With several industry giants making their home in Atlanta, a low cost of living, and historically centered festivities, Atlanta is rich in culture and economically thriving. It’s a great place both for tourists and would-be residents interested in settling into the place. It is also a convenient and profitable location for businesses that are looking to expand due to its productive economy and high population. As the largest city and the state capital of Georgia, Atlanta boasts one of the most diversified industries in the nation.
That kind of economy can create windows of opportunity but also high risks of competition among businesses, which is why each establishment needs its own space to stand out and promote itself. This list presents the best retail architects in Atlanta, Georgia. These firms create visionary homes that combine comfort and aesthetics. We chose these firms for their awards, their press features, their portfolios, the backgrounds of their principals, and the strength of their client reviews.
1230 Peachtree Street NE, Suite #2900, Atlanta, GA 30309
GreenbergFarrow (GF) is driven by its passion for aiding clients through a broad range of comprehensive solutions. The firm employs a dedicated professional team specializing in project design and problem-solving for long-term effects on its projects. It emphasizes client-based services and promises to deliver timeless, long-lasting qualities and styles that exceed current architectural standards. GF values its clients over its reputation, which is why it continues to grow as an architect and partner. The firm was named one of the Top 175 Multifamily Sector Architecture + AE Firms for 2022, one of the Top 95 Industrial Sector Architecture + AE Firms for 2022, and was among the The 13 Best Retail Architects in Irvine, California for 2022.
The person leading the firm is Keith Johnston, the CEO and president. Johnston has 30 years of architectural experience which he puts into practice in leading his team From consultation to landscape design and everything in between, the firm communicates with users in order to achieve the best version of each project. GF develops spaces by fostering deep connections with its clients.
GF has completed more than 60 Whole Foods Market locations across the US. The grocery location in Atlanta includes a separate restaurant, a coffee shop, a bar with balcony access, and a rooftop area with food and beverage services, as well as several other activity spaces.
Square Feet Studio
154 Krog Street NE, Suite #170, Atlanta, GA 30307
Square Feet Studio is not only known for its award-winning retail designs in Atlanta, but also for the thoughtful nature of its projects. The firm goes out of its way to honor the city’s history and celebrate the Southern spirit through timeless and culturally relevant projects. Led by founding principals John Bencich and Vivian Bencich, the firm offers architecture, planning, and design services to a diverse market. The firm prioritizes environmentally sustainable resources in all matters of design in order to minimize environmental impact while maximizing long-term quality and function. Much of the firm’s work has been featured in Zagat, Retail Design Blog, Hospitality Design, Curbed Atlanta, Atlanta Business Chronicle, Vogue, and Imbibe. Although the firm excels in a number of project types, some of its most high-end and highly-acclaimed designs exist in restaurant settings—these projects are found across the city.
Square Feet Studio designed the Sid Mashburn, a men’s custom clothing store, along a series of axial progressions with a flexible display system to promote the interaction between customers, staff, and goods in a manner that’s simple and comfortable. The store’s distinct interior melds the owner Sid’s sartorial style and inspirations with traditional architectural details to create a unique men’s retail experience.
BRR Architecture, Inc.
400 Trabert Avenue, Atlanta, GA 30309
BRR Architecture is highly dependable when it comes to providing solutions to its client’s needs and problems. When designing spaces, the firm pays attention to the area itself and considers its potential effect on each space. The firm understands that each client’s project is unique, so the end results should not resemble any other. This versatility has enabled the firm to be a top architect in the city for over 59 years and counting.
The firm has earned several awards for its performance and projects. Some of these include multiple Retail Store of the Year nods from Chain Store Age and being recognized by Architectural Record as the No. 1 Retail Design Firm from 2013 to 2015. The firm’s work has also been featured in Architect Magazine, Retail Construction Magazine, Arizona Business Magazine, and Midwest CJ Magazine.
BRR designed RaceTrac’s first urban location and first built within a mixed-use development. It features the components the brand is known for: a Swirl World frozen dessert station, a large coffee area with fresh coffee, and a “Grab & Go” hot foods kitchen. This location features a clean layout which makes it easier for customers to navigate, which is important due to the high-traffic location of the store.
765 East Avenue, Atlanta, GA 30312
TaC studios is a full-service architect that takes pride in delivering incredible results through close and effective collaboration with its clients. The firm has been in business for over two decades now. Since its establishment, TaC studios has expanded into a multi-disciplinary architectural practice that provides a comprehensive approach to projects that span a wide range of markets. It has worked on high-end buildings such as restaurants, condominiums, and other retail and mixed-use facilities throughout the nation and beyond.
At the firm’s forefront are Cara B. Cummins and Jose E. Tave, a Georgia Emerging Professional Awardee. Their talent for designing and developing projects is immediately evident in his work. The two partners also serve as members of the AIA and carry certification from the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB). Their combined experience is reinforced by their responsiveness and professionalism.
The RetroModern, an internet store specializing in post-war design furniture and decorative items, is a great example of their work. The design efforts included custom lighting displays, a custom P.O.S., a chair display grid, and a 65’ curved and sloped, back-lit PVC wall.
1447 Peachtree Street NE, Suite #850, Atlanta, GA 30309
TSW is the result of the partnership of founding principals Bill Tunnell, Jerry Spangler, and Thomas Walsh. After opening the firm in 1990, the three have kept a small office size to deliver a more hands-on approach to each project. With around 30 full-time employees, the firm operates smoothly; collaboration is easier and more effective. As a result, the firm has delivered impressive work and has collected several awards. It won the 2018 Excellence in Housing Development Award from the ULI Atlanta Chapter.
During its 31 years in the industry, the firm has handled several projects throughout the southeast. These projects include retail and mixed-use developments as well as commercial and civic buildings. One of the firm’s best works in Atlanta is the Studioplex Beltline Retail & Townhomes. The main focus for TSW was the storefront. Industrial windows with black walls and light wood trim work make it stand out. The inside features a brick wall, wood paneling, and exposed ceilings.
Tunnell, Spangler, and Walsh want to provide architecture services to help communities. Part of helping communities is using environmentally-friendly practices for every project. As Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Accredited Professionals, Tunnel and Spangler make sure to use sustainable designs. Sharing this commitment is co-founding principal Walsh. All three leaders believe in the concept of New Urbanism. Mixing this concept with sustainable practices, the three create healthy urban spaces for today and for the next generation as well.
MT Studio Architecture
182 Elizabeth Street NE, Atlanta, GA 30307
When it comes to MT Studio Architecture, one of the most prominent qualities that clients can find is diversity—diversified subjects that are present in its large portfolio of accomplished projects. There’s a broad range of highly qualified industry experts working for the firm as well. It has worked on projects of varying sizes and complexity in a range of markets and has left enduring marks of quality on each one. Whether it be small-scale stores, large-scale warehouses, or even simple private establishments, MT Studio Architecture has the capacity to deliver satisfying results. Many of the firm’s members belong to the AIA, and the firm is a member of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce.
Tarver Siebert is an incredible architect. He started his career working in New Orleans and developed a keen eye for the detailing and craftsmanship found in historic structures. He has since designed houses, corporate interiors, restaurants, and historic theatres. Under his leadership, MT Studio completed Hemline, a boutique clothing store. The interiors of the store feature brick detailing and light wood flooring. The space is decorated with vintage furniture and fixtures. The detail on the ground level is mirrored by the industrial-style ceiling with exposed piping, vents, and track lighting.
The Preston Partnership, LLC
115 Perimeter Center Place, Suite #1000, Atlanta, GA 30346
Since its inception in 1995, The Preston Partnership has remained faithful to its core values of quality and service. Over the years, the firm makes sure to deliver top-quality designs that tell a unique story. These designs are created through collaboration among the firm’s team members. Collaboration starts with its leadership: principals Bob Preston and Adam Parrish work together to guide the team to produce inviting, usable spaces. Both AIA members, Preston and Parrish have led the team to receive multiple awards including the 2019 ULI Atlanta Excellence Award’s Excellence in Town Center Development Video for Alpharetta City Center.
For 26 years, the firm has continuously delivered on its promise. Such quality work and service are displayed in the Collection at Forsyth. The lifestyle center offers over 400,000 square feet of quality shopping and dining. A new Barnes & Noble anchors one end of the two avenues that bisect the site; DSW stands at the other end, acting as the future entry to the complex’ hotel and department store. True to the mixed-use concept, the project provides 70,000 square feet of Class A office space over retail, as well as a 12-screen AMC movie theater.
Successful projects like the Collection at Forsyth have built the firm’s reputation. The firm has handled projects in 40 states and has built a number of well-designed retail stores. Its diverse portfolio includes luxury high-rise residential towers, mixed-use projects, and complex urban infill sites.
5901 Peachtree Dunwoody Road, Building A, Suite #450, Atlanta, GA 30328
Phillips Partnership is a community-focused, full-service architect specializing in effective designs and providing lasting quality through dedicated performance. The firm is well-known for its innovative designs and associated processes that stem from its handling of complex projects throughout the city. The firm also offers cost-effective pricing for its clients’ convenience. The firm is able to handle all sorts of projects across a range of sectors. The firm has over 27 years’ worth of experience and has already made a lasting impact on the communities it serves. The firm considers its clients part of the design team. After successfully working together, the final result of the project should be a masterpiece that leaves a deep impression.
On the featured project, the Phillips team worked around the grade challenges and small site at the base of the 30-story high-rise to design an extension of the urban fabric. The design solution also involved a creative approach to the structural systems. The design incorporates post tension and post joint concrete systems with steel and mild reinforced concrete to balance the programmatic requirements for clearances and high floor loads. The project was completed within the budget constraints.
1447 Peachtree Street NE, Suite #180, Atlanta, GA 30309
As a firm with a history of over 31 years, FarringtonDesignGroup is considered one of the most prominent architects in the state. The firm has been listening to clients and tending to their needs while ultimately developing their desired space. The firm has had plenty of opportunities to prove itself as a top firm—it has done just that, as you can see in its extensive portfolio and the positive reviews from its loyal client base. Throughout its history, the firm has maintained a steady pace of improvement and preeminent performance.
This project is one of numerous ground-up construction, new tenant construction, and historic building renovations the FarrigntonDesignGroup has provided for a private retail client. The company has worked with this client to produce over 40 projects that include an interior tenant fit-out in a landlord-constructed shell, new ground-up construction, and the renovation of historic structures into new stores. The firm has developed a team approach that actively involves the owner to produce projects quickly using both innovative BIM and standard construction practices.