecture

1232 Hamilton Street NW, Washington, D.C. 20011

MPR Architecture is a versatile architectural firm led by Michael Rouse, AIA, with licensure in Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, and the District of Columbia. Founded in 2015, the firm specializes in a number of different projects, everything from modest urban home additions to luxurious waterfront estates in locales like Maine and the Eastern Shore of Maryland.

The Principal Architect, Michael Rouse, holds a Master of Architecture from the University of Maryland. His extensive experience and regional licensure speak volumes about the firm’s capability to handle diverse architectural needs. Michael is also a member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), further cementing his standing in the architectural community.

Although relatively young, MPR Architecture’s work has been featured in Bethesda Magazine, Portfolio, and Maine Home+Design. The firm is accredited by the AIA and a member of the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art.

Broadhurst Architects

306 First Street, Rockville, MD 20851

Established in 2001, Broadhurst Architects has emerged as a leader in high-quality residential design, serving clients in Washington, DC, Maryland, and Virginia. With over two decades of experience, it has carved a niche by creating well-developed, functional, and comfortable spaces that enhance the quality of life for its clients. The firm believes architecture should be thoughtful, considerate, and harmonious with its surroundings.

Jeffery Broadhurst, the founding principal, is a highly experienced architect with a Master’s Degree from the University of Maryland, Class of 1985. Before establishing Broadhurst Architects, Jeffery honed his skills working with renowned architects Stephen Muse and Gregory Wiedemann. He is a member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and brings a wealth of knowledge and hands-on experience to every project.

Broadhurst Architects has been recognized for its excellence in design, winning the 2007 Washington Chapter/AIA-Washingtonian Award for the Residence at 306 First Street. The firm is accredited by AIA Potomac Valley, and Jeffery Broadhurst holds a LEED GA certification, testifying to the firm’s commitment to sustainable design practices.