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The Best Commercial Architects in Baltimore

18 Min Read


Baltimore is one of the oldest cities in America. It’s seen the rise of industrialization, as well as its fall. But rather than succumb to the economically destabilizing effects of closing factories, the city has charged into the 21st century by transforming itself into a service-oriented economy. Today, almost 25 percent of jobs in Baltimore are in the science, technology, and math sectors. This development trend is reflected in the following 10 architectural firms, who make it a priority to design with sustainability in mind.

Top Architects

Ammon Heisler Sachs Architects

David C. Ammon
Joseph L. Heisler III
Harold R. Sachs II

AIA Maryland Design Awards

300 West Pratt St. Suite 275, Baltimore, MD 21201

About Ammon Heisler Sachs Architects

The principals who lead this Charm City firm’s talented designers are LEED AP Professionals David C. Ammon, AIA, Joseph L. Heisler III, AIA, and Harold R. Sachs II, AIA. Experienced in multiple sectors, their areas of expertise include healthcare, banking, retail, and corporate applications of architecture. Since its establishment in 2007, the firm has made quality projects that have been showered with numerous praises from clients the firm has worked with. Attentive, trustworthy, and capable of producing quality results, Ammon Heisler Sachs Architects is known for finding workable solutions to its clients’ architectural, planning, and interior design problems. Thanks to this work ethic, the firm’s designs have won awards such as the AIA Maryland People’s Choice and Design Awards.

Featured Projects

One of Ammon Heisler Sachs Architects’ many notable projects is the 43,500 square foot office space for Blair Hill. A project that cost $9.8 million, it is a four-story building with a durable red brick facade. With two floors of office space, it has meeting spaces, a kitchen, and storage that utilize an open floor plan where natural light is maximized. On the fourth floor is also an open-air plaza where tenants can enjoy a covered space for outdoor dining and collaboration.

Ayers Saint Gross

Luanne Greene
Glenn Birx
Adam Gross

AIA Baltimore Excellence in Design,
AIA Maryland Merit Award for Institutional Architecture,
AIA Arizona Distinguished Merit Award

1040 Hull Street, Suite 100, Baltimore, MD 21230

About Ayers Saint Gross

Ayers Saint Gross’s leadership team is full of experienced, accomplished architects. Luanne Greene, FAIA, LEED AP is the president of the 108-year old firm known for its enduring value. With over three decades of experience and the reputation of an advocate of sustainable planning, Greene has worked with numerous colleges and universities across the United States. Ayers Saint Gross’s principals include Glenn Birx, FAIA, LEED AP—a nationally recognized expert in Building Information Modeling, and Adam Gross, FAIA—a planner and designer who lectures on urban design and master planning. Over the years, this firm has built up a portfolio of projects that stretch from cultural facilities design and international planning projects.

Featured Projects

The eight-floor, 240,000 square foot, $57.2 million, LEED Gold-certified Thames Street Wharf Building is one of Ayers Saint Gross’s most impressive projects. The office building features a green roof, energy recovery, and stormwater management systems. In 2014, the building was sold to KBS Realty Advisors for $89 million, the highest price paid for an office building since 2005. The Sagamore Spirit Distillery, located in the culturally and ethnically diverse area of South Baltimore, is a 60,000 square foot waterfront complex comprising three buildings and an onsite water tower holding spring water transported from Sagamore Farm. One of the commercial businesses is a restaurant overlooking the distillery itself. Ayers Saint Gross has also renovated the 12-year-old Baltimore Visitor Center into a space that can hold events like wedding receptions, press conferences, and live entertainment. Since the property regularly sees 400,000 guests per year, the improvements are hoped to help generate revenue from such events.

BHC Architects

Todd Harvey
Sal Coco

13001300 Thames St., Baltimore, MD 21231

About BHC Architects

As one of the oldest firms on this list, Beatty Harvey Coco Architects has been serving the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic with its technical expertise since 1880. Since then, it has served as the architect for several mixed-use, multi-family, hospitality, and public works. With such experience, the firm has completed work in the private and public sectors where its team has honed their skills to the point that they are able to craft large and complex projects like Baltimore’s Harbor east which was a 30-year engagement. Amounting to 5,000,000 square feet, it includes four hotels, residential units, retail shops, and entertainment spaces.

Featured Projects

The Legg Mason HQ is a towering feature on the Inner Harbor skyline. The ninth tallest building in the city of Baltimore, it rises 24 stories and includes the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School. Overlooking the harbor at the base of the towers are restaurants, retail shops, meeting spaces, and a fitness center. The development continues below ground with a five-story parking garage. As the architect of the project, BHC Architects helped the building achieve a LEED Silver rating and a LEED Gold for the interiors. This project was also recognized in 2009 with the WaveMaker Award. Not far from the site of the Legg Mason building is the Exelon Tower—the new HQ of the Fortune 150 company. The 350 foot tall, LEED Gold building houses a 65,000 square foot, 24-hour trading floor with a 45,000 square foot mezzanine above. The rest of the building is reserved for parking, residential, and retail usage.


Laura Indihar AIA
Helen Jeffery AIA, LEED AP, CCCA, CCS, CSI
Peter Murr AIA, CDT, CSI

AIA National Design Awards
AIA Baltimore Design Awards
AIA Maryland Design Awards

901 South Bond St., Baltimore, MD 21231

About CallisonRTKL

The architecture, planning, and design firm CallisonRTKL was founded by Archibald Rogers in his grandmother’s basement in Annapolis, Maryland in 1946. The “R” of RTKL was soon joined by Francis Taliaferro, George Kostritsky, and Charles Lamb, and the growing firm was soon after commissioned to design for the city of Baltimore. The firm experienced rapid growth, both nationally and internationally before it was acquired by Arcadis NV and merged with the Seattle-based Callison. CallisonRTKL lists architecture, commercial interiors, healthcare facility planning, store planning and design, and landscape architecture among its many services. While based in Baltimore, the firm’s influence can be seen countrywide, from the L.A. Live entertainment complex in Los Angeles, California, to the redesign of the Pentagon following the September 11th attacks in Arlington, Virginia.

Featured Projects

One of CallisonRTKL’s most recent projects is the Hilton Baltimore–an important contribution to the renewal of downtown Baltimore. Commissioned by the Baltimore Development Corporation, the 757-key hotel accommodates the influx of guests from the City Convention Center and Oriole Park at Camden Yards. It was constructed with green, sustainable design philosophy in mind and uses local building materials and features the state’s largest green roof.

Colimore Architects

James A. Colimore

AIA Baltimore Excellence in K-12 Education Design,
The Associated Builders and Contractors Excellence in Construction Award

1240 Key Highway, Baltimore, MD 21230

About Colimore Architects

Founded in 1973, Colimore Architects is a diverse, multi-disciplinary firm that specializes in commercial, education, and healthcare projects with an emphasis on sustainable design. Over the years, it has built up a portfolio with a number of projects that have achieved LEED silver certifications due to the firm’s standard practice of holistically and innovatively regarding efficiency and sustainability. Aside from the certifications it has received, the firm has also been honored with multiple awards from The Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) and the Masonry Institute of Maryland. With such recognition, Colimore Architects has built up a list of repeat clientele who have experienced the firm’s abilities in programming, planning, design, and renovation for architectural and systemic, and adaptive reuse.

Featured Projects

Among its many projects, the three 77,000-square foot Quarry Lake office buildings and its accompanying parking structure are one of its most notable projects. A project that keeps sustainable practices, the Quarry Lake office buildings were one of the several that Colimore Architects has completed for Obrecht Properties in addition to the Northwest Hospital Medical office building and the Citron Restaurant at Quarry Lake. This complex project was honored with the 2006 Design and Craftsmanship Award from the Masonry Institute of Maryland. Another notable project is Howard Crossing. A 100,000 square foot mixed-use space was once occupied by the first duckpin bowling alley in Baltimore. The renovated space uses reclaimed wood from the bowling alley. Designed to provide retail space on the ground level and self-storage on the second through fifth floors, this structure was given the 2019 Historic Preservation Award for Adaptive Reuse and Compatible Design.

Design Collective

Dennis Jankiewicz
Fred Marino

AIA Baltimore Honor Awards,
AIA Maryland Design Awards,
Interior Design Association Mid-Atlantic Chapter Gold Award in Commercial

601 East Pratt Street, Suite 300, Baltimore, MD 21202

About Design Collective

The 90-strong staff of Design Collective approaches their clients’ visions from three perspectives: the urbanist who designs with the community in mind, the humanist who creates according to needs, and the environmentalist who integrates architecture and nature. This method has brought Design Collective success throughout the United States and earned them several awards, being recognized by AIA Baltimore with Honor Awards, AIA Maryland with Design Awards, and the Interior Design Association Mid-Atlantic Chapter with a Gold Award in Commercial. With a leadership comprised of AIA-certified members including Luis Bernardo, FAIA, it’s not surprising to see Design Collective at the the top of this list. The firm’s work can be seen in the education, research, entertainment, and cultural spheres, using their spaces to bring people together.

Featured Projects

Exemplifying Design Collective’s design philosophy is The Zenith, a 20-story $46M mixed-use building that features a unique curved facade and a protective curtain wall skin. Meanwhile, the 27-story, $60M Harborview in Inner Harbor is a waterfront high rise that houses condominiums and penthouse suites. While a parking garage might be the last place you’d expect to see aesthetic architecture, Design Collective was commissioned by Lexington MKP Management LP to design Burke’s Parking Garage, a $24M project that combines concrete, metal panels, and glass to create a highly visible garage that doesn’t look out of place next to the historic masonry buildings next to it. Like many other architects on this list, Design Collective has done their part to contribute to Baltimore’s continued development, upholding the beauty of this historic city.

Fillat + Architecture

Peter Fillat

AIA Baltimore Excellence in Design,
AIA Maryland Excellence in Design,
ULI Baltimore WaveMaker Award

400 East Prat St, Suite 502, Baltimore, MD 21202

About Fillat + Architecture

Previously known as Studio Wanda during its establishment in 1992, Fillat + Architecture has over 100 years of combined experience to support the branches it has all over Washington DC, Florida, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. As a firm with many years of experience, it develops working relationships with its clients from site analysis to managing projects along the way in service of sustainable practices. This effort has been recognized with AIA Baltimore and AIA Maryland’s awards for Excellence in Design and by ULI Baltimore’s Wavemaker Award. Currently, the firm is managed by president and CEO Peter Fillat. A graduate of Syracuse University, Fillat worked with RTKL Associates for nearly a decade and has experience in working with projects in the hospitality, mixed-use, and multifamily markets.

Featured Projects

Fillat + Architecture was in charge of the design for an 18-acre, mixed-use development project comprising six parcels encompassing the waterfront along Harbor East, with construction completed in 2010. Stretching across the Business District to Fells Point, the project has 300,000 square feet of retail space, 800,000 square feet of office space, 350 rental residences, and 2,500 parking spaces.

Gaudreau, Inc.

William A.L. Gaudreau
David G. Gaudreau

AIA Baltimore Environmentally Sustainable Design Award for Excellence,
AIA Maryland Institutional Architecture Honor Award

810 Light St., Baltimore, MD 21230

About Gaudreau, Inc.

At the beginning of the 20th century, architect and engineer Lucien E.D. Gaudreau founded Gaudreau, Inc. At the time, the firm worked on religious communities before expanding into schools and housing. Now, the firm is most known for having a portfolio filled with projects on designing corporate facilities, academic communities, and the science and high technology sectors. Since the firm’s establishment, it has practiced architecture in over 30 states across the country, served over 25 colleges and universities, and hundreds of private and public sector clients. Today, the firm is still managed by the Gaudreau family, with William A.L. Gaudreau as its CEO and president. A member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and past president of AIA Baltimore, Gaudreau has helped the firm become known for design excellence and community service.

Featured Projects

Among the firm’s many projects, its most notable work is the University of Maryland, Baltimore County Research Park, Building No.2. A four-story office and research space with LEED Silver certification, it has a facade that exhibits professional minimalism and was meant to complement the university’s campus. Aside from this project, the firm has also served as the master planner for more than eight of the YMCA of Central Maryland sites found all over the state, including Baltimore. These locations consist of multipurpose gyms, aquatic spaces, and health studios that are all supported by natural light, dehumidification, and temperature, and lighting systems.

North Point Builders Inc.

4210 North Point Blvd., Baltimore, MD 21222

About North Point Builders Inc.

Established in 1988, North Point Builders Inc. works on a wide range of projects, including the new construction and renovation of medical centers, k-12 schools, universities, churches, and community centers. With years of experience, the firm has collected a number of awards mostly from the ABC. Its most recent ones are the ABC’s 2014 Award of Excellence and Project of the Year award, given for its work on the Severn River Middle School. Aside from such awards, the firm is also a member of various industry organizations including the ABC, USGBC, and the Urban Land Institute among many others.

Featured Projects

Though it has a large portfolio, its most prominent commercial work is the Gunpowder State Park-Park Headquarters Facility. A green building with a Silver LEED certification, it is the first project designed and constructed for the State of Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

Penza Bailey Architects

Jeffrey Penza
Laura Thul Penza
Daniel Bailey

MBIA Award of Excellence for Whole House Remodeling
BBJ Largest Architecture Firms
ABC Greater Baltimore’s Excellence in Construction & Design for Elementary School
NAIOP Award for Best Overall Design Team
Professional Remodeler Gold Design Award Addition Over $150,000

401 Woodbourne Ave., Baltimore, Maryland 21212

About Penza Bailey Architects

A firm that provides architectural design, interior architecture, and planning services for private and public clients, Penza Bailey Architects is a 39-year old firm that possesses an in-depth knowledge of the industry. Over the years, it has completed work for both custom residential and commercial markets. While its residential homes are stunning, its commercial works also present the thoughtful and precise attention to detail of any firm with an Americans with Disabilities (ADA) compliance.

Featured Projects

Among its many projects, its most notable one is the JHU Broadway Research Building. A project that required the firm’s engineering disciplines and construction administration, this eight-story laboratory, academic instruction, and office structure has specialty procedure rooms, an MRI, and robotic cage wash equipment. Currently, the firm is also associated with various industry associations including the NAHB, the AIA, MBIA, AIA Baltimore, and AIA Maryland.

Quinn Evans

100 N. Charles St., 14th Floor, Baltimore, MD 21201

About Quinn Evans

An architectural firm founded in 1984, Quinn Evans is known for crafting designs for the art, education, community, residential, commercial, and transportation development markets. So far, the firm has worked with famous clients including John Hopkins University, the National Air & Space Museum, the National Park Service, Safeway, and the Baltimore Ravens. Alongside such famous names, Quinn Evans also participated in renovating the historic properties of the Chesapeake Shakespeare Theater in downtown Baltimore and part of the National Postal Museum in Washington, D.C. Currently, the firm is managed by CEO and president Larry Barr. an innovator who has directed the restoration of many of the nation’s prominent landmarks, he is affiliated with the AIA’s College of Fellows.

Featured Projects

The “city of neighborhoods” is a nearly 300-year-old city full of historic locations that have lived through its industrialization, deindustrialization, and re-emergence as a technological hotspot. To bring one of these buildings into the new millennium, Humanim commissioned Quinn Evans to renovate the American Brewery. This project was awarded several honors including the Baltimore Heritage Historic Preservation Award, the Excellence Award from the ABC, and the Honor Award from the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
Quinn Evans does not only do renovations. Another notable project in its portfolio is the Enoch Pratt Free Library, Orleans Street Branch. The 15,000 square foot library in downtown Baltimore is the first new branch built in the last 30 years, and it includes a reading room, a computer classroom, and meeting spaces. The library was later named the Public Building of the Year by AIA Maryland.

Ziger/Snead Architects

Steve Ziger
James A. Snead
Douglas Bothner

AIA Baltimore Design Award,
Baltimore Design + Construction Reconstruction Awards Honorable Mention,
USGBC Maryland Chapter Special Recognition Award

1006 Morton Street, Baltimore, MD 21201

About Ziger/Snead Architects

Named one of the top 50 Architects for Sustainability by ARCHITECT magazine, Ziger/Snead Architects lives up to its ranking with an efficient and green approach to design and the promotion and education efforts of their “Green Team.” Over its 30-year history, the firm has received nearly 100 awards. Their honors hail from AIA Baltimore, Baltimore Heritage, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the US Green Building Council, and the Urban Land Institute. The partners of the firm are Steve Ziger, AIA, James A. Snead, AIA, and Douglas Bothner, AIA, LEED AP, who lead a team of general and senior associates and associates, many of whom are also AIA certified.

Featured Projects

The Brown Center at the Maryland Institute College of Art demonstrates Ziger/Snead’s client-driven design process. The striking, angular exterior of the building belies a simple floor plan that creates plenty of light-filled hallways that serve to exhibit student work. The 61,000 square foot, $17 million building includes an atrium space, an auditorium, galleries, meeting and lecture rooms, a video studio, and office spaces. Since its completion, attendance at the campus has seen an increase of 30%. Another notable project delivered by Ziger/Snead is the Under Armour Visitor Center commissioned by the company itself. The digital health and fitness company, now the largest one on Earth, has headquarters in Baltimore. The visitor center, nicknamed “Home Base,” features a lounge area, a cafe, and an outdoor seating deck. It sits on an area of 7,500 square feet and cost $2.8 million to build.


  • Shahe Demirdjian

    Shahe is an Editor at Baltimore Architect 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 Baltimore Architect, 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