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The Best Commercial Architects in Orange County and Newport Beach, California

9 Min Read
Lionakis Newport Office

Newport Beach is a lively coastal city renowned for its vibrant surfing scene, picturesque beaches, and its historical association with commercial fishing, yachting, and easy access to Long Beach and Los Angeles. Today, it has evolved into a dynamic and recreational hub for water sports, attracting a diverse population. Along its scenic coastline, residents and visitors can enjoy sailing, surfing, and waterfront fun. The city also boasts an exceptional school system and popular shopping destinations, such as Fashion Island, Newport Center, Pavilions, Trader Joe’s, and Macy’s.

In this list, we feature eight of the best commercial architects in Orange County and Newport Beach, each of which was meticulously evaluated and selected by our editorial team. These impressive firms were evaluated based on their skills, experience, and exceptional portfolios, and are all poised to help you with your unique design and construction needs. 


144 N. Orange St, Orange, CA 92866

AO is a full-service architectural, master planning, and design company that has served California and its nearby areas since 1974. With decades of experience, the firm focuses on delivering exceptional and functional designs for the retail, residential, and mixed-use sectors. Its team of expert designers, architects, and builders offers years of experience and expertise in delivering all types of projects, working with some of the best real estate investors in the United States. No matter the project’s size, scope, or complexity, the firm takes an integrated and hands-on approach to managing it, turning it into a visually pleasing and functional space that exceeds the client’s expectations. As a result, the firm has solidified its reputation as a leader in designing high-quality projects. 

One of the firm’s notable projects is the TEN Sushi + Cocktail Bar in Lakeshore. The idea behind the design was to create a magical and welcoming party scene focusing on feminine appeal. AO worked with the client to give the brand’s clean and straightforward zen feel a young and lively energy.


101 Shipyard Way, Suite B, Newport Beach, CA 92663

ACS has been making great spaces and places across California since its inception in 2001, offering a one-stop-shop solution for its clients through various building, design, planning, and construction management services. Over the years, the firm has completed many high-quality projects across four main sectors: retail, hospitality, supermarkets, and restaurants. However, whether it is working on a simple tenant improvement or a full-scale new construction project, the firm’s integrated and hands-on approach allows it to understand each client’s vision and build places that help them improve their brand and expedite their growth. The firm’s expert architects and designers offer unique knowledge and experience to ensure fresh ideas, great teamwork, and flawless project delivery.

Highlighted here is one notable project completed by the firm. As part of the open-store makeover, the firm was tasked with designing a space conducive to the installation of new equipment, including refrigerators, ovens, and shelves. ACS performed comprehensive surveying, planning, and construction tasks, focusing primarily on fundamental architectural drawings. The project scope also included electrical work, wall and floor finishing, and equipment setup.


2050 Main St2, Suite 400, Irvine, CA 92614

Lionakis is an architecture and design firm that has worked with clients, contractors, advisors, business leaders, and community leaders in California and its nearby areas since 1909. In this time, the firm has built an impressive portfolio showcasing its reliability and ability to offer flexible, appropriate, and creative design solutions. The firm offers over 114 years of extensive experience and expertise, allowing it to consistently deliver high-quality projects on schedule and within budget. It has also built long-lasting relationships with people at all levels in order to ensure smooth, seamless project delivery and an enjoyable experience for its clients. No matter the project’s size, scope, or complexity, the firm takes the time to understand each client’s vision and turn it into a unique space that meets their needs and exceeds their expectations. 

Lionakis Newport Office

The architects at Lionakis in Newport Beach had the unique chance to shape their own work environment. The design process for their own office started by creating a list of design ideas and architectural features. The main goal for the new space was to create an open, collaborative, and creative atmosphere that would enhance the productivity and mental well-being of its employees. Now, the space’s amenities include a wine bar, an open kitchen, and several movable team spaces that can also be used as hotel stations.

Bundy-Finkel Architects

1120 Bristol St Suite 120, Costa Mesa, CA 92626

Timothy Bundy and Richard Finkel started Bundy-Finkel Architects in 1991, intending to help clients across California with their unique design needs. Since then, the firm has continuously expanded its services to create well-planned design solutions that meet each client’s needs and preferences. It uses an integrated and personalized approach to managing each project meticulously, and closely monitors every detail. Whether a simple tenant improvement or a full-scale new construction project, the firm works closely with its clients and stakeholders to ensure successful results and the best value possible. Its team of experts utilizes creative design techniques, cost-efficient solutions, and tried-and-true methodologies to create visually pleasing and functional spaces that exceed expectations. 

The Newport Harbor Medical Plaza is a medical office building that spans 25,000 square feet and includes two subterranean parking levels. Situated in close proximity to the Pacific Ocean, the building’s design is influenced by the breathtaking views and sight lines of the adjacent coastline.

SMS Architects

100 Progress Suite 250, Irvine, CA 92618

As a full-service design firm in California, SMS Architects has worked on architecture, master planning, interior architecture and design, space planning, programming, and historic and adaptive reuse projects. Since its inception in 2009, the firm has offered a one-stop-shop solution that handles all stages of the design and building process, reducing the need for clients to have various point persons. Its impressive portfolio is a testament to its dedication, featuring projects that range from minor tenant improvements to big master plans. Through a carefully tailored design process, its team of designers, builders, and project managers is dedicated to delivering a project that meets the needs of its clients. Every project starts with a unique vision, so the firm takes the time to understand what each client wants and offers well-planned and functional solutions that provide the best value possible. 

One of the firm’s notable projects is the SAP and Hanahaus office makeover project on Lido Isle in Newport Beach. This project included fixing up an old building from the 1950s and turning it into a modern office building with stunning harbor views. A testament to the firm’s excellent craftsmanship, this impressive project earned The 2020 Gold Nugget Grand Award for Best Commercial Project under 20,000 square feet. 

Saunders + Wiant Architects, Inc.

2700 West Coast Hwy #200, Newport Beach, CA 92663

Founded in 1995, Saunders + Wiant Architects (SWA) is a reputable architecture and design firm with a widespread presence across the southwestern United States. Known for its unwavering commitment to client loyalty, SWA has garnered the trust of numerous small and large businesses, as well as individual property owners. Its impressive portfolio serves as a testament to its capability to consistently deliver top-quality work at competitive rates. With expertise spanning architecture, engineering, and interior design, SWA’s skilled professionals bring years of technical proficiency to craft aesthetically pleasing and highly functional spaces. The firm also places a strong emphasis on communication and collaboration, fostering close partnerships with its industry counterparts to ensure seamless and efficient project execution. SWA tackles a diverse range of projects, from small-scale endeavors to large-scale ventures.

One of the firm’s notable projects was completed for Cosmeticare, a boutique cosmetic surgery office often used for reality TV shows. The suite takes up the whole building floor and includes fantastic views of the bay. It features a transitional design and a light and airy atmosphere, with large windows that allow ample natural light to flood the space.

Lee & Sakahara Architects

16842 Von Karman Ave, STE 125, Irvine, CA 92606

Lee & Sakahara Architects was founded in 1979 to offer various planning and building services across California and its nearby areas. With over 44 years in the industry, it quickly became one of the most prestigious firms, due to its impressive portfolio and solid track record of satisfied clients. The firm has consistently provided exceptional design and service to its esteemed clients, helping them with their unique design and construction needs. No matter the project’s size, scope, or complexity, the firm offers unwavering dedication to quality that allows it to handle each project meticulously from start to finish. Its success is guaranteed by the hands-on involvement of the firm’s leaders, as well as those of the 30 experienced pros who work for them. 

A stellar example of the firm’s notable projects is The Islands Restaurant – Mission Viejo, a beachy gourmet burger restaurant serving beer and tropical drinks in a chill atmosphere. The unique mix of classic and contemporary design elements gives the space a warm and welcoming atmosphere, making it the perfect place for relaxing and enjoying a meal with family or friends.