The expanding metropolitan area is opening up new natural spaces, such as the popular Urban Reserve Neighborhood. Architects are taking advantage, creating spaces that deliberately connect to their surroundings, as outdoor spaces become as important a part of the design as the interiors. The most common feature of new Dallas homes are glass exterior walls surrounding courtyards or protected by privacy fences. New construction artfully blends the region’s traditional design with new modern touches using gorgeous local stone, sloped roofs, and minimal ornamentation. The following list ranks the best custom home architects in the Dallas area. You’ll find their designs listed among the AIA Dallas small project award winners and on the prestigious AIA Tours of Homes and Modern Home Tours, as well as on the pages of Luxe Interiors and Design, which features the best new homes in the area.

This list includes both licensed architects and residential designers who can both design stunning homes but differ in other services offered. Architects are trained in design, engineering, and project management and have passed a licensing exam. Residential designers typically don’t manage projects and plans will need to be approved by a structural engineer. Whether you choose to hire an architect or a residential designer will depend on your project needs and complexity.

Top Architects

Marek Architecture

Scott Marek

5115 McKinney Avenue, Suite E, Dallas, TX 75205

About Marek Architecture

Marek’s focus is make balanced connections between the structures they design and their environment. Principal and owner Scott Marek, AIA, received a Master of Architecture from Texas A&M University, with an emphasis on regional design and sustainability. Before starting his own firm, he worked on commercial, industrial, and high-rise residential projects with Corgan Associates and Gromatzky Dupree and Associates. He also acted as a lead architect for the modernist architect Frank Welch. The firm’s work has been featured on several AIA Dallas Home tours, as well as in D Magazine, Modern Dallas, and CandysDirt.com — a popular local real estate blog.

Featured Projects

You can find visit firm’s Deer Trail House on the 2017 AIA Dallas Tour. The home was completed in 2016 with a square footage of 3,160k. The home is beautifully located on a sloped lot in between cedar, elm, and oak trees in the White Rock Valley neighborhood. The family of five wanted more separation between their private and family spaces. The solution was a central staircase creating vertical space between rooms on each level. On the ground level, the family’s primary congregating space opens to well-designed outdoor living areas in the back. The living room features a 14-foot ceiling. A playroom, office, and utility room are located the second floor, with the kids’ bedrooms on the fourth floor for the most privacy. The master suite, split between the second and third level, is a private oasis. Marek designed their 2,400-square-foot Jeté, on spec for the up-and-coming Urban Reserve neighborhood — featuring environmentally friendly, modern architect-designed homes north of Dallas. Serenely nestled next to one of the neighborhood’s ponds, the design features a collection of exterior spaces that connect the dwelling to its environment. A pitched roof extends over the spaces, creating a ridge that offers the home shade, while large overhangs push rainwater away from the exterior sites and the main building. Inside, the angled roof varies the ceilings heights throughout the home.

Domiteaux and Baggett Architects (DOBA)

Mark Domiteaux
Laura Juarez Baggett

Preservation Dallas Awards,
Preservation Park Cities Award,
Paper City Design Awards

Lee Parkway Tower, 3303 Lee Parkway #100, Dallas, TX 75219

About Domiteaux and Baggett Architects (DOBA)

Founded by Mark Domiteaux, AIA, and Laura Juarez Baggett, AIA, DOBA has received two Preservation Dallas Awards, a Preservation Park City Award, a Paper City Design Award, and a D Magazine Home of the Year Merit Award. Their work has been featured in Architectural Record and Domain, among many local publications. The firm, which works on residential and small commercial projects, is known both for their contemporary designs and for their respectful renovation of architecturally significant mid-century homes. The firm renovated the oldest home in the University Park neighborhood.

Featured Projects

Founded by Mark Domiteaux, AIA, and Laura Juarez Baggett, AIA, DOBA has received two Preservation Dallas Awards, a Preservation Park City Award, a Paper City Design Award, and a D Magazine Home of the Year Merit Award. Their work has been featured in Architectural Record and Domain, among many local publications. The firm, which works on residential and small commercial projects, is known both for their contemporary designs and for their respectful renovation of architecturally significant mid-century homes. The firm renovated the oldest home in the University Park neighborhood.

Maestri Studio

Eddie Maestri

401 Exposition Avenue, Dallas, TX 75226

About Maestri Studio

Founded in 2008 by Principal and owner Eddie Maestri, AIA, this Dallas boutique offers architecture and interior design services for new construction, renovations, and historic restorations. Maestri holds a Master of Architecture from Texas A&M University and is certified through the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards. The firm’s work has been featured on HGTV, as well as in numerous publications, including Better Homes and Gardens, Small Kitchen, and D Home Magazine.

Featured Projects

Maestri’s Santa Clara Drive home, found in the Forest Hills neighborhood in East Dallas, is included in the 2017 AIA Dallas Tour of Homes. It was completed in 2016 with a square footage of 6,313 feet. The home’s massing and window-to-wall ratio were specifically designed to complement the lot. This 6,313-square-foot home was designed for an active family who entertains frequently, using an large open floor plan. Sliding glass doors connect the home to its three outdoor spaces. Along with the architectural design, Maestri’s firm collaborated with the family for the home’s custom furnishings and commissioned art. In 2013, a 1950s ranch-style home in Midway Hollow was renovated and expanded to include a family room, master suite, and new rear porch. The family has recently renovated their kitchen near the center of the home, and the challenge was to add the new spaces around it without losing natural light. Maestri created a U-shaped addition around a courtyard, creating an outdoor room in the process. The 837-square-foot addition blends into the original space while offering new natural light and spacious vaulted ceilings.

A.Gruppo Architects

Andrew Nance
Thad Reeves

Builder Choice Custom Home Grand Award,
AIA San Antonio Studio Award

315 S Cesar Chavez, Suite 110, Dallas, TX 75201

About A.Gruppo Architects

Andrew Nance, AIA, and Thad Reeves, AIA, founded A.Gruppo in 2005 and quickly built a reputation for powerful collaborations with other designers, architects, fabricators, and their clients. They work on a wide range of projects, from interior installations to urban plans. The firm has received several AIA awards for their single-family residences, as well as a Builder’s Choice Custom Home Grand Award in 2016. Their work has been featured in a number of publications, including Texas Architect and D Magazine.

Featured Projects

Completed in 2015, A.Gruppo’s Vanguard Way home looks like it’s straight out of a cubist painting. The ground floor only contains 900 of the total 2,455 square footage. The ground floor exterior mostly consists of glazed glass to allow maximum views of the surroundings, especially the nearby, natural pond. A garden wall facing the street protects the residence’s privacy while also creating a strong visual entry point. Windows on the upper floor were strategically positioned for optimal views of the tree-lined grounds and the Dallas skyline. The residence is part of the Urban Reserve Neighborhood. Gillespie Street Unit B was a collaboration between A.Gruppo Architects and Heath Macdonald, RA + Steven Quevedo. The Gillespie Street eight-plex was built in 1958. To modernize the space, the team of architects removed the walls defining the kitchen and redesigned the space. The new kitchen area allows the exterior courtyard to flood the living space with natural light. The renovation also added new modern storage solutions that offer more modern convenience to the small space. The renovation was completed in 2010 with a square footage of 1000 feet. In 2013, it was awarded a Creative Scholarship for Interiors and Design by the Interior Design Educators Council.

Stocker Hoesterey Montenegro Architects, PLLC (SHM)

David Stocker
Mark Hoesterey
Enrique Montenegro

4514 Travis Street, Suite 302, Dallas, Texas 75205

About Stocker Hoesterey Montenegro Architects, PLLC (SHM)

SHM was founded in 2005 by David Stocker, AIA, Mark Hoesterey, AIA, NCARB, and Enrique Montenegro, AIA, NCARB. The three “share a passion for practicing architecture that is engaged to make a lasting impact on every life it touches.” This multidisciplinary firm works on residential, commercial, ranch and lake, and sacred structures. Their homes have been featured in Luxe Interiors and Design and Dwell Magazine, among others.

Featured Projects

An updated classic home found in the Bluffview neighborhood used traditional forms and materials in new ways. The C-shape revolves around an inner courtyard. The floor-to-ceiling glass wall facing the courtyard connects the master suite to a family suite, including a kitchen and family room. The firm worked with home builder Brad Ellerman of Ellerman Homes, Inc. to customize the frameless corner windows. The builder used concealed steel to support the roof. With large windows in the front of the home as well, the property uses a layered technique to offer privacy and hide most of the courtyard. The roof height varies at different points to create a “village” effect, making the home feel like more than just a single-family abode. In Highland Park, the firm designed another updated classic. A hand-troweled cement plaster façade envelops more than 50 wraparound windows. For another C-shaped residence featuring an inner courtyard, the architects designed the most private areas near the back, allowing the most visible areas to be the common rooms. This modern design features minimal ornamentation, but one of its spotlight features is a rough-cut limestone wall lining the hallway to the master bedroom. The master bath is connected to the suite via pocketing doors.

Far and Dang

Rizwan Faruqui
Bang Dang

AIA Dallas Special Juror Commendation

4414 Buena Vista Street, No. 18, Dallas, Texas 75205

About Far and Dang

Rizwan Faruqui, AIA, received a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Texas at Austin and has worked with Cunningham Architects, Milton Powell and Partners, and the Office for Metropolitan Architecture. Co-Partner Bang Dang has a Master of Architecture from the University of Texas at Arlington, where he now teaches. The two met while working at Cunningham Architects and founded Far and Dang in 2011. The studio’s duplex project Twin Gables, built in 2016, won a Special Juror Commendation from AIA Dallas.

Featured Projects

The firm’s Madera Street home, which was also completed in 2016, is a part of the AIA Dallas Tour of Homes. Found in the Knox Henderson neighborhood, the goals were an energy-efficient modern home that connects to its surroundings. The 3,364-square-foot house is split into two main volumes connected by a screened-in porch and upper deck. The layout allows for ample green space throughout the middle of the lot and brings in lots of natural light. Charcoal gray metal setting allows the home to blend into the neighborhood, while black-stained cedar siding offers contrast. The firm’s Vanguard Way home, found within the Urban Reserve neighborhood, is featured on the Modern Home Tour Dallas. Similar to the Madera home, this property prioritizes a connection to nature with an urban courtyard and lots of glass in the exterior. The property has covetable views of the park and White Rock Creek Trail. The home also stands out for its uniquely designed minimalist kitchen and pantry built into an open floor plan.


Joshua Nimmo

AIA Dallas Awards

4407 Belmont Avenue, Dallas, TX 75204


Founder and Principal Joshua Nimmo, AIA, LEED AP, has been a practicing architect since 1997. Before starting his own firm, he worked with Lionel Morrison, FAIA, as Morrison Seifert Murphy’s senior project architect. While there, he was the project architect behind the first LEED Gold-certified office building in Plano, Texas. Nimmo strives to push conventional boundaries of modern architecture while prioritizing sustainable designs. The firm has received AIA Dallas awards every year from 2010 through 2016.

Featured Projects

The firm’s 4,210-square-foot Northaven residence is featured in the 2017 AIA Dallas Tour of Homes. As opposed to starting from scratch, the firm’s client prefers to reuse pieces of existing homes to build new structures. This particular project included renovating a ranch-style home and adding a detached pool cabana to the property, as well as a studio and workshop. The earthy home uses a gray and natural color palette along with charred cypress cladding both inside and outside the home to reinforce the house’s connection to nature. The steel and timber exterior broken up with glass walls connects to the pool and landscaping as well. The renovation was completed in 2016. The Vanguard Way residence, completed in 2015, is found in the Urban Reserve neighborhood and keeps with the community’s mission to use sustainable design practices. This particular 2,150-square-foot home uses passive solar strategies and recycled building materials. A goal of the project was to maintain as much of the existing landscape as possible, which allows the home to more fully connect to its environment. The home’s metal veneer was artfully designed to reflect the shadows of the trees against the house.

Shipley Architects

Dan Shipley

AIA Dalas Honor Award,
Texas Society of Architects Design Award,
Residential Architect Magazine Citation Award

1709 Gould Street, Dallas, TX 75215

About Shipley Architects

Shipley is the winner of several awards from AIA Dallas and Texas Society of Architects and was Residential Architect Magazine’s Top Firm in 2010. Most recently, the firm’s “House of Olympic Proportions,” found in Port Townsend, Washington, won an Honor Award from AIA Dallas in 2015. Their work has been featured in various books and publications, including Custom Home, the New York Times, and Fine Homebuilding. Founder and Principal Dan Shipley, FAIA, graduated from the University of Texas at Austin and worked for the HKS Architects and Thomas and Booziotis firms before founding his own. The firm is known for its beautiful but modest and cost-efficient projects.

Featured Projects

The firm’s Bowder Street residence, completed in 2014, is in the historic Cedars neighborhood. They used the lot’s lack of zoning conditions to construct a 10-foot wall on the north boundary of the lot to create an inner courtyard. The exterior of the 2,700-square-foot-home reflects the neighborhood’s industrial roots, using a mix of cement, stucco, and sheet metal with wood batten accents. The industrial aesthetic extends inside with concrete flooring on the ground level and red oak upstairs. Shipley worked on a series of renovations over a 15-year period for a historic Forest Hills home, originally designed by architect Stark West in 1965. The firm added on a carport/studio and master bedroom, a two-story “tower,” and a pool. As opposed to attempting a historic renovation, the additions act in harmony with the original house. The house stands at 3,500 square feet with the additions, completed in 2009, and was featured in the 2014 AIA Dallas Tour of Homes.

Max Levy Architect

Max Levy

AIA Dallas Firm of the Year,
International Design Award,
AIA O’Neil Ford Medal for Design Achievement

5646 Milton Street, Suite 709, Dallas, TX 75206

About Max Levy Architect

Principal and founder Max Levy, FAIA, founded his firm in 1984 after working with major studios in San Francisco, Chicago, and Dallas. He has taught at the University of Texas at Arlington. The firm is known for houses that connect to nature and has won numerous design awards from AIA Dallas. Among many others, they’ve also received an International Design Award and an O’Neil Ford Medal for Design Achievement from AIA Texas, and they were named 2013 Dallas AIA Firm of the Year. The firm’s “House at Rainbo Lake” received a Special Juror Commendation in 2016. Levy’s work has been featured in Texas Architect, Dwell, and Architectural Record, among other publications.

Featured Projects

For a Highland Park house on a narrow lot bordered by the Katy Trail — a greenway running through the city — Levy built up with the main living spaces on the second floor. The 3,500-square-foot residence was designed for great views while maintaining privacy. Another key feature was fresh air. Windows with custom operable panels and floor-to-ceiling custom aluminum doors were designed for airflow, along with the house’s second-story, screened porch. Solar panels and an open floor plan allow natural light to move throughout both floors. Modern Luxury Interiors covered the home in 2014. For Levy’s contribution to the Urban Reserve neighborhood, he designed a unique four-part structure. There’s a 50-foot section containing the garage with two bedrooms and baths on top, connected to a cylindrical entryway made of raw, galvanized sheet metal. The main living areas are broken into two 16-foot-wide rectangles, which sit in a V-shape around a tree — a rare lone chinquapin oak. The back of the house contains large open views. Laminated veneer lumber studs support the home’s glass walls.

Malone Maxwell Borson Architects

Michael Malone
Audrey Maxwell
Bob Borson

AIA Dallas Architecture Firm of the Year

718 N Buckner Boulevard, Suite 400, Dallas, TX 75218

About Malone Maxwell Borson Architects

Malone Maxwell Borson Architects has designed single and multifamily residences, as well as commercial projects and corporate marketing centers since 1992. In 2013, the firm was named AIA Dallas Architecture Firm of the Year. Founding Principal Michael Malone, FAIA, received his Master of Architecture from the University of Texas at Arlington. He was the 2015 President of the Texas Society of Architects. A frequent contributor to professional journals, and a contributing editor for Texas Architecture Magazine, Malone also wrote The Architect’s Guide to Residential Design (McGraw-Hill Education, 2009). Audrey Maxwell, AIA, who has worked with the firm for seven years, received her Master of Architecture from Arizona State University. In 2009, their fellow Principal Bob Borson, FAIA, LEED AP, received the Dallas Chapter American Institute of Architects “Young Architect of the Year” award. He has served on several boards and committees for the American Institute of Architecture and the Texas Society of Architects.

Featured Projects

Known for their modern, glass-covered designs, the firm’s Preston Hollow home, designed by Principal Michael Malone, is no different. At 6,500 square feet, the three-bedroom, five bath home is a substantial steel-framed structure on an acre-and-a-half lot. A 2,400-square-foot infinity-edge pool borders the rear of the home, with the dining area floating out over the water, offering a 180-degree view of the property. From a low-ceiling anteroom, the main living area opens up to 20 feet tall, with walls of glass that fill the space with light. Luxe Interiors and Design featured the house in 2011. For “Dot’s Place,” the custom-designed home of a popular local artist, the design featured a large studio space. A common host, the client was built a large kitchen connecting to a formal dining room that seats 16 guests at her two tables. A glass-walled entry breaks up the brick front exterior of the U-shaped home. In the rear, however, all of the living spaces open up to the central courtyard with wall-to-ceiling glass. The glass was mill-finish aluminum storefront within a steel framework. Interior and exterior walls were made with limestone, with concrete floors.