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The Best Residential Architects and Designers in Washington DC

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Washington, DC is an ideal place to live for everyday singles and families, foodies and sports fans, young professionals, and digital nomads. Whether moving to DC from across the country or elsewhere, you’ll find it easy to admire all that comes with living in the District.

This list includes licensed architects and residential designers who can design stunning homes and offer a range of diverse services. Our team compiled these firms based on their previous projects, awards, industry affiliations, and press coverage.

McInturff Architects

4220 Leeward Place, Bethesda, MD 20816

McInturff Architects, based in Bethesda, was founded in 1986 and is dedicated to creating modern, finely crafted residential, commercial, and institutional projects. Its complete architectural and interior design services are based on meaningful client communication, the kind of communication that connects meaningfully to the individual needs of the users.

The firm has won more than 320 design accolades, including three AIA Institute Honor Awards, two for Interior Architecture, and one for Urban Design. The projects have been widely published locally, nationally, and internationally and are the subject of three monographs published by the Images Publishing Group of Australia: In Detail: McInturff Architects (2001), In Residence: McInturff Architects (2007), and In House: McInturff Architects (2013).

Cunningham | Quill Architects

1054 31st Street NW, Suite 315, Washington, DC 20007

Cunningham Quill Architects was founded in 1996 and is based in historic Georgetown’s Canal Square. The firm provides a broad spectrum of architecture, community planning, and urban design services; it points to a diverse portfolio of homes to demonstrate its competence and expertise. It applies new and inventive methodologies to each of its projects and is led by its namesakes, Ralph Cunningham and Lee Quill, who have over five decades of combined expertise.

The firm is founded on the values of teamwork and social responsibility. It handles all aspects of a project and specializes in everything from master plans to interior makeovers. The firm also contributes to advancing its local community by completing various pro bono projects that aid non-profit organizations.

Bonstra | Haresign Architects

1728 14th Street NW, Suite 300, Washington, DC 20009

Bonstra | Haresign Architects is motivated by the idea that design improves environments and inspires people. The firm believes in the ability of architecture to enhance and rejuvenate the physical environment and the world’s economic and social problems. It is a firm of 30 highly qualified and creative architects, designers, and problem solvers who thrive on discovering innovative solutions to city and neighborhood concerns. The firm was founded in 2000 in the heart of Washington, DC by William J. Bonstra and David Haresign.

The company operates in a collaborative studio setting, with each team member contributing to all aspects of project conception, development, and implementation. The team values and promotes open dialogue on architectural concepts and client solutions. Its team works on many projects, from residential renovations and adaptive reuse to large-scale, commercial, and mixed-use complexes.

ISTUDIO Architects

1400 16th Street NW, Suite 130, Washington, DC 20036

ISTUDIO was formed to build artistic, sustainable communities. It focuses on original, creative, and well-reasoned design solutions for each customer, regardless of project type. The firm’s work includes medium and large-scale institutional and commercial projects and residential and planning developments. Every initiative has the same thread of a deliberate process running through it. ISTUDIO believes that good design will improve quality of life by enhancing living places.

Since its launching in 1999, the studio has enjoyed working with clients and collaborators locally and beyond. The company has won awards for its design work and its commitment to community development and sustainability. Its team vows to continue providing a blueprint for inspirational places to live, work, learn, and play.

ISTUDIO holds membership with the American Institute of Architects (AIA), the US Green Building Council (USGBC), and the American Planning Association (APA).

Barnes Vanze Architects

1000 Potomac Street NW, Suite L-2, Washington, DC 20007

Barnes Vanze Architects was founded in 1989 by Anthony “Ankie” Barnes and Stephen Vanze. Barnes earned his Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Witwatersrand, South Africa, and his Master of Architecture from Yale University. Vanze completed his Bachelor of Arts degree from Brown University and his Master of Architecture from the University of Virginia. They are both Fellows within the AIA.

The firm, which specializes in the traditional design popular in the DC area, has won multiple prizes, including the Palladio awards from the Traditional Building and the Awards for Excellence from the DC Chapter of the AIA. Barnes Vanze Architects has also been featured in numerous print and online publications. Its staff of 23 includes six principals and a professional studio team. The firm’s work is not limited to residential architecture; it has also worked on commercial, institutional, and ecclesiastical projects. Barnes Vanze has also completed projects nationally and internationally, with some of its most significant work located everywhere from Canada to the Caribbean.

Gardner Architects, LLC.

1010 Wayne Avenue, Suite 330, Silver Spring, MD 20910

Gardner Architects is a residential architecture practice that focuses on creating sustainable, artistically crafted houses. Since its inception in 2003, the firm has gained over two decades of experience working on projects ranging from holiday houses to accessory structures to private residences. The firm uses site-specific, detail-oriented, and client-centric methods to bring a distinctive and hands-on approach adapted to the client’s demands. It cultivates strong ties with its customers to encourage participation and ensure a smooth, seamless construction process.

Gardner Architects is led by Amy E. Gardner, FAIA, LEED-AP, who has taught at the University of Maryland School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation since 1989. Amy was the founding coordinator and driving force behind the courses Arch 600/611 Integrated Design Studio and Advanced Technology, a program that received multiple honors, including an AIA Education Honor Award, an ACSA Teaching Award, a Lilly Center for Teaching Excellence Award, and an NCARB Prize for the Creative Integration of Teaching and Practice in the Academy. She has also led the University’s Solar Decathlon teams, leading to two international wins.

Donald Lococo Architects

3413 1/2 M Street NW, Suite A, Washington, DC 20007

Donald Lococo Architects specializes in single-family homes, and his firm is noted for its expertise across the architectural spectrum. It does not confine itself to modern or conventional styles. Lococo’s artistic background is evident in his designs: before getting his undergraduate degree, he studied piano performance at the Royal Conservatory. He subsequently earned his Master of Architecture from the University of Michigan. Architectural Digest, Elle Decor, and House Beautiful, among others, have featured Lococo’s residences.

The firm is regarded as one of the DC area’s most unique, elevating living spaces while never crafting two homes. Lococo has received Benjamin Moore’s internationally renowned Hue Award, was a Sub-Zero, Wolf, and Cove First Place Kitchen Design Contest Global Winner, Southern Living’s Best New House, and it has been recognized with awards by many American Institute of Architects chapters. He has also served as a judge of architecture for the AIA, national magazines, and the Institute of Classical Architecture and Art.

Kube Architecture

818 18th Street NW, Suite 600, Washington, DC 20006

Kube Architecture is best known for highlighting the importance of light, color, texture, and materiality in their work. The firm accepts daily feats and is dedicated to developing solutions for spaces that cater to working and living in the built environment. The company uses only the best materials and industry techniques. It comprises a talented group of specialists with a wide range of skills and talents.

Kube Architecture strongly supports the environment and goes above and above to help the cause. It uses green components whenever possible to ensure that its projects are energy efficient and long-lasting. Besides its commercial projects, KUBE has completed several restaurants, residential designs of all scales, urban designs, educational facilities, religious buildings, community centers, and office tenant fit-outs.

EL Studio

1319 Naylor Court NW, Washington, DC 20001

Elizabeth Emerson, AIA, and Mark Lawrence, AIA, started EL Studio in 2007 and have over two decades of design expertise. The practice specializes in new designs for demanding projects through collaboration and rethinking standard techniques and materials. It also eagerly tackles complex situations and attempts to review standard procedures and materials through study and experimentation. EL works with design partners to provide solutions specific to the difficulties and opportunities presented on each project. It serves as its clients’ advocates, building knowledge in all aspects of their current and future demands.

Before EL, Emerson performed many projects, from multi-tenant residential and hospitality projects to institutional and government spaces. Some of its projects include the Syracuse University School of Architecture and the U.S. Embassies in Rabat, Morocco, and Vienna, Austria. Lawrence has also served diverse projects with companies in D.C. and L.A., such as the U.S. Federal Courthouse in San Diego and the UCLA Broad School Art Center.

Wiedemann Architects

5272 River Road, Suite 610, Bethesda, MD 20814

Wiedemann Architects is a full-service architectural company with over 30 years of award-winning design experience that includes new home, estate, residential addition, large institutional, and commercial projects. The firm’s portfolio contains both traditional and modern designs. It also includes streamlined residential additions that are sympathetic to older structures—additions so clean they seem as if they have always been there.

In addition to all standard architectural services, the firm offers services in feasibility studies, programming, site planning, master planning, urban design, and interiors. Wiedemann Architects LLC has a range of experience and a standard of eminence in design, as revealed by the firm’s numerous architectural awards under the supervision of Gregory Wiedemann as founding principal.

Gregory formerly served as a partner of Muse-Wiedemann Architects, a firm that quickly became one of the leading design firms in the Washington area. Mr. Wiedemann is NCARB certified and has professional architectural registration in Maryland, the District of Columbia, Virginia, West Virginia, Delaware, New York, and North Carolina. Mr. Wiedemann is NCARB certified and has professional architectural registration in Maryland, the District of Columbia, Virginia, West Virginia, Delaware, New York, and North Carolina. Apart from his practice, he has been a constituent of the design and technology faculties of the School of Architecture at the University of Maryland and a member of the faculty of Johns Hopkins University, where he taught a design course in the real estate development program.

GTM Architects

7735 Old Georgetown Road, Suite 700, Bethesda, MD 20814

GTM Architects is a full-service design company specializing in commercial and residential architecture with offices in Bethesda and Washington, DC. Its commercial studio has executed many projects, including shops, restaurants, public transportation, and recreational facilities. The firm is organized into collaborative studios led by professionals in specific respective fields.

GTM Architects’ president and founder is George T. Myers. He graduated from the University of Maryland and earned a Master’s in Architecture. Rick Conrath, the Commercial Studio’s principal, earned a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Houston and a Master of Science in Landscape Architecture from Harvard University. GTM Architects has been featured by The Business Journals, The Washington Post, Washingtonian, GlobeSt, Commercial Observer, Arlington Magazine, Patch, The Seattle Times, and Bethesda Magazine.

CHECA Architects, PC

2336 Wisconsin Avenue NW, #32130, Washington, DC 20007

CHECA Architects was built on the notion that good design speaks to the distinct sensitivities of its clients and reflects who they are. The firm possesses the knowledge and creative ability to convey and design stunning practical solutions. The practice blends goals, objectives, and lifestyle considerations into a shared vision and a distinct design approach by working directly with clients. Its primary goal is to achieve a harmonic interaction of form, light, and space while appreciating the natural beauty of the surroundings and boosting the human spirit. CHECA’s hallmark as a full-service firm is its ability to attend to every well-crafted detail, from lighting to landscaping, to build attractive, modern homes in the city, the country, or anywhere in between.

Lorena Checa is CHECA Architects’ visionary and Principal Architect. Her exposure to innovative design and diverse perspectives, a lifetime of travel, and an innate passion for sustainability influence her craft. Her design approach is rooted in ancient wisdom and informed by science. She has a unique capacity to incorporate modern technologies and materials in ways that enrich the human experience and create new paradigms for ecologically sensitive architecture.

Bennett Frank Mccarthy Architects, Inc.

1400 Spring Street, Suite 320, Silver Spring, MD 20910

Bennett Frank McCarthy, founded in 1989, specializes in a wide range of architectural services, including building design and construction documentation, urban design, and community planning. The firm’s design process is also structured to tailor services to each client and their project requirements. The firm is dedicated to its customers and thinks architecture and community design work best when context is considered.

Bennett Frank McCarthy works in an open studio environment to promote the free flow of ideas among team members. It enjoys both the planning and construction phases and looks forward to each new project, finding each one educational, intriguing, and entertaining.

The firm maintains memberships with the National Council on Seniors Housing, the Housing Association of Nonprofit Developers, the Maryland Society American Institute of Architects, and the Assisted Living Federation of America.

DW Ricks Architects + Associates

3300 N Fairfax Drive, Suite 200, Arlington, VA 22201

DW Ricks Architects + Associates (DWRA) is an Arlington-based full-service Architecture firm. The firm specializes in well-designed, highly crafted, single-family residential and community buildings. DWRA is known for being an approachable and easy firm to work with. It values its clients as collaborative partners and as instrumental in helping shape its work.

Founded in 1988, DWRA’s commitment to residential work has made it a leading home design firm in the DC Metro region. The firm has been recognized by numerous design awards, publications in leading shelter magazines, and featured in newspaper articles and television. DWRA has designed and built over 200 residences, including new custom homes, whole-house remodels, additions, condominium interior remodels, and historically designated home preservations. In addition to its residential work, DWRA has designed major additions to historic church and religious buildings, swim clubs, community centers, and commercial office buildings.

Some periodicals that have featured the firm’s projects are Home & Design, Arlington Magazine, Best of Better Homes & Gardens, Cottage Living, Southern Living, Better Homes & Gardens, Architecture DC, The Washington Post, and The Northern Virginia Sun Weekly.

Moore Architects, PC

105 N Maple Avenue, Suite 100, Falls Church, VA 22046

Mainly a residential design company, Moore Architects has finished over 300 projects in the Washington DC area. It was launched in 1989 by Charles Moore, who completed his Bachelor of Architecture from Virginia Tech. Moore Architects, PC has been acknowledged nationally by the AIA, the Washington Architectural Foundation, and the Arlington County Preservation Design Awards Program.

The firm has been in publications such as Home Magazine, Fine Homebuilding Magazine, Architectural Digest, Southern Living Magazine, Washingtonian Magazine, and The Washington Post. Its projects were likewise featured on HGTV’s Dream Home and What You Get for the Money programs. Moore Architects provides clients with a hands-on approach throughout the process and offers a full range of services. It specializes in new homes, large-scale renovations, retail, adaptive reuse, and historic preservation projects.