LDA Architects is a professional corporation providing comprehensive services in planning, architecture and interior design. LDA is the continuation of a practice established in 1951, and today offers a full scope of design services from an experienced group of dedicated professionals. The firm is a minority-owned company registered with the San Francisco Human Rights Commission.

LDA Architects first concentrated its early work on single-family and multi-family housing throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. By the 1960's, the practice expanded to include banks, postal and educational facilities, HUD-funded housing complexes, low-rise and high-rise office buildings, and conversion of existing buildings to new uses. During the past decade, the practice has included civic works such as government offices, museums, parks, bridges, and meeting facilities.

Our clients have included speculative developers, corporations, city, county, state & federal agencies, and other architects. We have worked closely with general contractors in normal bid-build, negotiated bid, design-build, and value engineering arrangements. Past projects have included phased construction, alternate design bidding, fast-track construction, and other cost and time saving programs.

Proposal for Pier 45 Design Competition, Fisherman's Wharf, San Francisco, CA, 1975

Proposal for Pier 45 Design Competition, Fisherman's Wharf, San Francisco, CA, 1975


LDA utilizes a highly collaborative style of project management. Rather than sending people back to their respective desks or offices to perform “tasks”, we believe in constant interaction towards achieving benchmarks, goals, and, ultimately, the successful completion of the project.

The benefits of the Whole-Building methodology are best realized when the project is produced by the intense participation of entire team. The selection and arrangement of materials, assemblies and systems can then be considered in a whole-process, whole-building approach. Our team reaches out to all affected entities as decisions are made, allowing for a multi-dimensional analysis that examines performance, cost and constructability – where performance is the success of the project over its entire lifespan; where cost is more than just finding the lowest price of a single item, but extends to an understanding of the life cycle of that item and it’s implication to the cost of adjacent materials and systems; and where constructability is more than just putting it up, but also considers replacement, repair and maintenance.

The Buller-Lee Residence, Lafayette, CA, 2005

The Buller-Lee Residence, Lafayette, CA, 2005


The LDA Architects team is dedicated to incorporating the latest techniques in sustainable practices into all of its projects. To be sustainable, a project must not only respect the environment and facilitate the preservation of resources, but should also be feasible from an economic perspective. Our Team’s design approach reflects this philosophy. Measures that help minimize construction and maintenance costs are used, and our design solutions help ensure that the spaces and facilities we create are actively used by the community for a maximum return on investment.

Our Team uses a practical and collaborative approach to the LEED™ documentation and certification process to achieve the project goals. This approach will involve working closely with the owner to develop goals and implement strategies for sustainable building. All of our consultants have an important role to play in the LEED™ certification process. A multi-disciplinary team approach and involvement of these key players assures the design intent and construction intent can be effectively translated, in a cost effective manner, into the LEED™ documentation process.


LDA Architects also provides a variety of services that enhance and extend our architecture. We are adept at coordinating large and complex projects and can apply multiple service types simultaneously regardless of project type.


  • Office Buildings
  • Hotels
  • Retail
  • Recreation Facilities
  • Mixed-use Developments
  • High-rise
  • Multifamily and Single-family Residential
  • Low-cost and Senior Housing
  • Historic Preservation
  • Adaptive Reuse
  • Seismic Upgrade
  • Master Planning and Program Development
  • Restaurants
  • Civic and Public Use Facilities
  • Public Agency Redevelopment
  • Museums
  • University


  • Programming
  • Project Phasing
  • Site and Building Selection Assistance
  • Master Planning
  • Facility Surveys
  • Space Planning
  • Tenant Improvements
  • Interior Design
  • Furnishing and Equipment Selection
  • Move Coordination
  • Graphic Design
  • Artwork Commissioning and Acquisition



LDA provides cost and quality controls for every project that we serve. We approach cost control and value engineering as conscious parts of the design effort. We believe that every project should enjoy the benefits of efficient and economical design and engineering for all building systems.

LDA works closely with construction professionals to create an accurate budget that is monitored during the entire course of a project. To effectively prevent after-the-fact cost cutting, we recommend constant cost review from the earliest stages of design. Cost information is a design tool that should be used in parallel with other design devices. We have had considerable experience in design-build construction contracts, design-assist construction, and negotiated bid projects that have been successfully completed under this philosophy, for the entirety of our long history.


The control and balance of quality is an integral part of managing the cost of any project. It is convenient to downgrade the quality of any product or assembly that may be used on a project, but the project will be forever adjudged "cheap" by that one glaring weak element. LDA considers the balance of quality to be more important. The deliberate calibration of the entirety of a project to meet a uniform level of quality is essential. As the budget is established early, so too is the level of quality. This is another benefit of early and constant cost monitoring.


LDA has many years of experience working with the construction industry on design-build projects. We understand the building process and can help clients and builders make better budget and schedule decisions. Successful collaboration with contractors results in long lasting client relationships, better cost control, and more profitable projects for all parties.

LDA specializes in design-build projects from $5 million to $30 million. As part of the design-build team, we frequently attend the first meeting between the builder and prospective client and often help the builder secure a contract with the client.

We bring the following benefits to the process:

  • help client develop vision for the project
  • assist client/builder define scope of work
  • explain regulatory requirements
  • explain project process to client

LDA Architects has a long history of projects designed in cooperation with the construction industry. Starting with our earliest projects, we have combined the qualities of architecture with the knowledge and sensibilities of construction professionals. The result has been award-winning projects that have created long lasting client-builder-architect relationships.

Our arrangements have been as varied as the projects for which they were used, but the results have always been successful and profitable for all parties.

Yerba Buena Gardens Children's Center

Yerba Buena Gardens Children's Center


Working under the direction of a construction professional, we provide a design that accompanies a builder’s cost and schedule proposal.


Working closely with a construction professional selected by the client, we provide a design that is assured to meet a predetermined cost and schedule.


Utilizing pre-construction participation from construction professionals acting as independent advisors, in arrangements without contracting for construction.

Under these teamwork arrangements, our clients have included speculative developers, private corporations, governmental agencies, and other architects. Past projects have included phased construction, alternate design bidding, fast-track construction, and other cost and time saving programs. Many projects have utilized new materials and assemblies, creative means and methods, and the carefully considered separation of the work into manageable packages.