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The Best Office Architects in Atlanta

November 8, 2017 22 Min Read

Metropolitan Atlanta is one of the fastest-growing regions in the country, especially in terms of population and employment. That surprising growth can be attributed to a strong economy, with a performance that usually makes it to the top of national and global rankings. Additionally, the city is home to a number of Fortune 500 companies and international brands. The Coca-Cola Company, AT&T, Home Depot, Chick-fil-A, Hyundai, and Rubbermaid all have offices in Atlanta. The following architecture firms, singled out for their acclaim and accomplishments, as well as for their innovative, mission-driven, and sustainable designs for corporate clients, reflect the city’s adaptability to rapidly changing and evolving workplace demands, especially for a new generation of employees.

Smallwood, Inc.

3495 Piedmont Road NE, Building 10, Suite 700, Atlanta, GA 30305

Smallwood, Inc. is a homegrown firm that has been serving different regions in the US for over three decades. Its Atlanta office is headed by eleven principal architects, many of whom are members of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and are Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Certified Professionals. The team’s diverse and cross-disciplinary backgrounds enable complex innovations in design that seek to lead the design industry as a whole into the future. As an architectural firm, one of the primary objectives of the company is to seek interesting design challenges that provide opportunities for groundbreaking solutions. This idea guides the company to complete diverse projects in every sector and design discipline. The firm also follows a more holistic approach to design, highlighting how architecture should respond to the needs of its users and how design helps enhance communities. Over the years, the firm has worked on designs in corporate, commercial, hospitality, multifamily, industrial, governmental, and educational settings.

Chick-fil-A Corporate Campus

One of the firm’s notable projects in Atlanta is Chick-fil-A’s “office of the future.” The project is a 21,770-square-foot structure located inside a warehouse not far from the restaurant chain’s main campus. The firm transformed the building into a dedicated testing area. The location includes versatile areas where different types of work can be completed. At the same time, the same was designed to inspire teamwork, so that different types of professionals can easily engage. Workstations of all types, meeting the needs of various employees, are positioned alongside smaller, more private stations. Quiet rooms offering further privacy are also available, but the key to the design is the collaborative areas, which encompass 30 percent of the structure’s total square footage. The design also includes video conference spaces featuring cutting-edge technology, and adaptable furniture.


1315 Peachtree Street NE, Atlanta, Georgia 30309

Perkins+Will began in 1935 and since that time it has grown into an interdisciplinary architecture, design, and research firm. Composed of over 2,000 employees worldwide, scattered across 20 different offices, the firm’s architects, interior designers, urban designers, and landscape architects seek to be leaders in the field, especially when it comes to sustainability, resilience, health and wellness, and mobility. The firm’s research sector seeks creative technologies and solutions, enabling it to design more evolved environments. The firm receives hundreds of design awards each year and is constantly ranked as one of the world’s top firms in the industry. While Perkins+Will creates versatile designs for all kinds of clients, one of its key concentrations is on creating corporate buildings and office spaces; for this firm, a strong design plan promotes successful businesses and represents an organization’s mission and work culture.

1315 Peachtree

Perkins+Will has a growing presence in Atlanta. One of its key contributions is the 1315 Peachtree, a structure that houses office spaces for the Atlanta-based Perkins+Will team. This 45,000-square-foot building was certified through the Sustainable Sites Initiatives program and is also a LEED Platinum-certified structure. 1315 Peachtree succeeded by “upcycling” a 1986 office building into a “living laboratory” of sections, including office spaces suited to hold 240 employees, civic gathering spots, and a library. The building features an open-air civic plaza, built on a space that was formerly a parking deck. It features innovative stormwater solutions, including a 10,000-gallon cistern designed to store and reuse rainwater. It also made use of and materials from paints and wall graphics for its carpets—all screened to reduce toxic substances. An underfloor air distribution system promotes optimal ventilation and fresh air, an exterior terrace is covered by a steel trellis and motorized overhang, and the design to let in natural light reduces energy-run lighting by 67 percent. Of the building’s structure, more than 60 percent is designed to be demountable, deconstructed and reused. The building received three Development of Excellence awards from ULA Atlanta, the Atlanta Regional Commission and the Livable Communities Coalition, and the Atlanta Urban Design Commission. It also received a Merit Award through the Georgia Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), earned a Design Award through AIA Georgia, and was named a Top 10 AIA Committee on the Environment (COTE) project. Mayor Kasim Reed praised the building for its “true innovation in design, sustainability, and reuse.”

Warner Summers

1550 Southland Circle, Suite 100, Atlanta, GA 30318

Warner Summers, founded in Atlanta in 1964, provides architecture and design services to corporate, office, financial, religious, medical, industrial, educational, and civic settings. Leading the firm are three principals, Dana McClure, C. Scott Ward, and Robert Meleski. These leaders strive to capture the vision, image, and culture of each client in order to optimize business goals, encourage and inspire clients, and make visitors feel welcome in the spaces the firm designs. Scott Ward studied at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, and both Ward and McClure are members of the AIA. Robert Meleski is NCIDQ certified and has received several awards and recognitions, including multiple Design Excellence Awards from the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) and a “Best of the Best” Award from the International Interior Design Association (IIDA).

Home Depot Corporate Headquarters

Although not the largest firm on this list, Warner Summers has designed multiple office spaces for high-profile companies within Atlanta including the Home Depot Corporate Headquarters. At 1.650 million square feet, the office consists of flexible workspaces built to accommodate future growth. The building also houses a cafeteria, conference center, television studio, auditorium, and five division offices. Warner Summers also designed an Atlanta-based office for AT&T, which features 30,000 square feet of collaborative areas and private team rooms. For the Lincoln Financial Group, Warner Summers contributed to the design of a $5.4 million upgrade of an existing workspace.

Niles Bolton

3060 Peachtree Road NW, Suite 600, Atlanta, GA 30305

Niles Bolton defines success by how well a project realizes the vision of its clients and how well a project fulfills the needs of the people who live, work, or experience a given space. Rather than focusing strictly on aesthetics, this firm sees architecture as a process of listening, analyzing, and engaging each client. For the company, design is a system of applied knowledge and experience, helping to achieve true collaboration and long-lasting relationships with active members of a community. With each design, the firm aims to put artistry, style, and functionality into an inspired balance while meeting clients’ unique sets of preferences and needs. Niles Bolton began in 1975 at a time when around 50 percent of Atlanta architects were unemployed. Today, the team is led by a number of promising principals: G. Niles Bolton (AIA), the chairman and CEO, and Ray Kimsey (AIA, LEED, AP), the firm’s president.

3445 Peachtree

In Atlanta, Niles Bolton Associates created a 90,000-square-foot office for Byers Engineering Company. The building is four stories high and consists of limestone, precast concrete, and sloping, glass façades. Inside, the building contains meeting areas, flexible workspaces, communal areas, and break and recreation areas. The goal of the project was to deconstruct the basic box, with the four-story design inspired by a rectangle made of precast concrete: removing particular segments of “the box” creates a sloped structure where glass windows overlook the sprawling landscape beneath. Deliberately imbalanced in some areas but solid at its core, the design for this building achieves a unique tension. The atrium includes a grand staircase and a combination of hard shapes with natural curves emphasizes the notion of deliberate imbalance. The firm’s other projects in the city include the 3445 Peachtree, UH Midtown, Camden Places, the Home Depot Little Apron Academy. The firm also led the design of an office building for Freeman Mathis & Gary, LLP. The project consists of a dual-level interior bridged by a large and central staircase. The space is comfortable but professional, a tone that reflects the work of the law firm inhabiting it, and it includes areas reserved for meetings and training sessions, a boardroom, and even a mock courtroom. The client sought a design that would reinforce its values, and Niles Bolton Associates fulfilled the request with a resulting architectural plan that is modern, efficient, and professional.

5G Studio Collaborative

260 Peachtree Street, Suite 500, Atlanta, GA 30303

5G Studio Collaborative goes after visionary clients with challenging projects, a significant choice that has produced inspired designs. With a holistic approach to collaboration, the firm tackles its work based on a profound understanding of the life cycle of a given building, its relevant costs, and marketability, and ultimately, its design aesthetic. Founded in 2005, 5G Studio is an award-winning firm that has earned global praise for its innovative and fresh designs found across ten countries. Many of its projects were created for high-profile clients and have won multiple recognitions. In the past, the firm has received the 2016 Architecture Firm of the Year Award, a 2016 United Masonry Contractors Association Golden Trowel Awards Honorable Mention for Restoration, an IIDA Lavish Most Innovative Design Award, and much more. The firm’s projects have been featured in publications like Commercial Property Executive, Arch Record, Hotel Business, Forbes, Design, Film Journal International, Curbed, and The Dallas Business Journal.

“Study Nature and be Inspired.” – Jim Viviano

AIA Atlanta HQ

5G Studio designed the office headquarters for Georgia’s AIA branch in 2014. The 2,000-square-foot structure is small but sleek and occupies one corner of the Woodruff Volunteer Center in downtown Atlanta. The office is positioned behind a colonnade beneath the building and is completely transparent, with glass walls connecting employees to its bustling metropolitan landscape. The structure is known for its large, vertical bi-fold door, which is made out of locally sourced oak trees that, if not used for this office design, would have been sent to the chipper. At 1,000 pounds, the door was manufactured by Schweiss, engineered by Foresite Group, and installed by Eutree. It can be opened to create a large conference, a meeting area, or lecture space, and closed to attach to the wall, seamlessly creating a gallery space suited to hosting events.

IA Interior Architects

383 17th Street NW, Suite 330, Atlanta, GA, 30363

IA studies environments through the lens of interior architecture, a once-radical concept in design when the firm was founded in 1984. Today, the firm is driven by the principles of change, creativity, innovation, and community service. IA is operated by co-Presidents and CEOs David Bourke and Tom Powers, both seeking to uphold the legacy of David Mourning, the firm’s founder. His legacy revolves around helping clients achieve their business goals through smart, efficient designs that enhance, stimulate, and inspire workers to perform well. Some of the many publications that featured IA’s office designs include, Entrepreneur Magazine, Inc. Magazine, design*, SEGD Magazine,, Interior Design, Contract Magazine, and Metropolis Magazine. The firm’s long list of notable clients for its corporate workplace market includes Bacardi, LinkedIn, McMillan, Mercedes-Benz Research & Development, Sapient Atlanta, Enel Green Power, Jet, and Invenergy.

Sapient Atlanta

Sapient Atlanta, a modern office with a bold color palette and sleek, futuristic furniture, was the recipient of the ASID Georgia Gold Design Excellence Award for the Corporate Office under 25,000-square-feet-category. The space contains brand messages appearing on digital platforms, a wall with laser-cut logos, collaborative team zones, a hallway made out of walls that can be written on, independent work areas and meeting rooms, graphic carpet designs, and a combination of industrial and colorful fixtures creating a focused but comfortable atmosphere. The firm also designed the Atlanta-based office for J. Walter Thompson: a two-level glass tower with a 50,000-square-foot workspace that incorporates a central, asymmetrical staircase, a series of both interactive and enclosed meeting areas, a hidden media library with a seating area, and digital media walls. Central to the design is its nonhierarchical atmosphere: it doesn’t include a single enclosed office. Instead, each of the 220 employees, including middle management and executives, operates within the same type of seven-foot module.


191 Peachtree Street NE, Suite 5000, Atlanta, GA 30303

Highlighted for its efforts to produce sustainable office spaces within Atlanta, HKS sees the act of design as a means of enhancing the human experience—an everyday design philosophy that the firm strictly adheres to in order to consistently deliver optimal results. The firm’s executive committee is made up of some the most influential figures in the industry, starting with its president and CEO Dan Noble, Atlanta Principal Julie Volosin, and other multi-affiliated principals working to complete achievements in areas such as architecture, planning and development, programming, project management, structural engineering, interior design, graphic design, branding, sustainability, research, and more. Known for its designs for corporate headquarters, some of HKS’s clients are international brands, such as Lear, Aviva, Radioshack, and Avon Cosmetics. Several of its projects in the US and abroad have received awards. Locally, its Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport Airside Modernization Fire Station 40 and Atlanta’s Medline Regional Activity Center Livable Centers Initiative, earned the Outstanding Health Planning recognition in 2015, given by the Georgia Planning Association.

191 Peachtree Tower

Terminus 200 is a 585,412-square-foot mixed-use structure located in the Buckhead neighborhood of Atlanta. It was designed in collaboration with Duda/Paine Architects. The building is LEED Gold certified. Its workplace section is rated one of the Top 10 Shared Office Spaces in the area, based on a popular reviews platform’s ranking. The project is now home to some renowned companies and institutions, such as Fitzgerald & CO, Film Connection Film Institute, Greenberg Traurig LLP, City National Bank, and Servcorp—which occupies the 20th floor. Servcorp’s office features sweeping views of the cityscape, a brightly lit marble interior lobby, splashes of orange alongside contemporary furnishings, two-day suites, a boardroom, a five-star coworking space with eight workstations, and landscaped paintings by local artist, Ford Smith, all evoking appreciation for the natural beauty that the artist witnessed during his world travels. One notable milestone in the firm’s portfolio was when it designed its own eco-friendly office in Atlanta, a project commended by Inhabit through an online feature. A LEED-certified design, 191 Peachtree Tower includes solutions to water reduction, energy efficiency, use of sustainable materials, maximization of furniture and equipment reuse, and recycling construction waste. The sleek and modern interior also includes low-flow water fixtures, which enable a 30-percent reduction in potable water use, and lighting fixtures that reduce energy use by 20 percent. Almost 80 percent of the space’s construction debris was later recycled, and the firm brought in previously used furniture from one of its former locations.


133 Peachtree Street, NE, Suite 4800, Atlanta, GA 30303

HOK is an international firm composed of over 1,600 professionals from its 24 locations across three continents. The firm aims to create exceptional, creative, and environmentally sustainable designs for a diverse set of clients from every sector. Its portfolio currently includes large-scale commercial projects, civic and cultural centers, research facilities, and corporate headquarters. Selected for its achievements, HOK sees “work” as something people do—a commitment, an active process driven by a mission, and a set of principles. When Hok works with clients seeking to create or enhance their business offices or headquarters, the firm’s goal is to support the client’s employees, help the client better embody its brand, and achieve a level of flexibility to help the client adapt to its constantly evolving business needs. The firm’s designs for workplaces have received several awards, including a Houston Business Journal Landmark Award in the Office Building Category for its work on Phillips 66 Headquarters in Houston, and a Southern California Development Forum Design Award for HOK’s design for the DIRECTV Office in Los Angeles. Many of the firm’s designs are located in Atlanta.

Porsche Experience Center

HOK designed the Porsche Experience Center and Headquarters in Atlanta, a LEED Silver-certified facility that merges an advanced customer experience center with contemporary office space. The project was designed to motivate 450 employees of Porsche to work together in one main hub, while also providing an engaging visitor experience for potential customers, Porsche fans, and auto enthusiasts. The building sits across from the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and acts as one of the first Atlanta landmarks that visitors see upon entering the region. Detlev von Platen, CEO and president of North America’s Porsche operation, sought a sleek, high-performance building encapsulating the Porsche brand. The space achieves exactly that, with a 1.6-mile driver development track running through the courtyard, six modules for driving demonstrations, a vehicle gallery, a restoration center, a human performance center, multiple cafes, and a driving simulator lab. The building even features a restaurant named after the first Porsche ever produced and offers a view of the test track. The 13k-square-foot business center includes conference rooms, event spaces, and a design studio where visitors can create virtual vehicles.


1230 Peachtree Street NE, Suite 2700, Atlanta, GA 30309

tvdesign was founded by Bill Thompson, Tom Ventulett, and Ray Stainback, all seeking to create inspired designs for an evolving world. Today, tvdesign is run by President Janet Simpson and Managing Principal Becky Ward. The firm has 50 years of experience and has contributed to the designs of millions of square feet across the world. The firm excels in office designs, with a team of office architects providing services for workplaces that embody each client’s values and promoting communication, creativity, and productivity. Led by a dedicated workplace design team, the firm has created corporate spaces aiming to improve employee wellness and retention and keep up with the changing needs of the modern office. In recent years, ASID Georgia has recognized the firm with two Design Excellence Awards in the corporate office design category, one for Fiserv’s Client Experience Center and the other for LPL Financial’s Ft. Mill campus.

Savannah River National Laboratory

tvdesign’s 1015 Techwood Building, an expansion of Turner Broadcasting Companies, acts primarily as an operations facility. Located in a classic, collegiate campus, the building includes eight floors that are reachable through a series of covered walkways. A portion of the building’s roof includes a rooftop garden. The building features brick, precast concrete walls, with a color palette and texture that complement nearby buildings. One section of the building is made entirely of glass, allowing an abundance of natural light in. The glass section contains a playful pattern of panels, both translucent and transparent, and reflects the spirit of the building’s creative character. Another project is the Savannah River National Laboratory, a work in progress, located in Augusta, Georgia. While the structure is a mixed-use building, a big portion of it is designed to provide workspaces for business professionals. The design is part of a larger project that will combine the headquarters of the Savannah River National Laboratory with Augusta University School of Science and Technology, with the final product occupying 500,000 square feet of office space. Central to the design is a “collaboration courtyard” built on a raised, landscaped plaza where employees and visitors can congregate, share meals, and socialize.


999 Peachtree Street NE, Suite 1400, Atlanta, GA 30309

Gensler’s clients come from a variety of national and global market sectors. Since its inception, the firm has served over 3,500 clients, some of which are ranked among the top Fortune 500 companies, while others are listed as emerging and established technology giants in the United States. Singled out for its success in designing offices, the firm works on projects ranging from large-scale to mid-range, private to public, and for-profit and nonprofit. Known for its collaborative process and client-centered approach, Gensler, led by Managing Director and Principal John Adams, Studio Leader and Senior Associate Lisa Adkins, Design Principals Shamim Ahmadzadegan and Chuck Albright, among others, has received notable awards for architecture and interior design. In the past, it has been recognized as Design Firm of the Year and was a finalist in the 2017 Innovation by Design Awards for General Excellence. Within Atlanta, the firm has completed a number of artistic office designs for high-profile clients.


Some of Gensler’s notable designs include workplaces in the 525 North Avenue building, the offices of 22squared, one of Atlanta’s largest independent advertising communications agencies, the Atlanta Tech Village, FOCUS Brands Headquarters, NCR Midtown, the Hyundai Capital Operations Center, and the Mercedes-Benz USA Headquarters. Central to Gensler’s designs is sustainability; 22squared originally approached the firm for help redesigning its workspace, and the firm produced solutions that enabled a smarter use of space and enhanced workplace collaboration by 20 percent. The firm was also commissioned to design the Hyundai Capital Operations Center. The 50,000-square-feet office aims to increase productivity and quality of work for employees. Each workbench has a view through a window; desk spaces are separated by translucent glass panels allowing privacy without preventing connectivity; and a textured, cloud-like ceiling sits overhead, unique in its composition of 2,425 fabric cones that create the impression of a gentle movement. A white and gray concrete color palette keeps this modern workplace elegant. It was designed to pass for USGBC’s LEED Gold certification.

Cooper Carry

191 Peachtree Street NE, Suite 2400, Atlanta, GA 30303

Outstanding for its multi-awarded portfolio and its consistency to secure awards for many of its projects, Cooper Carry remains one of the most established architectural firms in the region. Aside from winning 2020’s IIDA Georgia Best of the Best Awards for its Solis Decatur design, the company has also won the approval of the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties (NAIOP) for its contributions to the country’s commercial real estate and corporate environments. Across the US are notable projects that have transformed how people work through innovative, smart, and stunning workplaces. In the past, a Virginia project won NAIOP’s Award of Merit for the Best DC Urban Office Building category. Another project in the region was featured by the Washington Business Journal as 2012’s Best New Office Development. In Atlanta, some of its projects for the corporate industry earned the Energy Star Awards, Atlanta Downtown Design Excellence Awards, among others. The company has come a long way since Walter Carry and Jerry Cooper started it in 1960. Today, the firm works as a creative collective, championing collaborations and technology-based designs to dominate a long list of industries.

Cooper Carry

Some of the firm’s most iconic corporate office buildings reshaped Atlanta’s skyline. These high-rise, high-value architectures exhibit the company’s ability to turn the most complex design ideas into functional, high-performing structures. The Riverwood 200, for instance, is a 319,617-square-foot modern highrise facility that houses multi-tenant office buildings to cater to a new generation of office workers. The project was designed to be sustainable and efficient and currently holds a LEED-CS v2009 Silver certification. Another impressive project still located in the city is the Midtown Union. This state-of-the-art building, expected to be completed in 2022, allocates 600,000 square feet for its office facilities, and the remaining spaces are designed to accommodate hotel rooms, multifamily units, retail spaces, and parking decks. Just like Riverwood 200, its design follows the industry’s strictest green standards. The office building is set to achieve LEED v.4 Silver certification.

Stevens & Wilkinson

100 Peachtree St., NW, Suite 2500, Atlanta, GA 30303

Recognized for its comprehensive architecture, engineering, and interior design services, Stevens & Wilkinson serves a wide range of markets across multiple US locations. Its extensive portfolio features designs, planning, and engineering projects for the healthcare, aviation, entertainment, cultural, government, residential, hospitality, commercial, academic, and corporate sectors, among others. Headed by its chairman, Ron Stang, and its president, Robby Aull, the company is composed of over 100 professionals. Its offices are equipped with in-house project teams that work on projects for specific sectors. Since its founding over a century ago the firm has won multiple awards from the AIA, Associated General Contractors of Georgia (AGC Georgia), and The Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation. As an architect for the corporate workplace sector that serves Atlanta and other cities in Georgia, it has completed projects for Girl Scout Council of Northwest Georgia and the Delta Air Lines.

Stevens & Wilkinson

The company’s McKenney’s and Delta Airlines are some of its most notable works for Atlanta’s corporate and workplace sectors. The McKenney’s project gave the firm an opportunity to transform an existing 1960’s office to a contemporary new building to upgrade the office for its bigger, more advanced workforce. The project involved the building design and the interior design of the facility as well as campus evaluation. One significant purpose of the renovation was to open up the structure to better views of its exteriors so that every work area has an unobstructed view of its surrounding landscape. The project for Delta Airlines, on the other hand, was for the redesign of the workplace’s lobby and office cafe. The project was vital to how the airline company presents its brand to those who enter their facility. The goals were to create a good impression, enhance the image of the brand, and at the same time, provide an exciting and stimulating work environment for the company’s visitors and employees. The firm’s sister company, idea|span, provided the project’s interior design.